Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ritalin Raiders, Concerta Colts, & Cocaine Cowboys?

Football season is upon us and I have been doing yearly pre-participation physicals again. Typical stuff. Checking blood pressure, listening to hearts and lungs, checking joints and kids on mind-altering drugs in the same class of drug as cocaine. This year approximately 15-20% of the kids I checked were on one of these drugs.

Methylphenidate (aka Ritalin, Concerta) is a potent central nervous system stimulant derived from amphetamine. The abuse potential is increased when methylphenidate is crushed and snorted or when it is injected producing effects almost identical to cocaine. Methylphenidate is actually more potent than cocaine in its effect and has been shown to have a high potential for drug dependence and addictive abuse due to its similarity pharmaologically to cocaine and amphetamines. A study found that those who had received stimulants during childhood showed the highest number of cocaine abusers in later adulthood, twice that of the other groups.

Given it's similarity to cocaine, it's no wonder that the drug has been linked to sudden cardiac arrest, especially when you consider that children are taking it everyday for many years. The video below gives more details of the recent study.

For more information on ADHD drug alternatives, visit

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