Is Ritalin over prescribed, and do the benefits of Ritalin outweigh the side effects? The people who agree that Ritalin is over prescribed argue that there are many side effects of the medication and question the effectiveness of Ritalin for helping children improve their grades in school. The people who believe that Ritalin is okay focus on the benefits of Ritalin and acknowledge the side effects but point out that these side effects are minimal.
The people who agree that Ritalin is over prescribed argue that the dangers of the drug is inherent, and that a look at a Ritalin box reveals a section on it called drug dependence and warns of withdrawal symptoms from quitting the drug. Studies, and facts about the negative side effects of Ritalin, and other stimulant medications are not worth the risks. The benefits of the drug may be more for education staff than for the child. Teachers generally reward submissive and passive students with better grades because they are easier to deal with. In other words, Ritalin does not increase children’s intelligence it just makes them more obedient, which may explain why their grades get better.
The people who believe that Ritalin is not over prescribed point out that the drug has been shown to be effective at improving behavior, academic performance, and social adjustment in children with ADHD. This side also argues that only half the children with ADHD who used Ritalin showed some side effects such as insomnia, anxiousness, irritability, or a tendency to cry.
This author supports the view that Ritalin is over prescribed and that the risks that are associated with Ritalin are too dangerous and risky. For example, the problems with growth disturbance while using the drug is a very risky side effect of the drug. The potential for withdrawal symptoms makes the drug seem too risky for children.
Halgin, R. (2009). Taking sides: Clashing views in abnormal psychology (5th Ed.). New York: McGraw Hill