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Statistics on Ritalin
  • Current estimates are that ten percent of people are so affected, or one out of every six boys. This number is routinely accepted in the professional literature. If ten percent of the people in this country need drugs to function optimally, are we describing a disorder or making a statement about our society?
  • Ritalin/amphetamines will help anyone concentrate, ADHD or not. This complicates the matter. For if everyone could have increased concentration by taking these medications, who should decide which students and athletes get prescriptions and which don't? Further, if these drugs really are so benign why wouldn't we want to make them more widely available? I believe it is because we instinctively feel that something about it is wrong.
  • Thirty years ago amphetamines were a menace. The word was, "speed kills" Many became addicted. Now we are saying that it or its cousin should be prescribed routinely for children, often to ones who are as young as kindergartners. The long term effects of this approach on such a wide scale are unknown.
  • We are telling children from the youngest of ages that they must take medication to function normally without really examining the long term effects of this radically different approach to child psychology.
  • The abuse of methylphenidate has been reported in Baltimore, mostly among middle and high schools students; Boston, especially among middle and upper-middle class communities; Detroit; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Phoenix; and Texas.
  • When abused, methylphenidate tablets are often used orally or crushed and used intranasally.
  • In 1999, 165 methylphenidate-related poison calls were made in Detroit; 419 were reported in Texas, with 114 of those involving intentional misuse or abuse.
  • On Chicago's South Side, some users inject methylphenidate (this is referred to as "west coast"). Also, some mix it with heroin (a "speedball") or in combination with both cocaine and heroin for a more potent effect.
  • About 80 percent of the 11 million prescriptions doctors write for that medication each year treat childhood ADHD.
  • Production of Adderall and Dexedrine, also used to treat ADHD, has risen 2,000 percent in nine years.
  • The increasing use of stimulant medication to treat ADHD in the United States differs significantly from practices in the rest of the world, according to United Nations data, Woodworth said. The U.S. produces and consumes about 85 percent of the world's production of Ritalin.
  • The use of stimulant medication is not seen just in school-aged children. The number of preschool children using stimulant medication for ADHD has increased significantly as well.