ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: RITALIN

This drug is sold as part of a treatment programme for attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity disorders. The manufacturers suggest that it should only be used as a last resort, although, especially in America, its use is becoming much greater.

The drug must be prescribed by a specialist and even then the safety is questionable. It is known to retard growth and no trials have been done on long-term therapy. The principle of the drug is to stimulate the central nervous system, thereby increasing attention. The paradox of the success of a stimulating drug in overstimulated children is unclear, but it clearly stimulates some part of the brain that counteracts the cause of hyperactivity. The belief is that hyperactivity is a compensatory mechanism for a poor concentration ability .

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