Little Scientific Proof Ritalin Effective




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    President Bush Signs Landmark Legislation Prohibiting Forced Psychiatric Drugging of Schoolchildren

    Celebrities, Parents, Legislators and Civil Rights Groups Win Victory for Children's Rights with Passage of the "Prohibition on Mandatory Medication Amendment"

    December 3rd, 2004 - Los Angeles-

    Celebrities Lisa Marie Presley, Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman and Juliette Lewis joined the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a mental health watchdog, in applauding Congress for passing precedent-setting legislation that bans school personnel forcing parents to drug their children for classroom or behavioral problems. In order to receive federal funds under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), the "Prohibition on Mandatory Medication Amendment," was signed into law by President Bush today and requires schools to implement policies that prohibit schoolchildren being forced onto psychiatric drugs as a requisite for their education.

    Hi to all:

    Thought that you would be interested in this research.

    Regards, Anthony Stephan

    Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2001 9:41 PM
    Subject: National Post articles; Study on Ritalin

    For your information, I am also including the CMAJ URL for the study.

    Little scientific proof Ritalin effective, researchers discover studies played down negative side effects and role of placebos

    Brad Evenson  National Post

    OTTAWA - After a painstaking analysis of 62 studies of Ritalin treatment for attention deficit disorder, a team of Canadian researchers says it has found little scientific evidence the drug lives up to its reputation.

    More than 200,000 Canadian schoolchildren take methyl-phenidate, the generic name for Ritalin, a stimulant drug prescribed to help them concentrate and control their impulsive behaviour. Many parents, teachers and doctors praise the drug for turning around the tumultuous lives of millions of young children.

    Yet a meta-analysis published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says the clinical trials of the drug have often been biased and poorly constructed. For example, although patients may take Ritalin for years, most trials comparing the drug with a placebo lasted three weeks, with none lasting longer than seven months. In some cases, scientists studying Ritalin ignored or downplayed the impressions of schoolteachers, who thought children taking the drug were no better off than those taking a placebo. Finally, such adverse side effects as insomnia and loss of appetite have not been carefully measured.

    "Collectively, these observations likely reflect a less than an ideal state of affairs given the long history of extensive, and ever increasing, use of methylphenidate for ADD particularly in North America for groups that now include pre-schoolers and adults," conclude the researchers, from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the University of Ottawa.

    For a disease that didn't officially exist before 1987, attention deficit disorder has been remarkably catching. An estimated 5% of children are affected. Several years ago, the definition was expanded to the new name, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder [AD/HD]. The symptoms include trouble concentrating, talking constantly, running around in a disruptive way, fidgeting and acting impulsively.

    Surprisingly, little is known about how Ritalin tames these symptoms, but scientists agree it clearly works in the short term. A positive response to Ritalin, however, does not mean a child has AD/HD; stimulants can temporarily sharpen anyone's focus. Also, the drug does not raise IQ or remove the learning disabilities that often accompany AD/HD.

    "Short-term managed behaviour -- that's important for a lot of kids, but it's not going to give them the skills that they need to manage for the rest of their lives, because when the medication wears off, they're back at square one and, in some cases, maybe a little worse off," says Toronto psychologist Lynda Thompson, co-author of The A.D.D. Book.

    As a result, many people are seeking alternatives, including biofeedback and nutritional regimens. These have less dramatic results than Ritalin, but they make parents more comfortable.

    Indeed, a University of British Columbia study, also published today in the CMAJ, raises concerns that many children who are prescribed Ritalin don't need it.



    Celebrex, Strattera, Ritalin,
    and ADD
    Jon Barron


    Since it was all over the news last week and you've all probably heard about it by now, it hardly seems worth mentioning that the National Cancer Institute announced that they were abandoning a study to see if Celebrex, the popular pain relief medication, might be useful in combating colon cancer when it was learned that those using Celebrex twice a day had an increased risk of suffering from cardiovascular "incidents" of approximately 200-300 percent.

    Why does the media always act so surprised when these stories hit?. Every single drug on the market has serious side effects. Even aspirin, the most innocuous of all medications kills. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, "anti-inflammatory drugs (prescription and over-the-counter, which include Advil®, Motrin®, Aleve®, Ordus®, Aspirin, and over 20 others) alone cause over 16,500 deaths and over 103,000 hospitalizations per year in the US." The simple fact is that even the smallest amount of aspirin, a child's dose, causes at least some degree of intestinal bleeding. In fact, nearly 70% of those taking aspirin daily show a blood loss of 1/2 to 11/2 teaspoons per day, and 10% lose as much as 2 teaspoons per day.

    The bottom line is that every drug impacts the body. It's all a question of risks versus benefits.

    Using natural supplements presents the same issue -- just usually with far better risk benefit ratios. Nothing comes without risk. Too much water, for example, can drain your body of electrolytes and put your heart at risk. But how often does that happen? And don't the rewards of remaining fully hydrated far, far outweigh the risks of draining electrolytes from your body?

    All I'm saying is that it would be nice if the medical community and the media acknowledged the simple truth that natural supplements tend to offer far, far, far better risk/benefit ratios than drugs. Compare ephedra to aspirin, and they're not even close. Aspirin is far more dangerous. And yet, which one was vilified and pulled from the market?

    And for those of you wondering what to do now that Celebrex and NSAIDS are off the table. Why not consider Omega-3 fatty acid supplements and Proteolytic Enzymes. Far more effective, and with much better risk/benefit ratios.


    With all the hullabaloo about Celebrex, another very significant announcement made on the same day seems to have slipped through without much notice in the media.

    The Food and Drug Administration advised health care professionals about a new warning for Strattera, a drug approved for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children. The labeling is being updated with a bolded warning about the potential for severe liver injury. The labeling warns that severe liver injury may progress to liver failure resulting in death or the need for a liver transplant in a small percentage of patients. The labeling also notes that "the number of actual cases of severe liver injury is unknown because of under-reporting of post-marketing adverse events."

    For those of you who don't know, Strattera has been heavily advertised on TV as the "safe and effective non-stimulant" alternative to Ritalin for the treatment of ADD and ADHD. Apparently, not so safe. And as to effective -- I have a fundamental problem with the whole concept of ADD. This condition didn't even exist a hundred a years ago, and yet it's now a national obsession. (And for those of you living outside the US, don't be too smug. Whereas a couple of years ago the US prescribed five times more Ritalin than the rest of the world combined, that gap has narrowed considerably as other countries have jumped onboard the ADD bandwagon.).

    We are turning vast numbers of the youth of the world into addicts (when injected, cocaine users cannot tell the difference between Ritalin and cocaine). Ritalin is now one of the "hottest" drugs in high schools selling under street names such as " R-Ball," "Vitamin R," and "The Smart Drug." And for what? ADD isn't a disease. As virtually everyone in the alternative health community knows, it's a condition caused by diet and environment.

    • With the average teenager slugging down over 170 pounds of sugar a year -- with almost a cup of sugar in every Big Gulp soda -- is it any wonder, that kids are "wired" in school.
    • Numerous studies have now shown that food additives cause hyperactivity. The conclusions of one such study conducted in the UK found that "colourings used in many children's foods and drinks are liable to cause temper tantrums and disruptive behaviour."
    • And studies released several months ago found that TV caused attention problems. According to the study, "Every added hour of watching TV increased a child's odds of having attention problems by about 10%. Kids watching about three hours a day were 30% more likely to have attention trouble than those viewing no TV."

    Currently, there are over 7,000,000 children in North America alone now on regularly prescribed doses of Ritalin and/or Strattera. And for what? Not for a disease, but because we have wired our children with junk food and excessive television. Putting children on drugs described by the DEA as "very potent, addictive, abusable, and capable of destroying the children who receive them" and/or liver destroying alternatives is not an acceptable response. We are on the verge of witnessing a tragedy of monumental proportions. A tragedy entirely within our power to prevent -- if we choose to do so.



    Take responsibility for your children. I understand they're not going to go cold turkey on changing their diets.

    • But make it a goal this year to take their sugar load down from 170 pounds to 60 pounds a year.
    • Get them on a diet that includes more natural foods to minimize their exposure to food additives
    • Try and expose them to more activities that cut their TV time from several hours a day to an hour or less.
    • Supplement their diets with a good multivitamin and mineral formula to help counter the effects of a junk food oriented diet.
    • And absolutely, if nothing else, get them on a trace mineral supplement (I, of course, am partial to Catalyst Altered Trace Minerals) to help bring nervous system electrolytes back into balance.

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