Ritalin on the way out?
Good to see that NICE, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, has published new guidelines saying UK doctors should only prescribe ritalin for children with ADHD (attention deficit disorder) if absolutely necessary.
I'm rather dubious about the huge rise of diagnoses in ADHD in the US and UK that we've seen over the last 30 years (ever since Ritalin first became commercially available).
Alot of the time, the diagnosis is a way for parents to get special treatment for their children, such as extra time in exams.
I know of one mother, for example, who is highly ambitious for her children, to the point of spending thousands of pounds on extra-curricular tutoring for her children.
Last time I saw her, she had managed to get her children diagnosed for both dyslexia and ADHD, which meant they got at least an hour extra in each of their public exams.
They were also put on ritalin, which supposedly helps them concentrate and work better.
Yeah, but at a cost! It's basically letting the children know that they don't / can't function effectively on their own, but need a chemical boost to be 'normal'. What a great way to make sure they have a cocaine habit, or some other form of substance abuse, later in life.
Never mind accepting if you're not the most academic person (and in fact they were both fine). Let's get a chemical upgrade!
Ritalin, let's remind ourselves, is basically amphetamine. Imagine, 5% of our children on speed...
If we need to drug up millions of kids just so they can fit into our society, then maybe its the society thats fucked, and not the kids.