Republican Dan Burton (Ind) Blasts CHADD -- A Leading Public Support Group for ADD

There has been sugnificant evidence about the relationship between CHADD and pharmaceutical companies (Ciba-Geigy, the makers of Ritalin. This was originall broought to light in a documentary: ADD: A Dubious Diagnosis. The Merrow Report. The following article reviews how one member of congress is exposing this conflict of interest to Congress. Read the complete article now .

Ritalin: This Children's Drug Is More Potent Than Cocaine

The children's drug Ritalin has a more potent effect on the brain than cocaine, a study has found. Using brain imaging, scientists have found that, in pill form, Ritalin - taken by thousands of British children and four million in the United States - occupies more of the neural transporters responsible for the "high" experienced by addicts than smoked or injected cocaine. The research may alarm parents whose children have been prescribed Ritalin as a solution to Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder...

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Ritalin Treatment During Pre- and Periadolescence Affects Responses to Emotional Stimuli at Adulthood

Methylphenidate (MPH) is a psychomotor stimulant medication widely used for the treatment of attention -deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Given the extent of prescribed use of MPH, and because MPH interacts with the same brain pathways activated by drugs of abuse, most research has focused on assessing MPH's potential to alter an individual's risk for adult drug addiction.

Chronic exposure to MPH during development leads to decreased sensitivity to rewarding stimuli while resulting in enhanced responsivity to aversive situations. These results highlight the need for further research to better understand the effects of stimulants on the developing nervous system, and the potential enduring effects resulting from early-life drug exposure.

Biological Psychiatry

Preteen Ritalin May Increase Depression

Ritalin use in preteen children may lead to depression later in life, studies of rats suggest. It's an open question whether what passes for depression in lab rats has anything to do with depression in humans. But early use of Ritalin and other stimulant drugs seems to permanently alter animals' brains. That raises concerns that the same thing might be happening in children who take these drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The findings come from a research team led by William A. Carlezon Jr., PhD, director of the behavioral genetics laboratory at McLean Hospital and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. The study appears in the Dec. 15 issue of Biological Psychiatry.

"Rats exposed to Ritalin as juveniles showed large increases in learned-helplessness behavior during adulthood, suggesting a tendency toward depression," Carlezon says in a news release. "These rats also showed abnormally high levels of activity in familiar environments. [This] might reflect basic alterations in the way rats pay attention to their surroundings."

Ritalin, Cocaine, and the Brain

Ritalin and cocaine have different effects on humans. But their effects on the brain are very similar. When given to preteen rats, both drugs cause long-term changes in behavior.

One of the changes seems good. Early exposure to Ritalin makes rats less responsive to the rewarding effects of cocaine. But that's not all good. It might mean that the drug short-circuits the brain's reward system. That would make it difficult to experience pleasure -- a "hallmark symptom of depression," Carlezon and colleagues note.

The other change seems all bad. Early exposure to Ritalin increases rats' depressive-like responses in a stress test. "These experiments suggest that preadolescent exposure to [Ritalin] in rats causes numerous complex behavioral adaptations, each of which endures into adulthood," Carlezon and colleagues conclude. "This work highlights the importance of a more thorough understanding of the enduring neurobiological effects of juvenile exposure to psychotropic drugs."

Ritalin Alters Future Emotional Sensitivity

The rampant abuse of ritalin for children is now a cause of concern for future behavioral patterns in children. In a study titled, Methylphenidate Treatment During Pre- and Periadolescence Alters Behavioral Responses to Emotional Stimuli at Adulthood. MPH-treated animals were significantly less responsive to natural rewards such as sucrose, novelty-induced activity, and sex when compared to vehicle-treated controls. On the other hand, MPH-treated animals were significantly more sensitive to stressful situations, showed increased anxiety-like behaviors and enhanced plasma levels of corticosterone.

Biological Psychiatry authors concluded: Chronic exposure to MPH during development leads to decreased sensitivity to rewarding stimuli while resulting in enhanced responsivity to aversive situations. These results highlight the need for further research to better understand the effects of stimulants on the developing nervous system, and the potential enduring effects resulting from early-life drug exposure.

Ritalin Facts:

Taken from "Talking Back to Ritalin" by Peter Breggin, M.D.

"In 1990, 900,000 American kids were on Ritalin. Today some estimate the total number of children on Ritalin has increased to 4 - 5 million or more per year."

The International Narcotics Control Board (1995) deplores that "10 to 12 percent of all boys between the ages 6 and 14 in the United States have been diagnosed as having ADD and are being treated with methylphenidate (Ritalin)."

"The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (1995a&b) has warned about a record six fold increase in Ritalin production between 1990 & 1995."

"America now uses 90% of the world's Ritalin - more than five times the rest of the world combined."

"Emergency room visits by children ages 10-14 involving Ritalin intoxication have now reached the same level as those for cocaine which indicates escalating abuse of this highly addictive drug."

"80% of children on Ritalin are boys."

Peter R. Breggin, M.D., author of "Talking Back to Prozac", co-author of "The War Against Children of Color" has published "Talking Back to Ritalin: What doctors aren't telling you about stimulants for children". Every parent who has a child who has been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD should read this book before being pressured into drugging their children by teachers, family members or physicians.

Some Kids Share Ritalin With Classmates

Ritalin abuse is on the rise, with many youngsters selling or giving away their prescribed medication to classmates,  according to a 1998 survey of 13,549 students in grades 7, 9, 10 and 12 in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward  Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. The students were asked about their medical and non-medical use of stimulants including Ritalin, Benzedrine, Dexedrine, Cylert, diet pills, "speed," "uppers," "bennies" and "pep pills."

Results showed that "Of the 5.3% of students who  reported medical use of stimulants in the 12 months before the survey, 14.7% reported having given away some of their medication, 7.3% having sold some of their medication, 4.3% having experienced theft and 3.0% having been forced to give up some of their medication. Non-medical stimulant use by students who did not have a prescription for stimulants was significantly related to increased numbers of students who gave or sold some of their prescribed stimulants, at both the school class and individual student levels."

Medical and nonmedical stimulant use among adolescents: from sanctioned to unsanctioned use   CMAJ 2001 (Oct 16);   165 (8):   1039-1044 Poulin C  

RITALIN OVERDOSES GROWING IN FREQUENCY A growing number of youngsters taking the drug Ritalin® (methylphenidate) experience overdose, researchers report. The study looked at the frequency of Ritalin overdose cases reported to a regional poison control center in Detroit. Children ages 6 to 9 years were at the greatest risk of overdose, compared with other age groups. Over a two-year period, 289 cases were reported. Of these, 31% developed symptoms. Most common adverse effects included chycardia, agitation and lethargy. Most cases were due to parents or caregivers unintentionally giving patients excessive amounts of the drug.

White SR, Yadao CM   Characterization of methylphenidate exposures reported to a regional poison control center   Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2000 (Dec);   154 (12):   1199-1203


The law firm of Waters & Kraus has announced the filing in Texas of a class action lawsuit entitled Hernandez, Plaintiff, Individually and on Behalf of all Others Similarly Situated v. Ciba Geigy Corporation, U.S.A., Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Children and Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), and the American Psychiatric Association.

The suit states allegations based on fraud and conspiracy. From approximately 1955 through 1995, the exclusive or primary manufacturer and supplier of Ritalin in this country was defendant Ciba/Novartis planned, conspired, and colluded to create, develop and promote the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in a highly successful effort to increase the market for its product Ritalin. In addition to its actions and involvement with the creation of the ADD and ADHD diagnosis, Ciba/Novartis took steps to promote and dramatically increase the sales of Ritalin by way of the following:

1.   Actively promoting and supporting the concept that a significant percentage of children suffer from a "disease" which required narcotic treatment/therapy;

2.   Actively promoting Ritalin as the "drug of choice" to treat children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD:

3.   Actively supporting groups such as Defendant CHADD, both financially and with other means, so that such organizations would promote and support (as a supposed neutral party) the ever-increasing implementation of ADD/ADHD diagnoses as well as directly increasing Ritalin sales;

4.   Distributing misleading sales and promotional literature to parents, schools and other interested persons in a successful effort to further increase the number of diagnoses and the number of persons prescribed Ritalin."

The suit further alleges that defendant CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Hyperactivity Disorder) has been a recipient of financial donations and contributions from Defendants Ciba/Novartis for many years. CHADD received $748,000 from Ciba/Novartis in the period 1991 to 1994 alone. During the periods when CHADD received funding from Ciba/Novartis, CHADD deliberately made efforts to increase the sales of Ritalin, and to increase the supply of methylphenidate (the generic name for Ritalin) available in the United States, and to reduce or eliminate laws and restrictions concerning the use of Ritalin and methylphenidate in the U.S.A., all to the financial benefit of Ciba/Novartis. Ciba/Novartis made such financial contributions with the purpose of advertising and promoting sales of Ritalin - an internationally controlled substance.

Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1019 U.N.T.S. 175 (1971). CHADD's activities nationwide have led to significant increase on the amount of Ritalin taken by school children and have directly resulted in enormous profits to Ciba/Novartis.

It is not generally known or understood by the public that use of Ritalin will preclude a child from ever joining the United States military because Ritalin is classified as a Class II controlled substance, along with morphine and other amphetamines. Additionally, parents, the school districts and other interested parties are generally unaware that use of Ritalin can cause a significant number of health problems and risks, including but not limited to the following:

Rapid heart beat (palpitations, tachycardia)
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Unusual heart rhythm (arrythmia)
Heart attack (cardiac arrest)

Central Nervous System
Altered mental status (psychosis)
Depression or excitement
Convulsions / seizures
(excessive brain stimulation)
Confusion or "dopey" feeling
Lack of sleep (insomnia)
Agitation, irritation,
Anxiety, nervousness
Unhappiness (Dysphoria)
Impaired mental abilities
(cognitive impairment on tests)
Jerky movements, Tics, Tourette's syndrome
Nervous habits
(such as picking at skin or pulling hair)
Compulsive behavior
Decreased social interest
Zombie-like behavior

Eating disorders (anorexia)
Nausea / Vomiting
Stomach ache / cramps
Dry mouth
Growth problems (pituitary dysfunction)
Weight loss

Blurred vision
Hair loss
Inflammation of the skin (dermatitis)
Blood disorders (anorexia, leukoplacia)
Involuntary discharge of urine (enuresis)
Joint pain
Unusual sweating

Withdrawal and Rebound
Worsening of ADHD-like symptoms
Sleep problems (insomnia)
Evening crash
Over-activity and irritability

Websites/ Articles of Interest:

The ADD/ADHD Page @ Chiro.Org
Chiropractic and Spinal Research on ADD/ADHD
Assorted Reasearch on ADD
Assorted Research on Ritalin
Fight for Kids. com
Psychiatric Drug Facts ~ Peter Breggin, M.D.
SANTA: Stimulants Are Not The Answer
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ~ (Exposing the Fraud of ADD and ADHD)
Death From Ritalin The Truth Behind ADHD
Methylphenidate and ADHD
ADHD Not a Cookie Cutter Problem
Mothering Magazine Archives
Ritalin Legislation
Empowering Your Patients towards Wellness
Politics, Propaganda and the Press
A No Win Situation