Monday, December 28, 2009

Ritalin is Poison

From from Oct. 2006

ByTom DeWeese
Why is America suddenly experiencing an explosion of new mentaldiseases and disorders never heard of thirty years ago? Why arechildren seemingly out of control, refusing to listen to parents and teachers, even driven to violence?

Here are two possible reasons to consider. First, it is apparent thepsychology industry isn't opposed to simply making up diseases anddisorders if there is money to be made. Second, some research issuggesting that many of the growing diseases and disorders couldactually be side effects of the drugs psychologists are pouring into children to "cure" their made-up diseases.

Does that sound harsh or far-fetched? Consider these facts.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit HyperactivityDisorder (ADHD) are complete frauds. There is no scientific evidencewhatsoever to prove either exists. Yet, today, almost seven millionchildren have been diagnosed as being ADD or ADHD. And most havebeen placed on a behavior-altering drug called Ritalin, which issupposed to be the miracle answer to a non-existent problem.


For the past several years schools have had a problem. Some childrencan't seem to concentrate on their studies, can't sit still, can'tstay quiet or can't keep their attention on any specific activity.At home, parents find the same children to be a disruption in thehousehold. Sometimes the children become violent, certainly uncontrollable.

Clearly something is wrong. Children have been taken to doctors formedical exams. Nothing chemical or physical has been found wrongwith them. No brain tumors, no epilepsy, no multiple sclerosis norany of the known neurological disorders have been found in thechildren. Schools need answers. Parents need answers. Psychologistsneed to prove their credentials. So, in the dark, blind as bats,action has been taken.

Dr. Fred A. Baughman, a leading expert and critic of the ADD theory,explains the steps the psychiatry establishment took to create ananswer, and establish a name, for what they believe inflicts thechildren. Says Dr. Baughman, "They (a committee of the AmericanPsychiatric Association, APA) made a list of the most commonsymptoms of emotional discomfiture of children; those which botherteachers and parents most, and in a stroke that could not be moredevoid of science or Hippocratic motive – termed them a `disease.'Twenty five years of research, not deserving of the term `research,'has failed to validate ADD/ADHD as a disease."

To date, there has never been issued a single peer-reviewedscientific paper officially claiming to prove ADD/ADHD exists. Norhas there ever been a single bit of physical evidence to confirm thedisease exists. So-called experts on the subject have refused toanswer the simple question, "is ADD/ADHD a real disease?" Medicalresearchers charge that ADHD does not meet the medical definition ofa disease or syndrome or anything organic or biologic.

One piece of speculation ADD "experts" cling to is MRI brain-scanresearch conducted by Dr. F. Xavier Castellanos of the NationalInstitute of Health. According to his research, suspected ADD/ADHDvictims show a consistent but moderate shrinkage in three key partsof the brain, thus causing the erratic behavior and consequentlyproving the existence of ADD/ADHD. Castellanos' research has beengrabbed up by ADD experts in conferences and in written studies forseveral years. Others have used similar tests with matching results.Desperate to grab hold of any shred of evidence which could back up the official ADD position, psychologists and policy makers usedCastellanos' findings to establish medication and therapy treatmentfor suspected ADD/ADHD patients. Consequently, the "epidemic" ofADD/ADHD has grown from 500,000 cases in 1985 to almost 7,000,000 in1999. In most cases Ritalin is prescribed to control the disorder.

There is only one problem with the conclusions found in Dr.Castellanos' findings. At least 93% of the children used in hisresearch had been on long-term stimulant therapy, usually Ritalin.Likewise, the other tests also used long-term Ritalin-treatedpatients. According to Dr. Baughman, what the tests proved again andagain was that Ritalin was causing the brains to shrink – not ADD.

In truth, no one in the medical profession or in government regulatory agencies will stick their necks out and pronounce ADD/ADHD as a real disease. To the contrary, in a series of lettersto Dr. Baughman they have said the exact opposite. In 1994, Paul Leber of the Food and Drug Administration said, "As yet nodistinctive pathophysiology for the disorder has been delineated."In 1995, Gene R. Haislip of the Drug Enforcement Administrationsaid, "We are also unaware that ADHD has been validated as abiologic/organic syndrome or disease." In 1998, James M. Swanson ofthe University of California, and leading ADD advocate, said inconference, "I would like to have an objective diagnosis for thedisorder (ADHD). Right now psychiatric diagnosis is completely subjective." And even Dr. Castellanos, in spite of his extensive research, said in 1998, "I agree that we have not yet met the burdenof demonstrating the specific pathophysiology that we believe underlies this condition."

In spite of the lack of evidence for the existence of ADD/ADHD, its advocates continue to march forward, helter-skelter, issuingprescriptions for drugs like Ritalin with little concern for thelong-term consequences it may bring to the patients. Russell Barkleysees Ritalin as the medical triumph of the century. Barkely boldlystates, "…once convinced of an ADHD diagnosis, there's no compellingreason to avoid Ritalin." As Dr. Baughmanexplains, "Their `diseases' are theories in perpetuity. As long theybelieve and as long as the drugs are prescribed, that's all that matters."


When things don't seem to make sense, it's been advised many timesto "follow the money." That would be sage advise in the search forthe truth about ADD. There is lots of money worth following.

Since ADD was invented by the APA, psychiatric hospitalizations toprivate hospitals have tripled. Admissions of children and adolescents to private psychiatric hospitals jumped from 16,735 in1980 to 42,502 in 1986. Irving Phillips, MD and professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco says, "Patients are hospitalized for periods consistent with theirinsurance coverage and discharged with diagnoses that questionwhether hospitalization is appropriate."

Insurance healthcare fraud is a $60 to $80 billion a year business.And the psychology industry has been very creative in finding waysto cash in. But it's only the tip of the iceberg when seeking tocalculate the massive ADD/ADHD-related profits flowing into the coffers of the industry.

The greatest source of new growth for the psychiatric industry isthe schools. As education restructuring grew into a full-blownbehavior-modification assault designed to change the attitudes,values and beliefs of the children, a key element to the process wasto turn healthy children into "patients." By diagnosing a child tohave a mental disorder like ADD/ADHD the school could gain federalfunds. It's a growth industry.

In 1965, the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act(ESEA), education changed education forever as the seeds for today'smassive restructuring -away from academics to behavior modification -began. It was psychology's crowning moment. The ESEA allocatedmassive federal funds and opened school doors to a flood ofpsychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and the psychiatricprograms and testing needed to validate them. The number ofeducational psychologists in the U.S. increased from 455 in 1969 to16,146 in 1992. As of 1994, child psychologists, psychiatrists,counselors and special educators in and around U.S. public schoolsnearly out-number teachers.

In 1991, eligibility rules for federal education grants were changed to provide schools with $400 in annual grant money for each childdiagnosed with ADHD. That same year the Department of Education formally recognized ADHD as a handicap and directed all stateeducation officers to establish procedures to screen and identifyADHD children and provide them with special education andpsychological services. As a result, the number of ADD/ADHD cases soared again.

Today more than 7,000,000 children have been labeled, stamped andregistered as permanent patients of the school system. 10 to 12percent of all boys between the ages of 6 and 14 in the UnitedStates have been diagnosed as having ADD. One in every 30 Americansbetween the ages of 5 and 19 years old has a prescription toRitalin. Psychologists have never had it so good. The federal troughhas been very good for their industry.

With more than half of those 7,000,000 children also prescribed Ritalin, the stock-market value of its manufacturer, the Swisspharmaceutical company Novartis, has also soared. Now that companyand others are working to introduce a host of new drugs into theclassroom, including Prozac and Luvox, which has just been approvedby the Food and Drug Administration for pediatric use. Now theindustry is looking to even greater growth as pre-school toddlersare being targeted by the pill brigade. The use of psychotropicdrugs, like anti-depressants and stimulants, in 2-to-4-year oldsdoubled or even tripled between 1991 and 1995. The federal troughhas been very good to the pharmaceutical industry, as well.


The federal trough has been good for the education industry, too. Schools are awash with federal funds to build in-school clinicswhere children will be analyzed, diagnosed and treated for whateverdisease they care to make the flavor of the day. It's in the schoolswhere the system will make sure the children are properly cared for,out of sight and questions of the parents.

Beyond the available funding, there is also a side-bonus for theschools. If a child has a learning disorder, the schools can't beheld responsible for the fact that the student can't learn. Badteachers, failed curriculum and federal programs can't be blamed forthe failure of the student to learn. They've created an efficientsystem to protect themselves. It works like this: If a child hastrouble with math, he is deemed to have a mental disorder under codenumber 315.1 - "Mathematics Disorder;" If the child can't writeliterature composition she must be suffering from code 315.2 -"Disorder of Written _Expression;" If the student can't read then heis obviously suffering from code 315 - "Reading Disorder." Asstated, the whole industry is well protected – and well paid.

So the schools join in full cooperation with the psychologists tolabel millions of children with learning disorders. Teachers, withno medical credentials, serve as the unofficial recruiter andperform "pop-psychology" in the classroom to decide what children might have ADD.

Johnny is in the fifth grade, but only reads at a first grade level.Not the school's fault. Johnny must be "dyslexic" or could have ADD.The teacher now becomes a brain diagnostician who decides who willbe tested and who will be referred for special education or who isuneducable without Ritalin. The teacher reports these "findings" tothe school administration and the wheels of control begin to turn against the child and the parents.

Woe be the child or parents who dare resist. The "team" nowconvenes – all for the good of the child, of course. The weight ofconsensus is brought to bear. Woe be the doctor who doesn't agreewith the findings. One who does will be found. Once treatment hasbeen decided, the drugs are issued and the team is increased toinclude in-home social workers and the in-school clinics. The childis now community property. Now you know the true meaning of theterm "it takes a village," and the process to make it so.

It's interesting to note that in December, 2004, in Australia, thehead of the government's inquiry into reading, Ken Rowe, saidhospital psychology clinics were straining to cope with childrenseeking medical attention for problems caused by their failure tolearn in school. "Hospitals are complaining that their clinics arebeing filled with kids who are being referred for things like(ADHD)," said Rowe. "But once the pediatricians sort out thechildren's literacy problems the behavior problems disappear."


Psychologists will lie to you. They will tell you that Ritalin is not addictive. It is. It affects the mind. It affects the body. It can cause depression. The reaction to Ritalin by the brain isexactly the same as that of cocaine, except cocaine is shorteracting. It changes the child. Research is showing that Ritalin useis a common factor among many of the students who have walked intotheir schools and opened fire, indicating that Ritalin brings children to violence.

Children are dying from Ritalin use. According to Ritalin critic,Dr. Baughman, of 2,993 adverse reaction reports (AR) concerningRitalin listed by the FDA from 1990 to 1997, there were 160 deathsand 569 hospitalizations, 36 of them life-threatening. Ritalin isknown to cause cardiac arrhythmia, tachycardia and hypertension.Research has proven that Ritalin and other amphetamines caninterfere with body phospholipid chemistry (complex fat), causingthe accumulation of abnormal membranes visible with an electronic microscope.

Ritalin is early training to introduce children to drug abuse.Today, Ritalin is fast becoming the drug of choice by collegestudents who were brought up on it. Reports from college campusesacross the nation indicate that Ritalin use has become as popular as Coca Cola and coffee as a study aid.

A black market for obtaining Ritalin without a prescription hasdeveloped on some campuses. "People will pay $5 or $6 for one pill,"says a sophomore at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Toincrease its potency, some students have started to crush Ritalinand sniff it like cocaine. After the "buzz" wears off, side effects of melancholy, lethargy, dry mouth, loss of appetite and inability to sleep.

Some parents report that, in the beginning Ritalin, seems to help children focus and begin to learn. But there is evidence that, overtime, the drug builds up in the system causing depression andviolent mood swings. In many cases, after being on the drug forseveral years children actually forget how to live without it. Iftaken off the drug they have reported feeling lost, frightened, even paranoid. This can lead the child to eventually experimenting with illegal drugs in an attempt to "feel normal" again. Research hasshown that children on Ritalin are three times more likely todevelop a taste for cocaine. So as the psychologists continue toinvade the classrooms in ever increasing numbers, ask yourself whythe drug culture is growing by ever-larger numbers through ever-younger children.


If ADD/ADHD is not a real disease, then why the sudden epidemic ofstudents unable to learn and unable to control themselves? What'swrong with the children? A lot of parents don't really want to know the answers to these questions. A disease or disorder is so much easier to accept.

Dr. Lawrence Diller, Author of "Running on Ritalin" puts the problemin perspective when he says, "Settling for Ritalin says we prefer tolocate our children's problems in their brains rather than in theirl ives."

Consider how many modern families live. Both parents must work tomaintain the lifestyle in the suburbs. That usually means that thewhole family is up before dawn, dressed and fed. The children aredropped off at day care or school and the parents may then commutefor as many as two hours each way to work. In the afternoon,children may leave school only to head to after-school day care tobe picked up after dark by one harried parent. The family may then reassemble at home or meet in a restaurant for dinner. Once home,the tired children may attempt to do some homework. Soon the entirefamily will fall into bed for an exhausted sleep only to do it all again the next morning.

Where is the "quality time" needed by each child? Where is the opportunity for the child to just curl up in mommy's comforting lapto find security? Everything must be organized, scheduled, rushed.Children feel the loss, and they take action for attention. They misbehave, they cry, they become defiant, aggressive. The parentsseek answers and relief to the family turmoil.The school, which is also experiencing the child's defiance andaggression, seeks relief. Enter the school psychologist whoprovides the convenient answer. The child is ADD. Short term relief can come from a wonder drug called Ritalin. As a result, the realroot of the behavior problems are suppressed and hidden as the childenters a drug- induced stupor. He seems to calm down, perhaps his grades even improve for a while and the problem seems to be solved.

There is more feeding the problem. School restructuring has centeredaround an assault on student values. Students are told in manyclassrooms that there is no right or wrong. Parents are instructedthat students should not be told what to do. They should be allowedto experiment and "find themselves" on their own.

Hillary Clinton wrote in her book "It Takes a Village," thatcorrective discipline isn't encouraged at all, In fact, if a parenthas to tell a child no, then the parent has already failed as aparent. According to Hillary, a child's ability to self-check comesnaturally, when not undermined by critical, controlling parents. "If(kids) have supportive and caring adults around them, they pick upthe social clues that enable them to develop self-discipline andempathy." In other words, Hillary Clinton is telling parents thatchildren will basically raise themselves, with a little guidancefrom "the village."

Parents, near desperation, believing what they are told about the "modern" way to raise a child, refuse to interfere with their growth. Spanking is now termed child abuse and parents can even bearrested if someone in the village decides to be a "hero" and turnin their neighbors.

What's wrong with the children? Basically the children have started to show signs of insanity because the system that is raising them is nuts.

Tom DeWeese in the President of the American Policy Center the Editor of The DeWeese Report.

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