Tag Archives | Ritalin

Baby Boomers Snarfing Adderall Like Its Cocaine

Photo:  FtWashGuy (CC)

Photo: FtWashGuy (CC)

High school and college kids have been complaining about shortages of their favorite “study” drugs Ritalin and Adderall over the last couple of years; was the shortage really because the baby boomers decided they could use a little more “focus” too? Sandy Hingston suggests they may be the new drugs of choice for her generation, writing in PhillyMag:

It’s been 25 years since I last ingested an illegal substance. In all that time, I haven’t gotten so much as a parking ticket. I raised two kids—one an Eagle Scout, the other Phi Beta Kappa. I was a Girl Scout leader and a Touchdown Club mom. I stayed married to the same man.

The capsule is orange on the bottom, clear on the top. The pellets inside are dead ringers for the sprinkles I put on Christmas cookies. I set the capsule on my tongue, take a sip from a water bottle.

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One In Five Teenage Boys Is Now Diagnosed With ADHD

The New York Times on mentally-imbalanced becoming the new normal:

Nearly one in five high school age boys in the United States and 11 percent of children over all have received a medical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The figures showed that an estimated 6.4 million children ages 4 through 17 had received an A.D.H.D. diagnosis at some point in their lives, a 16 percent increase since 2007 and a 53 percent rise in the past decade. About two-thirds of those with a current diagnosis receive prescriptions for stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall, which can drastically improve the lives of those with A.D.H.D. but can also lead to addiction, anxiety and occasionally psychosis.

Even more teenagers are likely to be prescribed medication in the near future because the American Psychiatric Association plans to change the definition of A.D.H.D.

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Wider ADHD Medication Use Would Cut Crime Rates Significantly

Will medicating of the crime-prone someday be mandated? COSMOS Magazine reports:

When comparing the behaviour of adults suffering from ADHD during periods when they were medicated, with periods when they weren’t, researchers found that medical treatment reduced the risk of committing crimes by 32%.

Individuals with ADHD have previously been shown to be at greater risk of entering a life of crime. “It’s said that roughly 30 to 40% of long-serving criminals have ADHD,” said Paul Lichtenstein, co-author of the study at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. “If their chances of recidivism can be reduced by 30%, it would clearly affect total crime numbers in many societies.”

The study, which tracked more than 25,000 people over four years, found that medication had the same effect on those who had committed relatively minor infringements as on those involved in more serious and violent crimes.

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Is This Where All The Ritalin Went?

Ritalin-SR-20mg-fullAccording to an op-ed entitled “Why Are We Drugging Our Soldiers?” in the New York Times by Richard A. Friedman, “the number of Ritalin and Adderall prescriptions written for active-duty service members increased by nearly 1,000 percent in five years.” Might this explain, in part at least, the shortages of Ritalin and Adderall that have plagued students nationwide?

Since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been a large and steady rise in the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among our troops. One recent study of 289,000 Americans who served in those countries found that the rates of the disorder jumped to 22 percent in 2008 from just 0.2 percent in 2002.

Given the duration of these wars and the length and frequency of deployments, when compared with other wars, perhaps such high rates of PTSD are not so surprising. Prolonged exposure to a perilous and uncertain combat environment might make trauma common.

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Why Ritalin Is Wrong

800px-RitalinL. Alan Sroufe, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development explains the failings of Ritalin in the New York Times:

Three million children in this country take drugs for problems in focusing. Toward the end of last year, many of their parents were deeply alarmed because there was a shortage of drugs like Ritalin and Adderall that they considered absolutely essential to their children’s functioning.

But are these drugs really helping children? Should we really keep expanding the number of prescriptions filled?

In 30 years there has been a twentyfold increase in the consumption of drugs for attention-deficit disorder.

As a psychologist who has been studying the development of troubled children for more than 40 years, I believe we should be asking why we rely so heavily on these drugs.

Attention-deficit drugs increase concentration in the short term, which is why they work so well for college students cramming for exams.

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Nationwide Shortage Of Ritalin And Adderall

800px-RitalinIn November Jacob Sloan posted a story about a chronic shortage of Adderall in New York City. Now the New York Times reports that the shortage extends to Ritalin and generic versions, nationwide:

Medicines to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are in such short supply that hundreds of patients complain daily to the Food and Drug Administration that they are unable to find a pharmacy with enough pills to fill their prescriptions.

The shortages are a result of a troubled partnership between drug manufacturers and the Drug Enforcement Administration, with companies trying to maximize their profits and drug enforcement agents trying to minimize abuse by people, many of them college students, who use the medications to get high or to stay up all night.

Caught in between are millions of children and adults who rely on the pills to help them stay focused and calm. Shortages, particularly of cheaper generics, have become so endemic that some patients say they worry almost constantly about availability.

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