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Ritalin is Ridiculous
Ritalin: Stop Drugging Our Children!

Ritalin is Ridiculous

(Our title - Editor) The following are comments from Edward E. Bartlett eba@intr.net regarding a book, Boys Will Be Boys Or you can just drug them. By George F. Will. A reaction is underway against drugging children because they are behaving like children, especially boy children. Colorado's elected school board recently voted to discourage what looks like drug abuse in the service of an ideological agenda. The board urged teachers and other school personnel to be more restrained about recommending drugs such as Ritalin for behavior modification of children, and to rely more on discipline and instruction.

One reason for the vote is that some school violence has been committed by students taking psychotropic drugs. But even absent a causal connection between the drugs and violence, there are sound reasons to recoil from the promiscuous drugging of children.

Consider the supposed epidemic of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that by 1996 had U.S. youngsters consuming 90 percent of the world's Ritalin. Boys, no parent of one will be surprised to learn, are much more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ADHD. In 1996, 10 percent to 12 percent of all American schoolboys were taking the addictive Ritalin. (After attending classes on the dangers of drugs?)

One theory holds that ADHD is epidemic because of the modern acceleration of life--the environmental blitzkrieg of MTV, video games, e-mail, cell phones, etc. But the magazine Lingua Franca reports that Ken Jacobson, a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, conducted a cross-cultural study of ADHD that included observation of two groups of English schoolchildren, one diagnosed with ADHD, the other not. He observed them with reference to 35 behaviors (e.g., "giggling," "squirming," "blurting out") and found no significant differences between the groups.

Children, he says, tend to talk, fidget and fool around--"all the classical ADHD-type behaviors. If you're predisposed to label any child as ADHD, the distracted troublemaker or the model student, you'll find a way to observe these behaviors." So what might explain such a predisposition?

Paul R. McHugh, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, writing in Commentary, argues that ADHD, "social phobia" (usual symptom: fear of public speaking) and other disorders certified by the American Psychiatric Association's "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" are proliferating rapidly. This is because of a growing tendency to regard as mental problems many characteristics that are really aspects of individuality. So pharmacology is employed to relieve burdensome aspects of temperament.

"Psychiatric conditions," says McHugh, "are routinely differentiated by appearances alone," even when it is "difficult to distinguish symptoms of illness from normal variations in human life," or from the normal responses of sensitive people to life's challenges. But if a condition can be described, it can be named; once named, a distinct disorder can be linked to a particular treatment. McHugh says some experts who certify new disorders "receive extravagant annual retainers from pharmaceutical companies that profit from the promotion of disorders treatable by the companies' medications."

The idea that most individuals deficient in attentiveness or confidence are sick encourages what McHugh calls pharmacological "mental cosmetics." This "should be offensive to anyone who values the richness of human psychological diversity. Both medically and morally, encumbering this naturally occurring diversity with the terminology of disease is a first step toward efforts, however camouflaged, to control it."

Clearly some children need Ritalin. However, Ken Livingston, of Vassar's department of psychology, writing in the Public Interest, says Ritalin is sometimes used as a diagnostic tool--if it improves a child's attention, ADHD is assumed. But Ritalin, like other stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine, improves almost everyone's attention. And Ritalin is a ready resource for teachers who blur the distinction between education and therapy.

One alternative to Ritalin might be school choice--parents finding schools suited to their children's temperaments. But, says Livingston, when it is difficult to change the institutional environment, "we don't think twice about changing the brain of the person who has to live in it."

This is an age that tries to medicalize every difficulty or defect. Gwen Broude, also of Vassar, believes that the rambunctiousness of boys is treated as a mental disorder by people eager to interpret sex differences as personal deficiencies. Danielle Crittenden of the Independent Women's Forum sees the "anti-boy lobby" behind hand wringing about the supposed dangers of reading the Harry Potter novels, which feature wizardry, witchcraft and other really neat stuff.

The androgyny agenda of progressive thinkers has reduced children's literature to bland gruel because, Crittenden says, there is "zero tolerance for male adventurousness." The Potter books recall those traditional boys' books that satisfied boys' zeal for strife and adventure. Today, Crittenden says, that zeal causes therapists--they are everywhere--to reach for Ritalin.

Harry is brave, good and constantly battling evil. He should point his broomstick toward Colorado, where perhaps boys can be boys.

(Editor - Just a reminder of the piece we reported re: the 11/98 article on Ritalin in Time magazine. The Latest on Ritalin:  Scientists last week said it works. But how do you know if it's right for your kids? In the 11/30/98 issues of Time magazine, a report on this scary drug often used to shut down the human spirit, especially in boys.) Also see books Health-ADD.

Ritalin: Stop Drugging Our Children!

“Energy demands movement and expression. Creative energy seeks an unblocked channel in which to flow. We all possess the ability to channel creative energy; it is as much a part of our systems as breathing. Because creativity is so natural to human life, blocking the flow of creativity will result in pent-up energy and frustration.”

I’m so frustrated! What is going on in this country? Have parents completely handed their brains over to the pharmaceutical companies, the psychiatric industry, and the educational establishments in the United States? Contrary to what these institutions might tell you, Methlylphenidate Hydrochloride, aka Ritalin, is not good and safe for your children! For the sake of your kids, stop being fooled and start being informed, responsible mothers and fathers. Over two and half million American children use Ritalin on a daily basis, yet other countries have almost completely banned its use. American Enterprise is making a financial killing on this disgusting drug that many chemists say is a dangerous “speed,” in many ways equivalent to cocaine.

The use of Ritalin has shot up almost 600% in less than ten years, and in some schools, up to 40% to 50% of the students are being prescribed Ritalin on a daily basis. And the Drug Enforcement Agency says that it’s quite common that 20% of the students in some schools use this drug on a weekly basis. Since when did our children become so mentally disturbed? Have kids in the last ten years really been suffering more from ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), or has society just become less tolerant to what is really normal adolescent behavior, a travesty brought about by the stress of living life in the late twentieth century? If, indeed, children today are experiencing more sociological problems than in previous decades, perhaps the real answer lies not in covering up the problem, but rather in scrutinizing how mankind has been evolving over time. We need to take a closer look at our diet, what we’re doing to our environment, and how we’re living our lives. Sweeping dirt under the carpet, still makes for a dirty house.

You may think Ritalin is new in the marketplace, but it’s actually been around for years. Bodybuilders used Ritalin back in the 70’s to speed up their metabolism to cut and rip-up their physiques, and cocaine addicts have been known to use it as a cheap high on the streets. The truth of it is, Ritalin is stronger than cocaine, and a number of school, medical, and psychiatric communities have sold our nation’s parents a bill-of-goods that is drugging our children with a deadly, addictive drug.

If there are children in your life, on any level, that are using Ritalin to control their so-called “mental condition,” please read this article very carefully. The information I’m sharing with you may change your perspective on the subject. Are you aware that drug companies have just come out with a peppermint-flavored Prozac pill for children, and further, that the ad campaign for this mind-altering poison is being designed by the very advertising agency that designs ads for McDonalds. What a disgrace. Isn’t the well-being of our nation’s number one asset, our kids, more important than the almighty buck? My God, maybe H.G. Wells wasn’t that far off.

I cringe when I see parents hesitating to give their kids healthy nutritional supplements because they’re “not sure if they’re safe.” Yet, when schools want to put their kids on a synthetic drug with major side-effects, including suicide, they don’t think twice about it because the school says it’s okay. What’s wrong with us?! I know humans are a conditioned species, but enough is enough! Do some research before you innocently poison your kids. What do you think America’s youth is thinking when parents and teachers drill into their heads to “say no to drugs,” yet when they show up at school every day, they see hundreds of their peers lined up at the nurse’s office to get their daily dose of a drug that they’re told will make them “normal” or make them fit in. Isn’t that a mixed message?

Don’t kid yourself, Ritalin is a narcotic, a highly addictive stimulant classified by the Food and Drug Administration under Schedule 2 of the Controlled Substances Act. The side effects include nervousness, insomnia, stunted growth via appetite suppression, dizziness, restlessness, irritability, mood swings, nausea, rapid heart rate, hallucinations, reduced appetite, abdominal pain, skin rashes, headaches, and rare reports of Tourette’s syndrome. Even the 42nd Edition of the Physicians’ Desk Reference says that sufficient data on safety and efficacy of long-term use of Ritalin in children is still not available. I don’t care what anybody says, if you give a developing child drugs to make him “easier to handle,” you’re asking for trouble. And beware. If you have a child on Ritalin, and you’re one of the smart parents who wants to ween him or her off this toxic junk, I strongly suggest you do it in conjunction with a medical doctor or qualified health practitioner. The withdrawl symptoms can sometimes be both horrific and dangerous and you need to do it the right way.

I find it interesting that one of the barometers by which schools administer this “wonder drug” has been compiled by the American Psychiatric Association, and their findings appear in a diagnostic reference book called the DSM (short for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Their “what to look for” list reads as follows:

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a kid that didn’t show signs of these characteristics. What it really boils down to is that parents and teachers are overworked and underpaid for the amount of work they do. They’re stressed to the max and they’re having a tough time dealing with the high energy that these little kids are constantly putting out. I understand that, and I sympathize with their situations, but on the other hand, since when is it considered a mental disorder to be energetic, to fidget, to run around, to talk a lot, to daydream and to make mistakes? It’s part of the human experience. In fact, the brightest and most creative minds in history have been hard to handle. And the funny thing is, when they grow up and become famous icons, society calls them geniuses, but when they’re kids, that same society calls them disturbed or social misfits. Ever hear of Albert Einstein? Well, if he had been born in the last ten years, there’s no question in my mind, he would have been put on Ritalin. Think about it. The guy didn’t even speak until age seven and his teacher described him as being mentally slow, unsociable, constantly drifting in and out of reality. Then there was Thomas Edison whose mind often wondered and his body was perpetually moving in his seat. History tells us that he was an unruly student and too stupid to learn anything. Walt Disney, Alexander Graham Bell, Leonardo DaVinci, Mozart, Henry Ford, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, and the Wright Brothers, all had similar behavioral patterns.

I believe a great part of the problem comes from the lack of proper nutrition. Most kids, if they eat at all, go to school on a breakfast of refined sugar and pre-packaged, chemically-ridden junk food -- convenient meals for the “parent on the run.” It’s so sad.

Bodies are like cars, with a definite protocol in order for them to run at optimum levels. If you have a high performance car that is designed for use with high-octane, premium gas, and you use low octane, unleaded gas in the tank to save money, I assure you the car will begin to chug, knock, clunk, and eventually break down. Remember that children are growing everyday and they need mega nutrients to focus, learn and retain what parents and teachers are trying to teach them. But without the right food and supplements, they simply don’t grow the way they should, both mentally and physically.

I’m happy to say, however, that just recently, we’ve seen a new form of nutritional supplementation becoming available to the general public, and it can be found under the heading “nutraceuticals” -- clinically proven natural food supplements that contain the glycoprotiens, phytochemicals, and full-food matrixes that can and will nutritional help your child to focus, calm down, and listen.

Scientists are beginning to realize that the American diet is lacking the nutrients that it once had, and many of them now believe that this may be a major contributing factor in the learning disabilities and behavior problems that we’re seeing so much of today -- not only in children, but in adults as well. It doesn’t take a cum laude geologist to see what’s been happening to our soils, our air, and our waters over the past seventy-five years. It’s frightening for me to watch us make the same mistakes that great civilizations of the past have made before eventually perishing. Our grains are being stripped of their nutritional value in order to make them cook faster, and none of our fruits and vegetables seem to be vine-ripened anymore. It’s all about greed, folks!

The longer a fruit or vegetable remains on the vine, on the tree, or in the soil, the more nutrients it absorbs and the more nutritious it becomes. Plain and simple. But when growers pick them early (while they’re still green and undeveloped) to make room for a whole new crop, these foods ripen on the way to the grocery store and become nutrient-deficient. Not to mention all the chemicals and pesticides that are used to make them look shiny and beautiful. If you ask me, children are suffering from “nutritional deficit disorders,” not attention deficit disorders.

I can tell you my son, Luke, is a juvenile diabetic. Like his mother and father, he’s a food-combining vegan. He’s never had any dairy, sugar or animal products. He eats six times a day, and at his main meals, he always has fresh steamed vegetables topped with cold-pressed essential fatty acid oils, along with organic whole grain rice and some kind of plant protein. He’s always eating fresh organic fruit and carbohydrates and plenty of plant proteins and fats to meet his daily nutritional needs. People that know him can’t believe how big, beautiful, smart, and well-mannered he is. But when his sugar gets out of control from the diabetes, he’s like a kid on PCP. He doesn’t listen, concentrate, or sit still. A shot of insulin to regulate his glucose level and he turns back into a little angel. Parents need to realize that their children are what they eat. If they have a chemically imbalanced diet, their kids are going to be chemically imbalanced.

Exercise, the use of certain herbs, homeopathics, holistic medicine, chiropractic, home schooling, lots of love, and a happy home can also be very effective in promoting a healthy child. School officials need to stop stuffing Ritalin down the throats of our children because it’s easy and cost effective. Check your local school district and examine the facts. If you see this tragedy taking place, do what you can to stop it. Meet with other parents and spread the word. The children of today are the adults and leaders of tomorrow. Start asking questions. Stop being sheep. And don’t be intimidated by school officials, teachers, nurses, school shrinks, and other parents that tell you your child has be on Ritalin. No one can prescribe it for your kid unless you allow it. I realize that many of these good people of authority really are well-intended in their actions, but remember, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Take the upper hand and try and educate them. If you don’t change, they won’t change.

If you really want to help your kids, make the effort to get them away from the tv, computer, and video games before they head off to school, and use that time to spend some personal, quality time with them. Hold them, tell them you love them, give them your approval, and tell them how special they are. In the end, that’s all that counts. Miracles grow from seeds of love.

Dr. Erwin Gemmer is a health practitioner with over twenty-five years experience. During his years of active chiropractic practice, he’s attended over 400,000 patient visits. He has also spoken to more than 1,200 audiences on health-related topics and over one million people have heard his, “Who Stole America’s Health Message.” For the last five years, Dr. Gemmer has devoted himself almost exclusively to researching the role of nutrition in adult and childhood disorders, and to sharing his findings with others. During this time, he also grown more and more concerned, both as a parent and as a professional, about a huge drug experiment occurring in communities throughout the nation. It’s a powerful message, believe me. For additional information about this subject, or if you would like to listen to an incredible audio tape by Dr. Erwin Gemmer informing you about what he calls, “Conspiracy Against Our Children,” go on line at friendsofnarconon.org

©2007, Spice Williams

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Born on a ranch in North Hollywood, California, Spice Williams-Crosby rode her horse to kindergarten, grew up playing in her father's medical offices, eventually hitting the road as a musician, singer and dancer under contract to 20th Century-Fox Records. Spice has worked in such feature motion pictures as Star Trek V (Vixis), Cherokee Kid, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Guyver, A Simple Plan, and For The Love Of The Game, and has guest-starred on numerous TV shows. Gracing the cover and pages of over 100 magazines, Spice has also made a name for herself as a nutritional expert with her popular book, Diet For A New Age, not to mention her ongoing magazine column in Ms. Fitness Magazine, and her own line of vegetarian food products called "Spice Of Life Meatless Meats & Jerky." Visit her web site at spice-of-life.com

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