Called “kiddie cocaine” when sold on the streets, prescription stimulants destroy young lives daily.
Street names for Ritalin:
Diet Coke – Rids
Kiddy cocaine – Skittles
R-Ball – Smarties
VItamin R – Poor man’s cocaine
Ritalin is the common name for methylphenidate, classified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule II narcotic – the same classification as cocaine, morphine and amphetamines. It is abused by teens for its stimulant effects.
While the law forbids unrestricted distribution of these powerful stimulants, the sad fact remains that these substances are freely available almost anywhere. “Kiddie cocaine,” as it has been called, is handed out like candy. In some schools, as many as 20 percent of the students take Ritalin regularly.
Its severest effects include nervousness, insomnia, pulse changes and heart problems. In June 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned that Ritalin and its sister drugs may cause visual hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, psychotic behavior, as well as aggression or violent behavior. Hazards multiply as users up their quantity, grind and snort it, liquefy or inject it, and use it along with ecstasy and other drugs. Abuse in larger doses puts stress on the heart, which can be fatal, and injection causes serious damage to the lungs and eyes.
The manufacturer says methylphenidate is a drug of dependency. Children on stimulant medications have twice the future rate of drug abuse. One-third of all child anorexia (eating disorders) are linked to use of this drug, as are symptoms of “obsessive-compulsive” behavior – within the first year of use.
A Texas researcher has also found that after only three months of Ritalin use, one out of twelve children treated with it had genetic abnormalities associated with an increased risk of cancer.