Out of Order Disorder Essay

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Out of Order Disorder
It has been known since the beginning of time that not all people have the same brain function, social graces or self control. Children have daydreamed, been distracted, wiggled and have been routinely disruptive in classrooms. The condition dubbed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a new name for old behaviors. It has only been the last 40 or so years that these behaviors have become known as a disorder. They were previously accepted, on the most part, as common childhood behavior that would be outgrown. The controversy over the treatment, Ritalin, during the 1960s is when ADHD became well known (Conrad 563). Before that children and their families managed to survive without the labeling and
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Between the years of 1990-2000 over 569 children were hospitalized, 38 of them were life threatening hospitalizations, and 186 died (www.methylphenidate.net). Ritalin was the first drug used to treat ADHD and is still prescribed at an alarming rate. Since 1990 the number of American children being treated with Ritalin for ADHD has increased nearly fourfold (Frontline). Pediatrics reported in 1995 that 1.5 million school children in the U.S. were taking Ritalin (Sears 228). That is 2-3 students in every class. Some of the effects of long term use have been brain atrophy, heart arrhythmias and the development of tics or dyskinesias; which are abnormal muscle movements that stem from disrupted brain function (Walker 48). It has the same effect on the brain as cocaine, only cocaine leaves the brain sooner. Children who are given this drug have been described a zombie like, lacking any individual personality, and lethargic.
The drug companies benefit from this diagnosis. If three million people are on Ritalin, imagine the profit for that drug company. A conservative estimate would put the cost per month of Ritalin, methylphenidate HCI, at $30. It is an immense revenue stream: $30 per month for three million people would create revenues of over $1 billion for one drug company in one year alone (Block). They depend on doctors to diagnosis and prescribe their drugs, when actually of all diagnosing and medicating; only 1-2% who takes medication

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