After the FDA approved a medication called Ritalin in 1961 for use by children diagnosed with behavior problems, more than one hundred thousand kids were taking the drug within a decade. By the mid 1980s, one million children were on Ritalin. By the turn of the century, six million children in the United States were Ritalin users. Of that number, nearly half were also being medicated for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Among males twelve years of age nearly 10 percent have been diagnosed with ADHD, which is defined as a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by the inability to pay attention, accompanied by hyperactivity and impulsivity.
What is happening to an entire generation of our children? For one thing, there is evidence that Ritalin use in the long term may actually be exacerbating a condition caused by other synthetic chemicals. A study published in The Journal of Biological Psychiatry found that high doses of vitamin B6 did a better job of reducing hyperactivity in children than Ritalin and at a far lower cost and with far fewer side effects. Yet, physicians continue prescribing the drug to ever greater numbers of kids by telling parents “your child is abnormal and this drug is a replacement therapy,” as though the drug itself were a naturally occurring chemical in the brain.
The Hundred-Year Lie by Randall Fitzgerald, pg. 144.