Ritalin Prescription Among School- Age Children

Reviews the problem of over-prescription of Ritalin among school-age children and suggests some possible alternatives to Ritalin.

Ritalin is prescribed with alarming frequency to school- age children as a means of controlling “hyperactive” behavior believed brought on through the presence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or similar behavior disorders. However, the diagnostic criteria of ADHD and the percent of children on a Ritalin regiment strongly suggest that Ritalin is being over- prescribed, where those that are using Ritalin could not all be suffering from ADHD and that Ritalin is merely a tool used to invoke desired behaviors in certain individuals. These findings are dangerous, for Ritalin is a close pharmacological relative of drugs such as cocaine, and the number of Ritalin- related deaths appears to be rising as a result of over- prescription. In order to alter this type of situation, alternative treatments to Ritalin regiments are suggested to curb “hyperactive” behaviors.