Ritalin on the way out?

Good to see that NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, has published new guidelines saying UK doctors should only prescribe ritalin for children with ADHD (attention deficit disorder) if absolutely necessary.

I’m rather dubious about the huge rise of diagnoses in ADHD in the US and UK that we’ve seen over the last 30 years (ever since Ritalin first became commercially available).

Alot of the time, the diagnosis is a way for parents to get special treatment for their children, such as extra time in exams.

I know of one mother, for example, who is highly ambitious for her children, to the point of spending thousands of pounds on extra-curricular tutoring for her children.

Last time I saw her, she had managed to get her children diagnosed for both dyslexia and ADHD, which meant they got at least an hour extra in each of their public exams.

They were also put on ritalin, which supposedly helps them concentrate and work better.

Yeah, but at a cost! It’s basically letting the children know that they don’t / can’t function effectively on their own, but need a chemical boost to be ‘normal’. What a great way to make sure they have a cocaine habit, or some other form of substance abuse, later in life.

Never mind accepting if you’re not the most academic person (and in fact they were both fine). Let’s get a chemical upgrade!

Ritalin, let’s remind ourselves, is basically amphetamine. Imagine, 5% of our children on speed…

If we need to drug up millions of kids just so they can fit into our society, then maybe its the society thats fucked, and not the kids.


  • April says:

    as someone who’s been medicated for ADD as an adult, it really scares me that so many kids are medicated because they don’t conform to behavior expectations in the public school setting. surely kids who are in charter schools or magnet schools or Montessori schools aren’t all hopped up on Ritalin…

    yes, ADD meds are good at helping you be more productive—just like speed. the only difference is one is government approved and pushed on kids!

  • Anonymous says:

    my mother was told, when i was in first grade, that i most likely had add or some form of hyperactivity disorder. she suggested i get put on meds. my mother refused.
    in the later years, about the last years of my middle school, before i started high school, i was diagnsed with eoilepsy, which also brought a diagnosis of adhd.
    i went through several cocktails of medications so i would be able to not have seizures and be able to pay attention.
    iam now in college, having graduated from high school with honors (and having gone without the focus drugs for a while becuse of inability to afford them) and i am now on the third different kind of medication for adhd. i never wanted to even try ritalin, or any of the other class-whatever controlled substance types, but lack of health insurance and lack of finances has forced me to pick the cheapest that my neurologist will prescribe, and yes that is ritalin.
    i believe that some kids do need drugs, to really focus, but not in elementary, like my teacher tried to do to me, but later, when the work starts getting hard, and when, if you dont pay attention it could seriously affect your future. let the kids have a childhood, but some kids do have problems

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