So this seems to be somewhat weird to me: If some youngster buys some “Crystal Meth” (methamphetamine) from some drug dealer, at least the dealer sure will go to jail if the police gets him. And if the youngster who buys that stuff is caught by the police he also might get into serious legal troubles.
But if you get a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) which is quite common today you not only can get those amphetamines (also methamphetamine) legally but the psychiatrists and the pharmaceutical companies even encourage you to take those drugs?
This diagnosis attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was not usual when I was a school boy in the 1970s and 1980s. And even if some school boys had troubles like that (at that time in Germany we called such kids a “Zappelphilipp“, because they usually were often not able to sit still on their chairs) they usually didn´t get any pharmacological treatment at that time.
The psychiatrists probably will say now that this is the nature of medical progress that you have treatments today that were not usual some over thirty years ago.
But first this medication named “Ritalin” (Methylphenidate) is in fact just an old and well known powerful and efficiency increasing stimulant that was first synthesized in 1944 and was identified as a stimulant in 1954.
The German journalist and author Hans-Christian Dany has published in 2008 a rewarding book about the long history of the use of amphetamines in the different areas of society.
See for this my blog article (written in German): “Hans-Christian Dany: `Speed´ (2008)“.
And second nobody in my youth would have seriously considered to give to children such powerful drugs like amphetamines and methamphetamines only because they were not behaving properly or performing well at school.
Of course also in the case of Ritalin the risk of substance abuse is high.
“Ritalin comes in 5, 10, and 20 mg water-soluble tablets intended for oral ingestion. Those who misuse Ritalin increase the amphetamine-like effects by crushing the tablets into a powder and snorting it or dissolving it in water for intravenous injection.
As a Schedule II substance, Ritalin has a high potential for abuse. When injected it may produce feelings of euphoria. Early reports of abuse in Sweden led to the removal of Ritalin from the Swedish market in 1968.The dramatic increase in prescriptions in the United States over the past decade has increased the potential for diversion from medical use. The DEA has collected reports indicating that adolescents who are prescribed Ritalin may give or sell it to their classmates who crush and snort the tablets. Ritalin is also diverted through “Attention Deficit Scams” in which a parent or other adult takes a child they claim has ADHD to a number of doctors to obtain prescriptions for Ritalin. The adult then keeps the drug for his or her own use or to sell or trade for other drugs.
The DEA has received anecdotal reports of college students using Ritalin to help them study, especially for all-night study sessions and cramming for exams, in addition to using it as a “party drug”. One survey of students at a public liberal arts college found that over 50% of survey participants knew other students who had used Ritalin for fun, 16% had used it themselves, and nearly 13% reported their own use included snorting the drug”.
This phenomenon that Ritalin was used by teens also for getting high obviously was known already more than ten years ago. Some of those teens are flying high when taking Ritalin, no doubt about it.
See also the article “Recreational ritalin as ‘risky’ as methamphetamine” in One News (13/11/2013)
For a critical and intelligent evaluation of this current dubious “mass drugging” of children with Ritalin see also the article of Alan Sroufe titled “Ritalin Gone Wrong” in “The New York Times” (1/28/2012).
I can really recommend to you to watch this documentary “Generation RX“.