Thursday, September 14, 2006

Giving kids Ritalin so they'll get As

Extracts from
Seeking straight A's, parents push for pills
Pediatricians report increasing requests for 'academic doping'
Some parents eager to boost their kids' academic performance see hope in a bottle.

By Victoria Clayton for MSNBC, Sept. 7, 2006

Parents want their kids to excel in school, and they've heard about the illegal use of stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall for "academic doping." Hoping to obtain the drugs legally, they pressure pediatricians for them.

Academic doping — using these stimulant prescriptions in an effort to enhance focus, concentration and mental stamina — first started on college campuses, especially Ivy League and exclusive, competitive schools. Now, the problem is filtering down to secondary schools, Yates says, and more parents are playing a role in obtaining prescription ADHD medication for their teenagers.

Yates isn't entirely surprised that parents ask for it. He believes that most families simply have a heartfelt — if shockingly misdirected — desire for their children to do their best.

Yet some parents will do whatever it takes to keep opportunities from slipping through a child's fingers — even outright lying to doctors to get the drugs, says Rater.

And some pill-eager parents aren't just seeking to level the playing field, they're trying to make their kids superstars, says Dr. Martin Stein, a professor of clinical pediatrics at University of California, San Diego.

Privileged kids tend to have parents who will push them to be the academic cream of the crop and when they aren't, they'll start looking for reasons why, he says.

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At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Sylvia said...

That's sick and short-sighted. It gives me the creeps. (By the way, kudos to you for not putting an apostrophe in the "As" in your title.)

At 10:07 PM, Blogger silverlight said...

Want to get the kids off ritalin?
Hug them, kiss them, tell them you love them every day. Tell them they don't need to be perfect, do their best, but to just be a good person and understanding of others.
Drugging kids. Disgusting.

At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son-in-law is a guidance counselor in an alternative school. He previously was a criminal justice major who worked in juvenile homes. He is very much against these drugs.

At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Ritalin Prescription Information said...

My name is Nikki Hughes and i would like to show you my personal experience with Ritalin.

I am 51 years old. Have been on Ritalin for 9 years now. I began taking it for depression after my marriage ended, and also in a misguided attempt to lose weight! I lost about 15 pounds at the beginning, had tons of energy, felt great...but the weight loss stopped within a few months.. I currently feel focused and motivated after I take it and am able to get a lot done. As well as the generic ritalin, I take 6 - 12 Tylenol 1 tablets a day. I know how bad this is, but can't seem to stop for more than a few days. The last nine years seem to be a's like I have lost those years....I hardly remember anything about them. I find this sad and frightening. I take what my doctor prescribed: three 10mg. tablets a day. I have tried many times to completely get off this drug but I now realize that I am truly addicted to it. If I stop taking it for more than one day I become extremely depressed and have very negative, hopeless thoughts and ideas.

I have experienced some of these side effects-
very irritable when it wears off; sometimes difficult to fall asleep, memory loss, hear music in my head that won't stop.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Nikki Hughes


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