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Letter: Your Say - Fears over medicines.


SO-CALLED experts recently stated healthy adults could use drugs like Ritalin as "cognitive enhancer".

It should be noted that Ritalin is an amphetamine-like stimulant drug, pharmacologically similar to cocaine, commonly prescribed for the psychiatric label Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

These "experts" are attempting to propagandise Ritalin and other types of psychiatric drug through the redefinition of words.

Before taking the drug, each person would have to be convinced the drug would help him or her to handle life.

Descriptions such as "cognitive enhancement" or "brain-boosting" are being used in an attempt to cloak stimulant drugs in medical legitimacy.

There are numerous health risks and other inconsistencies associated with the use of this kind of mind-altering drug. The Physician's Desk Reference Guide says increased heart rate and blood pressure can result from using Ritalin, and in August 2001 the Journal of the American Medical Association reiterated that Ritalin acts much like cocaine.

Most alarmingly, suicide is the major complication of withdrawal from the drug and similar amphetamine-like drugs.

The amount of Ritalin prescribed in England nose-dived over the last seven years. In 2001, the number of prescription items dispensed in England was 186,300. In 2008, the figure had crashed to 25,531. Targeting healthy adults as the new market may be good business but extremely bad medicine.

BRIAN DANIELS, National spokesperson, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (United Kingdom)
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Feb 24, 2009
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