Ritalin: Dangers and Alternatives.

Ritalin: Dangers and Alternatives.


Where would Edison or Einstein be in a modern public School system?

Edison was classically hyperactive which he never outgrew.  He had activity and sleep disturbances which lasted through adulthood.  He never slept more than 4 hours at a stretch and catnapped throughout the day. Additionally, he was deaf in one ear.

One does not have to be a diagnostic genius to see that he would have been quickly judged *special needs.*  He would have been put on Ritalin *for his own good* and placed in the typical school district in a classroom with all the district's special needs kids jumbled together. 

A kindly teacher would have tried to give him basic skills but not expected too much.  This level of expectation would have been passed on to his mother who would have been counseled not to waste too much time on him. 

At adolescence he would have been sent to technical school since he *was good with his hands.*  He would get certified as a garage mechanic and encouraged to take his meds every day...

In real life, his mother home-schooled him and encouraged him to excel and use his high energy level and perseverance --- productively.  The rest is history.

Einstein was a bright classic dyslexic.  He had poor handwriting and problems with computational math (back in the days before computers), and other signs of visual LD.  When his brain was dissected after his death, it was found he had an area of injury in the left temporal lobe.  Perhaps a birth injury or childhood accident. 

He would have never been encouraged to follow his interest in physics, a high math profession.  His family probably would have been counseled to bring him into a family business where he could compensate for his tragic problems.

In real life, he muddled his way through computational math and went into Theoretical Physics which uses math analogously.  Pushed into a job as a patent clerk as he was a Jew, he pursued publishing in physics and won the Nobel prize.  The rest is history.

Are you, your child or close friends on Ritalin?

I believe there is a strong possibility that when our youth is raised with such a strong preponderance of the idea of drugs for health that this can re-enforce the curiosity of drugs for recreation and whatever the youthful curious mind deems interesting or appropriate.  When we teach our children about breathing correctly many of them will no longer need Ritalin. 

I wrote those words a few newsletters ago relating to asthma, drugs, and steroids.
see parenting-drugs

But Ritalin usage may well dwarf the asthma drug abuse issue.

The law firm that won the asbestos case and took on the tobacco industry (the same) Waters & Kraus have taken on a new challenge.  To prove in court that Ciba-Geigy/(Sandoz) has colluded with the American Psychiatric Association to promote the illness ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) in order to then sell their drug, Ritalin.

This is the tip of a very big iceberg. Click here

I prefer to promote natural remedies and healing methods without side effects -- or rather with positive side effects -- breathing better, nutrition and detoxification are the best and most dependable changes one can make. And once the breathing gets better it works for free. 

A parent speaks out.

"Dear Mike. Interesting article on Ritalin but I can tell you that I could not, and would not live in the same house with ..... if he were not taking it. It may not be the panacea the drug company would like us to believe, but it is a Godsend for those who cannot control themselves without it. The real issue for me is the Doctors who prescribe it for kids just to calm them down because their parents want to bother or teachers do not know how."

From Mike:

I know and understand and all I can only say to you God help ...... because I firmly believe that Ritalin takes people away from being able to experience who they really are and have a harder time if ever to really find themselves. 

I realize nothing is black and white.  I am interested in all points of view and still believe VERY STRONGLY that the drug is blatantly abused and should be thought of as an emergency short-term approach that is given with the stipulation that they use alternative means and get off the drug within a set period of time.

The system needs to train people and educate them, NOT drug them into a dependency and or emotional box or stupor. The breath is potentially a HUGE gateway to nervous system balance.

Children's drug is more potent than cocaine

Jean West
Sunday, September 9, 2001
The Observer

The children's drug Ritalin has a more potent effect on the brain than cocaine, a study has found.

Using brain imaging, scientists have found that, in pill form, Ritalin - taken by thousands of British children and four million in the United States - occupies more of the neural transporters responsible for the 'high' experienced by addicts than smoked or injected cocaine. The research may alarm parents whose children have been prescribed Ritalin as a solution to Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.

The study was commissioned to understand more about why Ritalin - which has the same pharmacological profile as cocaine - is effective in calming children and helping them concentrate, while cocaine produces an intense 'high' and is powerfully addictive.

In oral form, Ritalin did not induce this intense psychological 'hit'. But Dr. Nora Volkow, psychiatrist and imaging expert at Brookhaven National Laboratory, in Upton, New York, who led the study, said that injected into the veins as a liquid rather than taken as a pill, it produced a rush that 'addicts like very much'. Interviewed in last week's Journal of the American Medical Association newsletter, she said: 'They say it's like cocaine.'

Even in pill form, Ritalin blocked far more of the brain transporters that affect mood change and had a greater potency in the brain than cocaine. Researchers were shocked by this finding. A normal dose administered to children blocked 70 percent of the dopamine transporters.

'The data clearly show the notion that Ritalin is a weak stimulant is completely incorrect,' said Volkow. Cocaine is known to block around 50 percent of these transporters, leaving a surfeit of dopamine in the system, which is responsible for the hit addicts crave. But now it is known that Ritalin blocks 20 percent more of these auto-receptors.

'I've been almost obsessed about trying to understand [Ritalin] with imaging,' said Volkow. 'As a psychiatrist, I sometimes feel embarrassed [about the lack of knowledge] because this is by far the drug we prescribe most frequently to children.'

However, it was still not clear why a drug that has been administered for more than 40 years was not producing an army of addicted schoolchildren. Volkow and her team concluded that this was due to the much slower process of oral ingestion.

It takes around an hour for Ritalin in pill form to raise dopamine levels in the brain. Smoked or injected, cocaine does this in seconds.

Dr. Joanna Fowler, who worked with Volkow on the project, said: 'All drugs that are abused by humans release large quantities of dopamine. But dopamine is also necessary for people to be able to pay attention and filter out other distractions.'

But opponents of Ritalin labeled a 'wonder drug' and a 'chemical cash', believe it may be addictive and has dangerous side-effects. Moreover, many believe ADHD is a fraudulent title for a non-existent condition once put down to the exuberance of youth.

Professor Steve Baldwin, a child psychologist from Teesside University, who died this year in the Selby rail crash, campaigned against Ritalin. He pointed out similarities between the drug and amphetamines as well as cocaine.

Mandy Smith of Banff in Scotland has a son of eight who was prescribed Ritalin for nine months. 'I am astonished the British Government has allowed this drug to be prescribed,' she said. 'It can destroy people's lives. My son was a changed person when he took Ritalin. He was suicidal and depressed.'

Janice Hill, of the Overload Support Network, a charity for parents of children with behavioral problems, said: 'Now we have thousands of children in Scotland taking a drug that is more potent than cocaine. What does it take before the situation is thoroughly investigated?'

A spokeswoman for Novartis, which makes Ritalin, said: 'Ritalin is available as tablets only. It should only be initially prescribed by a doctor who is a specialist in child behavioral disorders and should always be used and monitored under strict medical supervision.'

Ritalin Prozac and our children

Mike's suggestion is that they immediately assess the child's breathing and take steps to improve it possibly even before dosing the child with any drug or steroid.

An email from a Ritalin supporter. My answers in bold

Dear Sir

Actually, your Edison article's negative attitude toward interventions with Ritalin is more closely associated with those who believe ADD is a myth and Ritalin as an evil drug than those in the ADD world who in fact have to use the medication.

In fact, Edison is cited by many Adders who try to inspire those with the affliction that they are in good company. Not to mention if Edison wasn't beaten up so much in school he could have gone much farther! Maybe maybe not. How do YOU know? Often adversity breeds inner strength.

We don't relegate kids to "just do the best you can...so sorry for you" In fact, we expect excellence....excellence....excellence!!!! Expectations are often a form of abuse.

Could you imagine how far Edison could have gone if he had the resources that we have today? He actually had hundreds of inventions that he never finished because of his organizational and attention deficits (too bad for us).

 "Many inventors, writers, and creative people have several unfinished symphonies" That does not mean they are ADDers. Looks like you may be suffering from the hammer and nail syndrome. If you are a hammer everything looks like a nail. 

Also some of the "patents" he is credited for we now know he stole...remember Tesla? You are REALLY getting off the subject. Is this ADD? That was so unnecessary! He didn't have to steal because he really had abilities but he could not discover what his true limitations were!

The small percentage of Robin Williams, Thomas Edisons and Einstein's who make it are not enough just to say just "get tough with these kids and just kick em in the butts." There is too high a prison population of ADDers already who will fall by the wayside unless we help! This negative rhetoric isn't helping.

Sure, Ritalin is used too often like aspirin often is but "just keep breathing" is not the answer for those individuals who really need the treatment. How do you know? The issue is HOW they are breathing as that is the PRIMARY driver of their nervous system. it is not even THOUGHT about let alone looked into.

I never even THOUGHT of kicking them in the butts. That is YOUR idea. Projection perhaps? Nutrition and breathing and gentle ways of encouraging AS WELL AS SMALLER CLASSES is my humble suggestion. Ritalin be damned.

Not an easy subject BUT Ritalin IS over-used TO THE MAX. Back off and before use or during TRAIN them in breathing fundamentals as you get their diets back to sanity. Click here

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CHICAGO, March 3, 2002 -- Some hyperactive children thought to be suffering from attention deficit disorder may just be overtired because they are bad sleepers or heavy snorers, researchers said.

"To the parent, the message is if you have a kid who is hyperactive and snores, think about the possibility that the two may be connected," study author David Gozal of the University of Louisville said.

In his study, published in the journal Pediatrics, Gozal found about one-quarter of 5- to 7-year-old children with mild symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also snored. In some cases, the breathing problems reached the level of sleep apnea, where breathing is blocked repeatedly through the night and sleep is disturbed.

"Over the years, we have observed many of those cases who came off their ADHD medications once they were treated for their sleep apnea," Gozal said.

As many as 5 percent of American children, a majority of the boys, are believed to be affected by ADHD, which is characterized by inattention, impulsiveness, and overactive behavior.

Gozal said some candidates for the disorder are prescribed drugs without a thorough evaluation.

From Mike:

One of these days "thorough evaluation" will have some dependable meaning. In any event 

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