It is one of the biggest issues in the world of science today. ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders among children, although it also occurs in adults. It leads to symptoms such as hyperactivity, forgetfulness, poor impulse control, and distractibility.
Although in reality there is no real cure for this disorder, many doctors give prescriptions to drugs such as, Ritalin, Metadate, Focalin, or Methylin, which are all stimulants in the group of Methylphenidate.
These drugs work much like illegal street drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine, more commonly known as speed. In fact in chronic cases of ADD, methamphetamines are prescribed to patients and sold as Desoxyn by the Ovation Pharmaceutical Company.
These drugs are the exact same to their street counterparts, only varying in strength. Should such drugs be prescribed to kids with such a disorder?
Most of these medications used to treat ADD are Schedule II drugs under the U.S. DEA schedule system. Since these are powerful stimulants some as powerful as cocaine there is a big potential for abusing these drugs. There is controversy surrounding prescribing these drugs for children and adolescents, however, researchers studying ADD sufferers who either receive treatment with stimulants or go untreated has indicated that those treated with stimulants are in fact much less likely to abuse any substance than ADD sufferers who are not treated with stimulants.
This does not necessarily indicate that treated patients do not abuse the drugs, in fact a very high figure of patients treated with ADD using the above named stimulants become addicted to the drugs. The matter gets worse when patients who have prescriptions that give them access to the drugs begin selling or sharing them with friends. In schools the abuse of Ritalin has become so popular, that the name "Kiddie cocaine" has been given to the drug.
Some symptoms of these drugs are increased heart rate, feelings of extreme joy, increased levels of activity, ability to concentrate and focus for hours, increased sex drive, loss of appetite and insomnia and in rare cases overdoses can lead to death.
The threat with ADD drugs is that prescriptions to kids at a young age can lead to lifetime addictions, and making things worse the legal access to the drugs makes patients reckless during their teenage years. These drugs are not easy to stop due to the "Feel good" factor they possess, which is the main reason for addiction. Most teenagers begin abusing these drugs, by increasing their dosage, crushing and snorting for more effect, since the body becomes easily resistant to these drugs.
In the end when choosing to get a prescription for such medications, one should be clearly aware of the problems that may arise and regular checks to the doctor who prescribes the medication can help prevent addictions. Also keep all drugs and medications out of reach of children.
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