Ritalin will backfire

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This reference is used to annotate "I would never send my kids to school" (2017) by Piotr Wozniak

The use of Ritalin will backfire in the long term. Like all drugs affecting levels of neurotransmitters, Ritalin will result in downregulation (of receptors) or upregulation (of transporters) that opposes the changes induced by the drug. This will result in long-term dependence. The fiery debate on the underlying causes of ADHD bears little relevance to the fact that dependence and long-term changes in the brain are inevitable.

The massive deployment of Ritalin in schooling has one prime goal: increase compliance in class. When the learn drive fails, when the Fundamental law of learning is violated, Ritalin can provide relief. The effects of the drug will wear off, and, in the long term, the boost to novelty perception will reverse and worsen the hate of school. This phenomenon may, to a degree, be mitigated by the progression of learned helplessness.

Where Ritalin improves "intellectual curiosity", anti-depressants improve "happy mind". We know that the use of both make for a very poor long-term strategy. We would not want to keep our kids on micro-doses of cocaine just to improve their motivation for schooling. The need for the Ritalin industry could be replaced with simple measures like freedom to fidget, move, or exercise in the classroom. In most cases, martial arts or even schoolyard fighting would do more good than the drug.

Twelve months of methylphenidate treatment increased striatal dopamine transporter availability in ADHD (caudate, putamen and ventral striatum: +24%, p<0.01); whereas there were no changes in control subjects retested at 12-month interval. Comparisons between controls and ADHD participants revealed no significant difference in dopamine transporter availability prior to treatment but showed higher dopamine transporter availability in ADHD participants than control after long-term treatment

The above results in the increase in the dependence on the drug:

Upregulation of dopamine transporter availability during long-term treatment with methylphenidate may decrease treatment efficacy and exacerbate symptoms while not under the effects of the medication

Quoted excerpts come from the following reference:

Title: Long Term Stimulant Treatment Affects Brain Dopamine Transporter Level in Patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

Date: 2013

Authors: Gene-Jack Wang, Nora Volkow, and 13 others

Link: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0063023

Backlink: Confusing creativity with ADHD