I know medicine is a good thing. It saved countless lives. But is America getting completely dependent on drugs for cures for everything? In a country where little 4-year-old kids are given strong depressants and the like, I think this is getting completely overboard.

I know some people who do not give a hoot about the recommended dosage. They take pills in mouthfuls out of the bottle. Isn't that kind of dangerous?

I dunno, but when you get a simple flu, where I come from, you don't take an entire round of strong antibiotics. Doesn't that end up deteriorating your natural resistance and increase your dependence on drugs in future encounters with the disease?

I'm no doctor, but every time I get sick in America, I go to the clinic, they prescribe medicines for the most trivial of ailments. Either they are trying to rip us off, or America is becoming way too dependent on drugs for defense against illness.

Ritalin for little kids? Now that is completely ridiculous. Kids are supposed to be active aren't they? Feeding them strong depressants probably is not a very smart thing. And isn't Prozac just another different form of Valium? A drug for depression?!? Go out and play some sports or something. Or find a new hobby or something. As far as I know there are so many housewifes and the like out there completely addicted to Prozac and they don't know it.

I'm no medical expert, but from the looks of it, medicine is way over-abused in America.

Doctors probably do over-prescribe such things, but I really hate it when people assume that everyone who is on an anti-depressant is on it 'cause they're lazy and want a happy pill. Some people have low seratonin levels and need them regulated just as diabetics need their glucose regulated. So no, I don't think we are. We need to be careful, especially with regard to children, but we need to be more considerate, too. Just because you have never experienced such a physical problem doesn't mean that no one else has it either... (No, no, I'm not angry, I just feel this gets ignored a lot.)

I'm not disagreeing about over-prescription by any means. It's a serious problem. I'm just disagreeing about the particular qualities of one medication, Ritalin. Not all medications are inherently and utterly evil in all cases. We can all agree that it's idiotic to put penicillin on your eggs every morning, but penicillin still does have some valid uses. The presence of bathwater does not rule out the possibility of a baby.


So. Ritalin is not even remotely a depressant. What it does depends on brain chemistry; it's a mild stimulant for most people, but for those with certain vagaries of brain chemistry it behaves quite differently. Those "certain vagaries of brain chemistry" are what's known as ADHD. People in that state find it difficult, in varying degrees, to focus on anything. They often want to focus, but they can't. You can tell them to "just do it", but that's like telling somebody to stop stuttering. People don't choose to be this way. Ritalin enables them to focus in many cases (not all; psychopharmacology is not an exact science, even by the loose standards of the medical profession). It enables them to decide for themselves what they're going to think about, rather than having their thoughts flit about uncontrollably. The president of the company where I work is on Ritalin, and he is damn near the least sedated person I've ever met. If that guy is on Ritalin, then most of what you hear about Ritalin is pure fantasy.


According to a psychologist I know, a big problem with giving Ritalin to little kids is that it affects their growth and development. It can be a very bad idea if not handled well, and not everybody who prescribes the stuff does handle it well. This, not the "depressant" myth, is a genuine cause for concern. Furthermore, it is often prescribed without reason, which is a Bad Thing not only because of the growth'n'development issue, but also for all the usual reasons: It is a drug and should approached with fear and trembling when you give it to kids (or any one, but kids especially), and it has undesirable effects on people who don't have the condition which it addresses. Ritalin, whatever benefits it may occasionally offer, should no more be over-prescribed than antibiotics or anything else.


I am not a psychopharmacologist, nor do I play one on TV.


Antibody resisance is encouraged by incomplete course of antibiotics. By killing 95% of the bacteria, the 5% remaining are the most resistant to the drug. Add many generations of evolution and they become immmune.
Kill 99.99% and it's not as much of a problem.
And doctors that prescribe antibiotics for the flu are adding to the problem.

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