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                  Ritalin is a drug for individuals with a disorder or a deficit called Attention Deficit-hyperactivity disorder. (ADHD)  or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The drug has been found to be helpful in treating the above said conditions; however, every drug can be abused depending on the availability and perceived other conditions it can treat. Therefore, all the stakeholders starting from parents, teachers, counselors and other people who might handle the drug should know the facts about it, the safe and unsafe use of the drug Ritalin. Its therapeutic and non-therapeutic nature. The paper therefore, focus on the nature of the drug, who should it be administered to and what are the effects of the drug to people of different ages. Ritalin is a drug that has flooded many American families, and now it is found elsewhere in the world. It is often used to reduce the patient’s anxieties, conflicts and exasperations at different times in their lives. The paper therefore, looks at the long- term side effects of the drug and its usefulness in the therapeutic purposes.

    Discussion.

             The use of the drug combined with other forms of therapy such as behavioral therapy, individual psychotherapy for children and adults and the people in their families. The combination of pharmacological and psychological therapies is useful foe the treatment of children and adults psychiatric disorders. The disconcerting and worrying factor in the use of the drug, its diagnostic and lack of knowledge is a worrying trend. There is still lack of knowledge and the clarity of ADHD and the side effects of the Ritalin, but the drug is always prescribed to children below the age of 6. Attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity have been around for a very long period of time. A study that was done by Eric Taylor in 1991 advocated for the clinical distinction of the lot of children with the presence of hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder from the group with antisocial conducts and behaviors and hyperactivity. Hyperkinesis is a disorder caused by the structural damage of the brain or psycho-social problems, and when is combined with co-morbidity many of the symptoms found in the ADHD, this can explain why the ADHD is over diagnosed leading to other disorders.

                Despite all the studies done on the investigations. Research, and elaborate diagnostic criteria, differences in culture and history in thinking about the behaviors still disturbs the range of therapeutic initiatives to contain ADHD. ADHD is still a debatable disorder whose nature regarding the etiology, prevalence, diagnostic and conceptualization not clearly defined. With regard to the twin studies of the ADHD and its etiology indicating the genetic component of hyperactivity has revealed that the genetic component of the disorder still not known and what is exactly inherited. Another disconcerting fact about ADHD and Ritalin is that the drug is not licensed for young children, yet it is administered to an increasing number of children below age 6. This poses one question as to who should Ritalin be administered to? For pre-shooters only or for all the people who may be suffering from the ADHD disorder!

                                              Procedure of the study

             A random sampling of the students attending large universities in the southwestern universities, in the United States, was invited for the study. They participated in the internet based research in order to establish college achievement, lifestyle and alcohol and drug abuse and drug behavior. The participants could link directly to study in the internet through the link that was provided for the study. The link contained the instructions and the special pin number for the student’s registration so that each respondent could only participate in the surrey once. The survey was open for all the participants for three weeks. The participants were provided with the consent pad with the information that required them to consent for the study for ethical reasons. Following the consent form, participants completed a series of demographic and college regulated items like sorority and fraternity measures as well as questions regarding the alcohol use, illegal and prescription of the drug, cigarette use. The measures of the study were approved by the San Diego State University Institutional Review Board. A total of 6,150 undergraduate students participated in the survey and approximately 32% completed the survey. The analysis and the survey focused on the Ritalin use among the typical college students between the ages of 18 and 24.

       The demographic items included questions about respondents gender, age, race, committed relationship, religious service attendance in days, months, years eat, GPA for the previous semester, type of residence, alcohol consumption in terms of the frequency of drinking, how many bottles per day,  per week and per month. The survey also queried the participants smoking status as in never smoked, experimented, current smokers. Additional survey was on the use of illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine and the use of prescription drugs like Ritalin.  The participants were asked as in how many occasions in their lives have they use Ritalin without prescription for the last twelve months, for the past thirty days, and they were allowed to select frequencies like never used, used it occasionally, used it frequently, used it more occasionally etc.

                                                        Data analysis

            The bivariate relationship between the Ritalin use and the participant demographics, college related variables, cigarette use, alcohol use and illegal and prescription use of drugs. Past year and past thirty days use of the Ritalin without the prescription served as the dependent variables for the analysis. The respondents who reported the use of one or more illegal substances or one or more prescription drugs in the past one year or in the past thirty days were recorded as having used one or more substances.  Variables with the significant bivariate relationship to Ritalin use were included in the logistic regression analyses distinctively to model the past one year and the past thirty days use of the illegal drugs and the subscription drugs. Cases with missing data were deleted from the multivariate analyses list wise.  Bivariate and the multivariate analyses were weighted to account for the overrepresentation of any gender since out of the sample study subjects female gender was overrepresented.

                                                   Results

               The bivariate associations between past year and past thirty days Ritalin use and the participants demographics, college related differences, cigarette use, alcohol use and drug use showed great and significant correlation with the participants age, last semester GPA, drinking occasionally and 9in the maximum number of drinks in the past two weeks, Alcohol consumption was positively related to the use of Ritalin, a prescribed drug. The respondent gender and race were elaborately associated with the use of the Ritalin drug in the past one year and the past one month. The participant’s class standing was also significantly associated with the past one month and the past one year use of the Ritalin drug. The college senior reported the lowest use of the Ritalin as compared to college sophomore and freshmen were much likely to report more to the Ritalin use. The smokers and the individuals experimenting with tobacco reported the significant use of the Ritalin in the past one year and the past one month. The past one month and the past one year use of illegal drugs and one or more related prescription drugs also showed the significant use of Ritalin.

                                                     Presentation

           Ritalin is the most widely used drug in the prescribed stimulant medication for ADHD. Good proportions in number of college students in the United States are prescribed the drug. Similar number of the students has reported to be diverting the drug, Ritalin for selling, sharing or giving it away.  The study focused on the risk factors associated with the use of nonprescribed Ritalin. As the findings have shown, there is the high rate of Ritalin use by the students at the college level with the figures declining with the level of seniority. The respondents reported the high rate of Ritalin use in the past one year and the past one month. Compared with the national figures of the Ritalin use, the percentage was high in the South California University where the research was conducted. This could be attributed to the overrepresentation of students who use the substance. Whether the overall population estimates of the Ritalin are anomalous, the main focus of the study was to examine the correlation of the Ritalin use as opposed to documenting the population estimates.  The findings represented the facts as other college research on use of prescription stimulants. Other research has found the positive association between the Ritalin use and the use of other drugs. The students with lower GPAs are more likely to use Ritalin. The research also revealed that both the experimental smokers and the regular smokers were more likely to report the use of Ritalin in the past one year and the past one month as compared to nonsmokers.  The experimenters in the smoking scene had the great likelihood of reporting the Ritalin use in the past one month relative to nonsmokers One may then speculate that the effects of nicotine in the cigarette functions the same as the Ritalin. Perhaps they used the same drugs to cope with the academic stress and other related factors.

         Students who belonged to a fraternity or sorority reported the high rate of Ritalin use; a member was more likely to report seven times the use of Ritalin compared to nonmember. Again the sorority members were more likely to report seven times higher the presence of Ritalin in the past one month as compared to the nonmember. The study also focused on the relationships and the use of Ritalin. Those in the relationship reported past one year use of Ritalin and past one month use of the Ritalin drug whether the relationship was protective or non protective.

                                      Ritalin ADHD and children

             ADHD affects many children in the United States three to five percent of children suffer from ADHD. When looking at the long term consequences of ADHD, one third to one half of the children will outgrow their behavior. In many children, the symptoms of ADHD especially hyperactivity decrease with time, impulsivity may persist till adulthood. The diagnostic and treatment of the disorder has been empirical with no objective confirmation to date from the laboratory measures. The ADHD diagnostic should focus on the three major factors like impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention based on the child’s family history, physical examination and the developmental and the psychological evaluation. Other diagnostic measures may look at the child’s chronic fear to mild seizure making the child to be overactive, quarrelsome, over reactive and not attentive. Repeated middle ear complication also makes the child appear withdrawn and non cooperative.

         When it comes to the treatment of the ADHD, counselors elaborate physical education, psychology education, physiological education and family appraisal must be done to avoid misdiagnosis. Management must also involve the equal treatment plan of pharmacological procedures together with the behavioral shifting therapies. Ecological management and educational ways that could help the individuals suffering from ADHD so that they can focus their work on their self esteem and operate in different ways. Multidisciplinary approach is also important in the treatment of ADHD. Parents, children and the school work together in order to formulate the educational methods suitable for the development of children suffering from the disorder. The developed academic goals and the activities must also incorporate the needs of the child with the problem. The current drug therapy that has been developed to cope with the ADHD disorder is the stimulant like methylphenidate (Ritalin).  Additionally, patients and their families are advised to seek group and individual and other integrated therapies for the suitable and the best therapy.

                 The use of Ritalin is widespread and calls for further studies in order to develop targeted intervention plans. The use of the drug as a stimulant and as a therapeutic substance presents an array of complicated topics that must be analyzed in more detailed manner. The age factor and the complications caused by the ADHD and the use of Ritalin as reported by respondents in the study showed that the drug is not only used to treat the disorder but also as a stimulant for various purposes. When the respondents reported to have used the Ritalin both consciously and unconsciously, having sold it out to other students or given it out freely is also another topic of discussion. The use of the drug and other related functions as in the complications that the drug could help the victims to overcome like poor performances in class work, the use of the drug together with other substances like alcohol, nonprescriptive substances, tobacco and cigarette also showed that the drug is a stimulant like any other drug consumed by individuals to feel high, become intoxicated ant to feel relieved from the problems of the world.

Conclusion

        ADHD is a disorder affecting children mostly but the condition may be carried to adulthood if not properly diagnosed and proper therapeutic measure taken to treat the complication. The best therapeutic measure to be taken when dealing with the complication is all encompassing thereby involving both the stakeholders from the parents of the individuals suffering from the disorder to the teachers at the school where these individuals learn and society as a whole. The currently used drug for the treatment of ADHD is called Ritalin. The drug has been abused by individuals to whom it is prescribed; they give it away to their colleagues either by selling it, giving it out freely. The drug is mostly abused in High schools by the students; the statistics show that the ages of drug user in the high schools decreases with age and seniority as sophomores and the freshmen reported to be using the Ritalin more than the seniors.

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