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In recent years more and more kids seem to be on a prescription drugcalled Ritalinmethylphenidate This drug is being handed out more and more by doctors asa way of treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder a complex neurologicalimpairnment that prevents kids from concentrating According to the Drug EnforcementAgency it rose fron 200 grams per 100000 people to over 1400 grams per 100000 people inthe last fifteen years The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that about onestudent in every classroom is believed to experience the disorder The rate of Ritalin usein the United States is at least five times higher than in the rest of the world accordingto federal studies Are doctors just catching this disabling affliction more often Ordoes society just want a convenient way to solve a complicated problem Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant that is somewhat similarto amphetamines It was created in 1955 classified as a controlled substance in 1971 andbecame the drug of choice for ADHD in 1981 It is also used in treating narcolepsy It isthought to activate the brain stem arousal system and cortex and like cocaine works onthe neurotransmitter dopamine It appears to increase the levels of dopamine in thefrontal lobe where attention and impulsive actions are regulated When taken in itsintended form under a doctors prescritption it has moderate stimulant properties Therehas been a great deal of concern about its addictive qualities and adverse affects ADHD is a relatively new disorder It was introduced in 1980 where itwas labeled ADDattention deficit disorder In the 1950s children were simply labeledhyperkinetic The term hyperactivity was added in 1987 hence thename ADHD Not all children have the hyperactivity and thus are labeled to have ADD ADDis not treated with Ritalin antidepressants are more commonly used One of the problemswith the label ADHD is that just because a child may be overly hyper doesnt mean thechild is not paying attention The problem is the child is paying
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