Wind them up, pt. 2

Ten people with cocaine addiction took ritalin and showed some kind of brain activity.  Based upon that “evidence,” the LA Times is reporting that Ritalin can help people overcome drug addiction.  Because Ritalin isn’t a drug, I guess.  And it must not be addictive, either.  And I’m sure you can just stop taking it whenever you want, with no serious consequences.

To be fair, the LA Times is only asking the question, not asserting the conclusion.  That’s the Fox News game, as in:  “Is Obama destroying America?”  See, there’s deniablility built in.  What?  We’re just asking the question.   The article is titled, “Can Ritalin help people overcome drug addiction?” and the fact that the question appears to be answered in the affirmative, with a scientific study (…of 10 people  …with inconclusive results) from Yale clearly indicates the speculative nature of the inquiry, right?

This is the part that really captured my attention, and it has nothing to do with cocaine addiction.  The article opens with the following statement:

The drug clearly helps many people with ADHD with mental focus and concentration. And although many parents fear giving the medication to children diagnosed with ADHD because it is a drug (and drugs can be abused), studies show that those children and teens who benefit from the medication are less likely to abuse drugs. Kids with ADHD who are untreated are at higher risk for substance abuse issues.

At the risk of sounding like I’m making light of a real medical condition, I have to point out the illogic hidden in this rhetoric.  The opinion masquerading as truth.

The journalist opens by asserting the truth that the drug maker asserts – ritalin helps people. And this isn’t just blind adherence to the drug manufacturers’ propoganda, either, because the journalist goes on to address concerns and put them to rest.   Sure, parents worry about feeding their kids drugs, but “studies show” that kids who take these drugs are less likely to use drugs, and who doesn’t want that?  Because, as we are told above, drugs can be abused.  Oh, except  that only applies to the kids who take the drugs and are helped by them – not all those kids who are convinced to take the drugs and aren’t helped by them.  Yeah, those kids are fucked.  They’ll probably end up abusing drugs or something.

And then the final warning to those parents so confused about the distinction between abusing drugs (bad), and simply taking an addictive drug every day for the rest of your life on the recommendation of your doctor (good).  Those parents who succumb to the irrational fear of doctor-prescribed drugs actually harm their children in the long run, because kids who aren’t given an addictive drug every day throughout their childhood will be at a greater risk of abusing drugs at some later point.  I’m sure studies bear that out, too.  And drugs are bad.

Oh well, at least there’s some hope for all those kids who form an addiction to ritalin without being helped by it, and all those kids who don’t take it and then develop drug abuse problems later in life as a result.  It turns out, ritalin can help them get over their drug addiction problems.  Or can it?  What?  I’m just asking the question.


5 Responses to “Wind them up, pt. 2”

  1. 1 Mr. Nice
    July 27, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Ritalin is much harder to get addicted to than most common drugs. I don’t see the big deal. The media makes such a show out of this… but have you tried Ritalin? If you have you can probably agree with me that it ain’t shit. I see why doctors have no problem prescribing it.

    Now for Ritalin “abuse,” that’s a different story. I’ve known all types of people who’ve abused the stuff. People who are too square to touch a joint will abuse Ritalin. Still, it’s just not that addictive. Caffeine is easier to get hooked on.

    It’s like how the media gets all crazy over e-tards. There just aren’t that many of them compared to people with no problem with the shit.

    • July 27, 2010 at 10:46 pm

      It’s not the drug as much as it is the culture. The whole age of ritalin/addarall/focalyn. Drugging children so they’ll sit still and behave on a mass scale. The sweaty dead look in their eyes. It’s creepy. I hate it when the bad science-fiction films from the seventies get it right. Thanks for the reassurance though. I didn’t have you pegged for the comforting type, but I see that now.

  2. July 28, 2010 at 7:44 am

    It (the kid drugging situation) reminds me of the phrase, “Catch 22” from the book.

    What is a parent to do?

    • July 28, 2010 at 12:23 pm

      I want to be sympathetic, but I’m not. I know that some people claim that ADHD is a new thing, caused by new pesticides in our food, or MMR vaccinations, or some kind of crazyness like that, but I’m not buying it. Humans have been around for a while now, and I suspect that the rapid changes we’ve observed over the relatively short period of time we’re talking about are not in our stars but in ourselves.

      You watched that 20-20 report on kids using medical marijuana to treat ADHD. Did you notice how overweight and unhealthy that that kid looked? Did you notice the giant teevee playing in the background during the interview, with the supposedly uncontrollable kid sitting glassy-eyed in front of it? The video-game playing? He didn’t seem to have any trouble focusing on that. When I see 10 year-old kids whining and crying like 3 year-old kids, I don’t immediately think that they need to be given a mood altering drug; I think that his parents need to have some sense knocked into them. Turn off the tv, force the kid to go outside and move around a little, to socialize with other kids and let him learn from that why it’s a bad idea to behave like an infant when he’s not. And for the love of god, don’t buy him weed! As far as I’m concerned, the only catch-22 is that we can’t force people to become sensible before they breed.

  3. July 28, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    My question was rhetorical. Thank you for sharing your views.

    I agree with turning off the TV and getting the kids to go outside and play – either alone – or with others. One of the biggest mistakes parents make today is giving in to their whiny- assed kid instead of really parenting and putting their foot down where it’ll do the most good. Consistency is important. I raised three sons (all in their 30s now)who learned to love the outdoors and be active. All are healthy and have professions.
    My wife and I seldom let them watch TV, and when we did, we censored what they watched and how long they watched it.

    Mood alternating drugs(including pot) will never replace Good Parenting. Big Pharma (Ritalin) loves the business and continues to convince the gullible their kids need it. We must not forget the doctors who are in on this scam.

    The 20/20 report was sickening.

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