Narcophobia: Ritalin

Posted: September 29th, 2007 | Filed under: drugs, Ritalin | 1 Comment »

Ritalin Sign

Defaming Parents Who Treat Their ADD Children

Even though studies repeatedly show stimulants such as Ritalin are effective in treating attention deficit disorder (ADD) narcophobes continue to portray its usage as the doping of children.

In 2005 I had a co-worker tell me, “ADD? Isn’t that just a made up excuse?”

No, it is not. There is a difference between a child misbehaving and a child who literally cannot stop turning somersaults in her chair during class despite being mocked by classmates and reprimanded. (As a teacher I witnessed this remarkable gymnastic display.) There is also a difference between a child who does not like reading and a child who cannot focus enough to read and comprehend one page in a book. For teachers responsible for educating these children the difference is obvious.

People say that in the “good” old days those children got a good whopping from their parents. Drugs weren’t necessary. Yes, that did occur and it still does. However, in the “good” old days those kids also dropped out of school. (In 1960 41.1.% of the adult population had a high school degree. In 2004 85.2% did. Truancy laws began being vigorously enforced in the mid-1990s, e.g. the ACT Now program.) In this age of “no child left behind” EVERY child is expected to sit still in class until they graduate so they can be all they can be.

A widespread misconception is that Ritalin is a sedative that will zombify any child. This attitude was displayed on a store’s sign that I passed this month. (See photo.) Ritalin, like other stimulants (Adderall, caffeine, cocaine), that allow those with ADD to focus and sit still have the opposite effect on normal people. Stimulants make people without ADD hyper, ergo their name. In addition, overprescribing Ritalin and other stimulants to those with ADD will make them hyper as well. A parent would be making their parental duties hellish if they were improperly giving their children Ritalin.


  1. “Fourteen months out, the kids given medication alone or stimulants plus behavior management were doing much better than those who got just therapy or other care in the community.” Marilyn Elias, “Kids Treated for Attention Deficit Get Better in a Few Years,” USA Today, 20 July 2007.
  2. David Hamilton, “Commentary: Dropout Rates Have a History We Need to Look At,” Albuquerque Tribune, 25 Sep. 2007.

One Comment on “Narcophobia: Ritalin”

  1. 1 Somebody said at 6:45 am on January 17th, 2014:

    I am strongly against Ritalin and other drugs alike. I think it’s only used to control our children’s minds and to make them narcotic freaks..