More drugs in schools
By M. L. Simon
More drugs in schools
A few columns ago, I discussed some of the aspects of drugs in school. This time I would like to discuss Ritalin. Ritalin is a drug in the amphetamine class. Currently, there are 11 million people in the United States being prescribed Ritalin. Eighty per cent of those 11 million are children. That is 8.8 million children.
Ritalin is a schedule two drug, along with drugs like morphine and cocaine. These are drugs that have medical uses but also have high potential for abuse. Eight million, eight hundred thousand children. Now hold on to your hats. A study recently done at Brookhaven National Laboratories and reported at: http://www.insightmag.com/archive/200110015.shtml has found that Ritalin is STRONGER than cocaine. Eight million, eight hundred thousand children. Today. And we have no idea of its long-term effects on the brain function of children. Some current theories suggest it may make its users susceptible to cocaine or methamphetamine addiction. Eight million, eight hundred thousand children.
Ritalin is prescribed most often for a malady known as ADHD (attention-deficit hyper-activity disorder.) This is a group of symptoms most often evidenced by males and was often called rambunctiousness in former times. The kids just want to run around all the time and have trouble studying. We used to encourage such children into sports and/or the manual trades. But the schools are out of the tradestoo expensive to teach. And you cant get into sports unless you are also a competent academic.
With no place for these kids to get the kind of education best suited to their inclinations and temperaments, they become troublemakers in school. But this is America. In America, we have a technological solution. We have drugs. But not just any old over-the-counter or under-the-table drugs.. We have doctor-approved and pharmacy-supplied drugs. And who gives these monopolists their power? Why, our very own Government, which is trying to protect us from the evils of unapproved treatments. Now its true that many unapproved treatments are harmful. And people do get hurt using them. There are some, however, that do help. But in a free country, government and/or its approved agents should not decide what treatment you might want for any given condition. It is up to each individual to decide. Consult with only AMA doctors if that gives you comfort. But dont give them or the police a monopoly on health care.
The police. In America we have police chasing the two or three million cocaine users, trying to get them to stop using cocaine, while at the same time we have an army of doctors foisting an amphetamine stronger than cocaine on nearly 9 million children. Ladies and gentlemen of the country: this makes no sense, unless you are into class warfarebecause what is mandatory for one class is forbidden to another. This is based purely on the distribution channel.
This is un-Americanabout as un-American as you can get. We are better than this. And we should prove it by ending prohibition. Today.
Dont forget to ask a politician: Do you support drug prohibition because it finances criminals at home or because it finances terrorists abroad?
M.L. Simon is an industrial controls designer and Libertarian activist