NSW is now the place for parents to get hard drugs for their children as taxpayer-subsidised prescriptions of Ritalin soared 43% to 162,692 in 2007.
The Royal Australian College of Physicians has controversially recommended training teachers to look for evidence of ADHD in students. Schools love this proposal as it will mean more money.
However, Dr Linda Graham, a senior researcher in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at Sydney University, said the approach would encourage teachers “to act as proxy-diagnosticians by looking for evidence of particular deficits, perhaps missing vital signs which may indicate other difficulties at home or with learning“. She added that the proposal would either lead to drastic funding cuts for students with serious disabilities or that “special education budgets would skyrocket.”
Medical experts are increasingly worried that doctors are “too readily” labelling children with ADHD and prescribing Ritalin, potentially putting them at risk of dangerous side effects. When a similar trial was initiated in the U.S, diagnosed cases of ADHD increased by 600% as schools grabbed the extra cash. Looks like Dr. Graham may have a point.
Methylphenidate (branded by Novartis as Ritalin) stimulates the brain by increasing levels of dopamine. Though still relatively new, it has already been shown to cause hallucinations, mood swings, nervousness, stomach aches, diarrhea, headaches, decreased sex drive, weight loss, gum and skin bleeding and high blood pressure.
In short, i would sooner ask my children to drink bleach than take Ritalin.
I can already hear the sounds of ambitious tort lawyers preparing huge class actions.