Cover image for Talking back to Ritalin : what doctors aren't telling you about stimulants and ADHD
Talking back to Ritalin : what doctors aren't telling you about stimulants and ADHD
Breggin, Peter Roger, 1936-
Personal Author:
Revised edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Me. : Perseus Pub., [2001]

Physical Description:
xvi, 428 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RJ506.H9 B74 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Millions of children take Ritalin for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The drug's manufacturer, Novartis, claims that Ritalin is the "solution" to this widespread problem. But hidden behind the well-oiled public-relations machine is a potentially devastating reality: children are being given a drug that can cause the same bad effects as amphetamine and cocaine, including behavioral disorders, growth suppression, neurological tics, agitation, addiction, and psychosis. Talking Back to Ritalin uncovers these and other startling facts and translates the research findings for parents and doctors alike. An advocate for education not medication, Dr. Breggin empowers parents to channel distracted, disenchanted, and energetic children into powerful, confident, and brilliant members of the family and society.

Author Notes

Peter R. Breggin, M.D. is a psychiatrist in private practice in Bethesda, Maryland, where he also directs the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This is a new edition of a work originally published in 1998; several chapters have been updated and new chapters added. The basic premise has not changed: the validity of ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) diagnosis and its biological basis have not been established, and too many children are being inappropriately treated for ADHD with stimulant drugs (primarily Ritalin) whose long-term effects on children have not been studied. The work is well written and literature references are presented to support the point of view. A "conspiracy" theory, not directly mentioned, is woven throughout: the drug companies are only out to make money and they give financial support to groups advocating drug therapy, the National Institute of Mental Health is biased toward drug treatment, and organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics are not willing to criticize the activities of their members. A solution is proposed: support for a class action suit in progress against the drug makers, being handled by the same lawyers involved in litigation against asbestos makers and "big tobacco." Compare with David B. Stein's Ritalin Is Not the Answer (CH, Oct'99) and Richard DeGrandpre's Ritalin Nation (CH, Jul'99). All levels. R. S. Kowalczyk formerly, Ferris State University

Table of Contents

Dick Scruggs
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Forewordp. xiii
Introduction: The Impact of the First Editionp. xv
Part 1 Ritalin, Dexedrine, Adderall, Concerta, Metadate ER and Other Stimulant Drugs
Chapter 1 The Tide Is Shifting: Events Since the First Edition of Talking Back to Ritalinp. 3
Chapter 2 Ritalin Is Not Candy for the Brain: Adverse Effects of Stimulant Drugsp. 28
Chapter 3 Gross Brain Malfunctions and Cell Death Caused by Stimulantsp. 62
Chapter 4 How Stimulants Really Workp. 82
Chapter 5 Vitamin R: The Road to Addiction and Abusep. 94
Chapter 6 "They Never Like the Medication:" How Children Feel about Taking Ritalin and How Adults React to Themp. 109
Chapter 7 Do Stimulants Help Children and Will Doctors Tell You the Truth? What Three Decades of Research Revealp. 124
Chapter 8 Definitive Study or Scientific Hoax? NIMH Funds Research on Ritalinp. 141
Part 2 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Chapter 9 The "Science" Behind Making an ADHD Diagnosisp. 150
Chapter 10 Scientific Evidence for a Biological Cause of ADHD: You Can't Argue with a Brain Scan, Can You?p. 172
Chapter 11 Back to the Future: Psychiatry's Long History of Perpetuating False Biological Ideas about "ADHD"p. 186
Chapter 12 Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers Make the Difference--Scientific Evidence That ADHD/Ritalin Advocates Ignorep. 194
Chapter 13 Physical Causes of ADHD-like Symptoms: Medical Disorders, Drugs, Food Additives, and Other Factors That Do and Don't Affect a Child's Behaviorp. 204
Part 3 The Politics of the ADHD/Ritalin Lobby
Chapter 14 Who's Behind All This?
Part I The Pharmaceutical Company and Its Alliesp. 216
Chapter 15 Who's Behind All This?
Part II The Taxpayers' Moneyp. 247
Chapter 16 Brave New World of Childhood: Growing Up on Psychiatric Drugsp. 270
Part 4 How We Can Help Our Children
Chapter 17 Empowering Yourself As a Parentp. 287
Chapter 18 The Environmental Stressor Checklist: How to Find Out What's Upsetting Your Childp. 296
Chapter 19 Making Ourselves Ready to Help Our Childrenp. 306
Chapter 20 When Adults Are in Conflict with the Children They Lovep. 312
Chapter 21 What to Do When the Teacher Says Your Child Has ADHDp. 320
Appendix A Stimulant Drug Information Summaryp. 334
Appendix B The International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychologyp. 338
Appendix C Ethical Human Sciences and Servicesp. 340
Notesp. 342
Bibliographyp. 363
Indexp. 407
About the Authorp. 431