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Methylphenidate (Ritalin®) - Overview

U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Drug and Chemical Evaluation Section 1995", default", Methylphenidate (Ritalin®) - Overview

1. Ritalin is a Schedule II stimulate, structurally and pharmacologically similar to amphetamines and cocaine and has the same dependency profile of cocaine and other stimulants.

2. Ritalin produces amphetamine and cocaine-like reinforcing effects including increased rate of euphoria and drug liking. Treatment with Ritalin in childhood predisposes takers to cocaine's reinforcing effects.

3. In humans, chronic administration of Ritalin produced tolerance and showed cross-tolerance with cocaine and amphetamines.

4. Ritalin is chosen over cocaine in self-administered preference studies in non-human primates.

5. Ritalin produces behavioral, physiological and reinforcing effects similar to amphetamines.

6. Ritalin substitutes for cocaine and amphetamines in scientific studies.

7. Children medicated with Ritalin who tried cocaine reported higher levels of drug dependence than those who had not used Ritalin.

8. Ritalin abuse is neither benign or rare in occurrence and is accurately described as producing severe dependence. Sweden removed Ritalin from its market in 1968 because of widespread abuse.

9. More high school seniors were abusing Ritalin than those taking it medically prescribed.

Side-effects of Ritalin: increased blood pressure, heart rate, respirations and temperature; appetite suppression, weight loss, growth retardation; facial tics, muscle twitching, central nervous system stimulation, euphoria, nervousness, irritability and agitation, psychotic episodes, violent behavior, paranoid delusions, hallucinations, bizarre behaviors, heart arrhythmias, palpitations and high blood pressure; tolerance and psychological dependence and death.

10. Ritalin will affect normal children and adults the same as those with attention and behavior problems. Effectiveness of Ritalin is not diagnostic.

CHADD, non-profit organization, which promotes the use of Ritalin, also receives a great deal of money from the drug manufacturer of Ritalin. CHADD does not inform its members of the abuse problems of Ritalin. CHADD portrays the drug as a benign, mild stimulant that is not associated with abuse or serious side-effects. Statements by CHADD are inconsistent with scientific literature.

11. The International Narcotics Control Board expressed concern that CHADD is actively lobbying for the use of Ritalin in children.

12. Ritalin is one of the top ten drugs involved in drug thefts and is being abused by health professionals as well as street addicts.

Adderall and Dexedrine are also amphetamines, the above statements would also apply.

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