-Caveat Lector-

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
From:                   "Michael Albert" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To:                     <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject:                FW: ZNet Commentary July 31 Cynthia Peters
Date sent:              Fri, 30 Jul 1999 20:25:00 +0100

NOTE 1: I intended to bill credit cards for donations today for
July but
unexpected guests and work interfered. It probably won't occur
Monday as a result...

NOTE 2: We are hard at work on the new features of the Sustainer
described in mailings and on the Sustainer Pages, elements will
be in
place soon.


Here is today's ZNet Commentary Delivery from Cynthia Peters. The attached
file is the same material in nicely formatted html so that you can read it
in your browser if you wish.

To pass this comment along to friends, relatives, etc. please note that
the Commentaries are a premium sent to Sustainer Donors of Z/ZNet and that
to learn more about the project folks can consult ZNet
(http://www.zmag.org) and specifically the Sustainer Pages
(http://www.zmag.org/Commentaries/donorform.htm) which include lists of
writers, writer biographies, and other features of the Z Sustainer

Here then is today's ZNet Commentary...


Give `em Ritalin: The Miracle Drug for Kids' Number 1 Disorder

"Although the exact number of people taking Ritalin is not known, this
year, experts estimate, as many as two million Americans -  the vast
majority of them children -- will take the medication, some as often as
five times a day. … Critics within the medical community itself say the
drug is being overprescribed by doctors whose understanding of ADHD
[Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder]  is woefully inadequate.
They charge that the hallmark symptoms of the disorder -  inattention,
hyperactivity and impulsivity -  could describe just about any child." --
"The Rise of Ritalin" from The Morning Journal

Although there is no medical proof that there is such a thing as Attention
Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), over 3.5 million children in
the United States are diagnosed as having some form of it. It is
considered America's number 1 childhood psychiatric disorder and in the
U.S. we prescribe Ritalin to treat it at a rate that is five times higher
than the rest of the world combined.

Ritalin and other medications represent the second prong in what appears
to be the medical community's two-pronged effort to treat or control the
"disorders" suffered by a whopping 10 to 20 percent of U.S. children
[Boston Globe, 6/28/99]. (See my previous July 1999 commentary, "Children:
Their Deficiencies, Disorders, and Developmental Delays" for discussion of
behavior modification - the other prong in the treatment effort,
spearheaded by the new medical specialty Developmental and Behavioral

Peter R. Breggin, M.D., of the International Center for the Study of
Psychiatry and Psychology writes in Talking Back to Ritalin (published by
Common Courage Press) that:

·       A large percentage of children become robotic, lethargic, depressed, or
withdrawn on [Ritalin].

·       Withdrawal from Ritalin can cause emotional suffering, including
depression, exhaustion, and suicide. This can make children seem
psychiatrically disturbed and lead mistakenly to increased doses of

·       Ritalin is addictive and can become a gateway drug to other addictions.
It is a common drug of abuse among children and adults.

·       ADHD and Ritalin are American and Canadian medical fads. The U.S. uses
90% of the world's Ritalin. CibaGeneva Pharmaceuticals (also known as
Ciba-Geigy Corporation), a division of Novartis, is the manufacturer of
Ritalin. It is trying to expand the Ritalin market to Europe and the rest
of the world.

·       Ritalin "works" by producing malfunctions in the brain rather than by
improving brain function. This is the only way it works.

·       Short-term, Ritalin suppresses creative, spontaneous and autonomous
activity in children, making them more docile and obedient, and more
willing to comply with rote, boring tasks, such as classroom school work
and homework.

·       There is a great deal of research to confirm that environmental problems
cause ADHD-like symptoms.

·       A very small number of children may suffer ADHD-like symptoms because of
physical disorders, such as lead poisoning, drug intoxication, exhaustion,
and head injury. Physical causes may be more common among poor communities
in the United States.

·       Ciba spends millions of dollars to sell parent groups and doctors on the
idea of using Ritalin. Ciba helps to support the parent group, CH.A.D.D.,
and organized psychiatry.

·       The U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Mental
Health (NIMH) push Ritalin as vigorously as the manufacturer of the drug,
often in even more glowing terms than the drug company could get away with

Dr. Breggin goes on to ask, what if, instead of diagnosing the child, we
diagnosed the situation? He lists several ADHD-inducing life experiences,
including (among others):

·       Environments that don't meet a child's basic needs for positive
involvement with life, including unconditional love from attentive adults
… ;

·       Environments that don't meet a child's basic needs for rational and
consistent discipline, reasonable principles of conduct, and firm but
loving limits on negative behavior;

·       Environments devoid of older children and adults who can provide models
for rational, moral and loving behavior; and

·       Environments created for the convenience of adult managers rather than
for the growth and development of children [Talking Back to Ritalin, pp.

While the medical community should be identifying diseases, conditions,
and symptoms, and administering treatments and cures if possible, it
should also concern itself with the larger context. When considering an
inattentive child, for example, perhaps we should consider the possibility
that it is quite reasonable that a small child would have an
deficit in an institution like a school -  many of which are so
deficient themselves and which offer very little that anyone
would want to
focus their attention on. Or perhaps "acting out" in the home
could be
seen as sensible given the isolation that many people experience
at home,
and the few outlets that children and parents have to interact
productively in the larger society. Furthermore, doctors should
ask: Who
defines what is appropriate behavior? What is the range that is
acceptable? Is our society structured to accept only a narrow
range of
behaviors, relegating the rest to medication,
institutionalization, and/or

Meanwhile, it is the job of progressive activists and
commentators to keep
questioning the role of large pharmaceutical companies in
medical treatments, to investigate the social/political/economic
institutions that mandate certain behaviors, to analyze the way
the health
care industry "treats" us and our perhaps quite orderly
responses to the
disastrous disorders we face every day, and to look out for
children - our
most vulnerable social grouping in our market-driven, expert-

The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking
new landscapes but in having new eyes. -Marcel Proust
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said
it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your
own reason and your common sense." --Buddha
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
A merely fallen enemy may rise again, but the reconciled
one is truly vanquished. -Johann Christoph Schiller,
                                       German Writer (1759-1805)
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that
prevents us from living freely and nobly. -Bertrand Russell
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
"Everyone has the right...to seek, receive and impart
information and ideas through any media and regardless
of frontiers."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will
teach you to keep your mouth shut."
--- Ernest Hemingway
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Forwarded as information only; no endorsement to be presumed
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material
is distributed without charge or profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving this type of information
for non-profit research and educational purposes only.

CTRL is a discussion and informational exchange list. Proselyzting propagandic
screeds are not allowed. Substance—not soapboxing!  These are sordid matters
and 'conspiracy theory', with its many half-truths, misdirections and outright
frauds is used politically  by different groups with major and minor effects
spread throughout the spectrum of time and thought. That being said, CTRL
gives no endorsement to the validity of posts, and always suggests to readers;
be wary of what you read. CTRL gives no credeence to Holocaust denial and
nazi's need not apply.

Let us please be civil and as always, Caveat Lector.
Archives Available at:

To subscribe to Conspiracy Theory Research List[CTRL] send email:

To UNsubscribe to Conspiracy Theory Research List[CTRL] send email:


Reply via email to