Representatives On The Board


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representatives on the board ritalin

   Parents throughout the country are being pressured and compelled by schools to give
psychiatric drugs to their children.  Teachers, school psychologists, and administrators
commonly make dire threats about their inability to teach children without medicating
them.  They sometimes suggest that only medication can stave off a bleak future of
delinquency and occupational failure.  They even call child protective services to
investigate parents for child neglect and they sometimes testify against parents in court.  
Often the schools recommend particular physicians who favor the use of stimulant drugs
to control behavior.  These stimulant drugs include methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta,
and Metadate) or forms of amphetamine (Dexedrine and Adderall).
     My purpose today is to provide to this class the scientific basis for rejecting the use of
stimulants for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or for the control of
behavior in the classroom or home.
I. Escalating Rates of Stimulant Prescription
    Stimulant drugs, including methylphenidate and amphetamine, were first approved for
the control of behavior in children during the mid-1950s.  Since then, there have been
periodic attempts to promote their usage, and periodic public reactions against the
practice.  In fact, the first Congressional hearings critical of stimulant medication were
held in the early 1970s when an estimated 100,000-200,000 children were receiving these
drugs.
    Since the early 1990s, North America has turned to psychoactive drugs in
unprecedented numbers for the control of children. In November 1999, the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) warned about a record six-fold increase in Ritalin
production between 1990 and 1995.  In 1995, the International Narcotics Control Board
(INCB), a agency of the World Health Organization, deplored that 10 to 12 percent of
all boys between the ages 6 and 14 in the United States have been diagnosed as having
ADD and are being treated with methylphenidate [Ritalin]. In March 1997, the board
declared, "The therapeutic use of methylphenidate is now under scrutiny by the American
medical community; the INCB welcomes this."  The United States uses approximately
90% of the world's Ritalin.
    The number of children on these drugs has continued to escalate. A recent study in
Virginia indicated that up to 20% of white boys in the fifth grade were receiving
stimulant drugs during the day from school officials.  Another study from North Carolina
showed that 10% of children were receiving stimulant drugs at home or in school.  The
rates for boys were not disclosed but probably exceeded 15%.  With 53 million children
enrolled in school, probably more than 5 million are taking stimulant drugs.
    A recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Zito and her
colleagues has demonstrated a three-fold increase in the prescription of stimulants to 2-4
year old toddlers.
II.  The Dangers of Stimulant Medication
    Until recently, no studies have systematically examined the rate of psychotic
symptoms caused by routine treatment with stimulant drugs such as methylphenidate
(Ritalin) and amphetamine (Dexedrine, Adderall).  Doctors who prescribe stimulant
drugs often seem forgetful to the fact that they can cause psychoses, including manic-like
and schizophrenic-like disorders.  Without providing a scientific basis, the literature often
cities rates of 1% or less for stimulant-induced psychoses.  
    The rate of psychotic symptoms that appear during stimulant treatment has recently
been investigated in a 5-year retrospectives study of children diagnosed with Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADH).  Among 192 children diagnosed with ADHD at
the Canadian clinic, 98 had been placed on stimulant drugs, mostly methylphenidate.  
Psychotic symptoms developed in more than 9% of the children treated with
methylphenidate.  The psychotic symptoms caused by methylphenidate included
hallucinations and paranoia.
    When children developed depression, delusions, hallucinations, paranoid fears and
other drug-induced reactions while taking stimulants, their physicians mistakenly
concluded that the children suffered from clinical depression, schizophrenia or
bipolar disorder that has been unmasked by the medications.  Instead of removing the
child from the stimulants, these doctors mistakenly prescribed additional drugs, such as
antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and neroleptics.  Children who were put on stimulants
for inattention or hyperactivity ended up taking multiple adult psychiatric drugs that
caused severe adverse effects, including psychoses and tardive dyskinesia.
    It is time to recognize that the supposedly increasing rates of schizophrenia,
depression, and bipolar disorder in children in North America are often the direct
result of ... more

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Stowaways have been a problem to shipowners for about as long as there have been ships in the sea.  In the early days of sailing ships and looser maritime legislation, this was a relatively minor problem.  This probably had to due with the fact that the ships were smaller in comparison to todays standards, and were comparatively heavily crewed.  Thus the chances for a stowaway to get on board and go undiscovered for any length of time were fairly small.  Also in that age, the concept of "human rights" was not what it is today, and any stowaways that were found often became involuntary members of the crew.  There was, therefore, little incentive to become an unpaying passenger on a merchant ship.  Today, however, ships have become ever larger, the maritime world has become increasingly regulated, and the issue of stowaways has become a major problem.
There are really several reasons why stowaways have become more of a problem.  The real driving factor is really an economic one (Wiener).  With all of the political and economic strife in the world today, there is a huge population of people who are just tired of being on the rock bottom of the economic ladder, and are desperate for a better life in a different place.  This is really the basic reason why someone would want to spend a week or so crammed into a stuffy container or other similarly uncomfortable accommodations in order to get from wherever they are to somewhere else.  It isnt because they just didnt have the money for a plane ticket, but it is the fact that they are being lured by the prospect of a better life.  They are willing to leave their homelands and endure uncertain conditions in order to get there.
There is, of course, the possibility of applying to another country, such as the United States or any other world economic superpower, for admission as an immigrant. This is a very long and difficult process, and the likelihood of actually getting in is slim.  Even if it was possible, few third world citizens can actually afford transportation overseas, let alone find and afford housing, meals, and so forth, once they get there.  The fact of the matter is that may desperately poor people who would like to immigrate to another country simply lack the resources to make the trip legally. Therefore, alternative measures, such as stealing rides on merchant ships, become very attractive (Wiener).
Another component is the ever increasing size of todays merchant ships, coupled with the gradual decrease in the size of the crews sailing in them.  The modern merchant ship has a staggering array of nooks and crannies that are perfect for a person to hide in.  Even with the best crew, there simply arent enough of them to adequately search an entire ship during the short time that they are in port (Wiener).  If, by chance, the ships crew does become wise to some of the favorite hiding spots, the creative mind of a man driven by desperation can usually conspire to come up with something new.  For example, there was an AB on the  LNG Leo (my ship this past summer) that had an unusual story.  He had an acquaintance who worked on a grain ship that had found a couple stowaways buried in one of the holds.  Apparently, they had somehow found their way on board and burrowed into the cargo of grain, breathing through a couple straws that just broke the surface of the cargo.  Unfortunately for them, the cargo had shifted slightly during the voyage, burying the stowaways alive (Pegram).
The container revolution has added significantly to this problem.  Containers are, of course, packed and sealed well before it ever gets near the ship, and they can come aboard full of stowaways without the crew having any idea that they are there.  It is only when the occupants of the container try to get out and get some fresh air or food is it discovered stowaways are on board (Wiener).  Of course, when the stowaways enter the container, they have no idea where on the ship that container will end up.  They could luck out and get in an outside ... more

representatives on the board

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  • E: ritalin E: ritalin ritalin Parents throughout the country are being pressured and compelled by schools to give psychiatric drugs to their children. Teachers, school psychologists, and administrators commonly make dire threats about their inability to teach children without medicating them. They sometimes suggest that only medication can stave off a bleak future of delinquency and occupational failure. They even call child protective services to investigate parents for child neglect and they sometimes testify again...
  • P: Stowaways have been a problem to shipowners for ab P: Stowaways have been a problem to shipowners for ab Stowaways have been a problem to shipowners for about as long as there have been ships in the sea. In the early days of sailing ships and looser maritime legislation, this was a relatively minor problem. This probably had to due with the fact that the ships were smaller in comparison to todays standards, and were comparatively heavily crewed. Thus the chances for a stowaway to get on board and go undiscovered for any length of time were fairly small. Also in that age, the concept of human righ...
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