Ridding Our Schools of Ritalin: How Behavior Control Drugs Are Harming Our Students

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that is commonly diagnosed among today’s children. The three main elements of ADHD are impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattentiveness.

Recently, many more children are becoming diagnosed with this disorder. To treat it, doctors frequently prescribe medications such as Ritalin and Adderall. These medications, though, do not have effects we would wish upon our children. Ritalin, for example, is pharmologically almost the exact equivalent of cocaine, and for this reason it is one of the most abused drugs among students.

I believe many children are incorrectly diagnosed with ADHD, and those that do truly have the disorder can be treated successfully, without the use of these medications. This is done by instead introducing them to a positive change in environment.

Let us look at some of the symptoms of ADHD, as provided by the National Institute of Health:

Inattentive symptoms:

  • Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork
  • Has difficulty keeping attention during tasks or play
  • Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace
  • Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork)
  • Often loses toys, assignments, pencils, books, or tools needed for tasks or activities
  • Is easily distracted
  • Is often forgetful in daily activities

Hyperactivity symptoms:

  • Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
  • Leaves seat when remaining seated is expected
  • Runs about or climbs in inappropriate situations
  • Has difficulty playing quietly
  • Is often “on the go,” acts as if “driven by a motor,” talks excessively

Impulsivity symptoms:

  • Blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  • Has difficulty awaiting turn
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others (butts into conversations or games)
A closer look will show that these symptoms are nothing more than society once again trying to make our children live up to their cookie-cutter expectations.

Schools are factories. Teachers stand in the front of the classroom and give lectures. Kids sit in their chairs and keep quiet. Children can only speak if they raise their hand and get called on. They read from books and do their work until the day is done. They move to the sound of a bell. They do what teachers tell them to do and nothing more.

My question is, what child would not act inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive in this situation?

Teachers do not know how to handle children who think creatively or act on their own free will. Instead of appreciating them, they assume something must be wrong with them. They need a way to control the “symptoms” of their disorder. So they suggest the child has ADHD and to go see a doctor. Parents feel much better knowing their children have a label for what’s “wrong” with them, the child…

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