April 12, 2001    





What are you thoughts on ritelin and other such medications to calm kids?

I don't know much about the side effects, but I do know that most mothers of kids with ADHD and similar disorders swear by it, so it can't be too much of a bad thing.

Shanna, 15
Cardiff  ENGLAND

I think some kids need ritalin and they should have it-but I also think ADD and ADHD are too often overdiagnosed and that ritalin has become the answer to everything-and that's wrong.

Angela, 16
, SC   USA

Hmm, that's kinda hard to say... well, I guess if it helps them, then it's great, but I know some kids on Ritalin and they always seem really depressed...

Jeremy, 14
Highlands Ranch

WAY way too many of the children taking those meds don't need them! There are genuine cases of need, but unfortunately too many children are put onto Ritalin simply because they are acting like kids. You say he's rambunctious, doesn't want to sit in class, has trouble concentrating on Math? Oh my dear lord, you are raising a CHILD! He doesn't need meds, he just wants to be doin something besides a math worksheet. Let kids be kids. Our kids are being turned into zombies because a lazy school system doesn't want to deal with kids that have a creative, non-conforming mind.

Maggie, 20
, IL   USA

I really don't know enough about the drugs.

Alias Irrelevante

I have taken several different medications for ADHD (Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder). I am also diagnosed with Anxiety, Depression, Agression, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I have also taken Prozac, Effexor XR, Dexedrine, and Ritalin. Now I am taking a medication known as Zyprexa, which is prescribed for Bipolar Disorder & Schizophrenia. I am glad these drugs are available because they help me lead a "sane" life.

Melodi, 19
, OH   USA

I could use some ritalin right now. I've never been able to sit still. Anyway, since teachers force kids to squash their instincts to run and play in favor of sitting and receiving material, the ritalin can maybe make that more bearable. A better solution, though, would be to let kids relax a little in the classroom.

Karen, 21

I think it depends on the child. A friend took ritalin for years to help control his epilepsy. He was able to live a normal life. For all I know, he still takes it. A nephew took it for a little while, but stopped taking it and is fine. I know another young man who takes ritalin and it makes a huge difference in his ability to pay attention in school.

Laura, 36
, MA   USA

Ritelin and other focusing medications have their uses when the problem is a hyperactive child. When the problem is poor self discipline re-education is far more effective.

Jill, 60

Like any medication or medical procedure, I think the decision should be throught through carefully. Lots of non-drug alternatives should be tried first. If the kid is old enough, they should be listened to. If it is a problem with the school soley, perhaps other educational environments should be sought. In the end, if the drug improves the quality of the kid's life and there are no other alternatives then yes it it alright. But I can't believe that so many kids currently need to be on this drug. To me this is an easy way out, like diet pills.

Felicia, 35

Ritalin and other medications have a place in the treatment of some children, but they should not be used as a substitute for having teachers use flexible methods in the classroom, nor in lieu of helping a child to modify his or her behavior.

Jane, 60
West Linn
, OR   USA

I think needing a chemical alternative is never the healthiest route. I find it very akin to the TV babysitter.

Charlie, 21

:::nervous grin::: I take ritalin, but I think that I actually have a reason to... there are too many parents who simply medicate their kids because they don't know what to do with them... their kids don't listen to them; their kids are energetic; they medicate them... I think that's very stupid.

Johanna, 18

First of all, it's Ritalin. Second, I think the alternatives to Ritalin are much worse than the drug itself. I think some parents jump too quickly to medication as an answer, but I have a friend who is 19 and was recently diagnosed with ADD, which he's had all his life. If he'd been exposed to the correct treatment as a child, his years in school would have been vastly improved

Katie2, 18
, MI   USA

They freak me out too much. Give me some Valium.

A-Dog, 18

I don't really think I have the knowledge applicable to this issue to have an opinion. I don't have a medical license, but as far as I can tell, it really helps people who I've known to have attention and behavioral problems.

Eric, 19
Beverly Hills

hah... whoever wrote this question must have watched that special on drugs like that the other night. Well i do think that some people do actually need drugs like riddlin, but things like AD(H)D are way too commonly diagnosed. I think that some parents just can't handle their kids and assume that something is wrong with them, so they take them to a doctor, and the doctor takes the quick fix and diagnoses him/her with AD(H)D.

Dianne, 16
Oshawa, Ontario  CANADA

I don't know much about this subject but I'm sure that like most issues, this one has been misused and overdone. But I think that from what I have seen on TV, that this drug can be a lifesaver for both the child and the parents if used correctly.

Reba, 51
, MD   USA

I've done a lot of research on Ritelin. I'm not crazy about the idea of pumping a kid with drugs to get them under control. Then too, I don't have a kid who's out of control. I do feel it's used way too casually nowadays...as many other drugs are. I think people should think long and hard, and explore all other possible means of help before starting children on a drug regimen.  I believe that many behavior patterns subside with time, patience and love...and there's nothing wrong with counceling (therapy). I think some parents view Ritalin as a quick fix...the lazy way out of a tough situation.  Do I think it has its place... sure. But there are many downsides to it as well.

Fisch, 45
, CT   USA

I've been on Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) for eight years now, and I wouldn't be without it. I can tell when I've forgotten to take it, too.

etoile, 20

I am not a firm believer on Ritalin and other calming medications. I have seen a few and it did the oposite to them they became more higher and it caused a couple of kids to sell the stuff at school and also caused other addictions for them.

Marci, 56
, OH   USA

As a special education teacher I could speak volumes on the subject, however, I won't. I am not for the drugs, but not against them either because they do help some kids. If all else fails, the parents are ready, the child is ready, and a responsible doctor has been chosen, then medication could very well be the answer. It's the parents, doctors, teachers, and schools that act irresponsibly, that give the medications bad names. It's a shame because those few people put a bad taste in many people's mouths and then they won't even think about medications let alone try them!

Tracy, 24
Ocean City

if used properly, they can be a godsend. .

mothmc, 36
Los Angeles

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