Saturday, September 8, 2007

Is Ritalin Safe For Treating ADHD Children?

Ritalin is one of the most prevalent drugs used to treat
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It is
prescribed to thousands of children under the age of 18 every
year. While Ritalin has been shown to help in severe cases of
ADHD, it may not be beneficial in mild cases as its side effects
may be worse than the symptoms of ADHD. Ritalin has varying side
effects on children, some of which can be potentially harmful.

Ritalin causes stunted growth in children. A new study conducted
by the Child Development Center of the University of California,
Irvine found that children who took Ritalin for three years were
about an inch shorter and weighed 4.4 pounds less than other
children in their age group. It is not known if these children
ever regain their normal height. The long-term neurological
effects of Ritalin remain unknown.

Another possible problem with treating ADHD children with
Ritalin is the potential for addiction and abuse. Ritalin is a
stimulant and is categorized as an amphetamine. All amphetamines
carry with them a likely risk of addiction. A study found that
children who took Ritalin for more than 3 years have a greater
risk of substance abuse and committing crime.

Many adolescents and young adults snort Ritalin in a way similar
to snorting cocaine. They think that Ritalin is a cheaper and
safer alternative to cocaine. However, Ritalin has dangerous
side effects whether taken orally or inhaled. This could be a
short leap from using prescription amphetamines such as Ritalin
to using illegal street amphetamines in the future.

Other side effects of Ritalin include headaches, stomach upsets,
reduced appetite, depression, irritability, anxiety, increased
blood pressure, sleep difficulties and nervousness. When the
side effects of taking Ritalin are severe, they can be worse
than ADHD symptoms, making them an ineffective treatment.

Instead of treating mild to moderate cases of ADHD with drugs
such as Ritalin and Adderall, some believe that dietary changes
can help control ADHD symptoms naturally. Many processed foods
contain dyes, addictives, preservatives and artificial flavoring
that can cause allergic reactions in people with ADHD. Avoid
excessive intake of sugar as it can cause hyperactivity. Consume
fresh and wholesome foods. Herbal remedies may also be helpful
to treat ADHD without the harmful side effects or possibility of
addiction or abuse. Behavioral therapies have more positive and
lasting benefits.

With so many side effects of Ritalin and its long-term effects
remain unknown, it is best to consider alternative treatments
for ADHD. Discuss all treatment options with your doctor
carefully to ensure that Ritalin is only the last line of
treatment for ADHD.

About the author:
The long term effects of Ritalin is still unknown and its
benefits have been called into question many times. Besides drug
medications, there are alternative treatments for ADHD that are
safer and yet effective. Check out the all natural and drug free
treatments for ADHD at


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