Stop using Ritalin to drug New Zealand Children sign now

We, the undersigned, are New Zealanders who are concerned about the use of Methylphenidate (Ritalin) and other psychotropic drugs to treat children diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). We believe there are serious issues related to the administration of Methylphenidate, and that steps should be taken to stop, or at least drastically reduce, the administration of this drug to children.

These issues include but are not limited to:

1) There are a number of potential adverse side effects associated with Methylphenidate. These can include: Psychosis (mania), depression, insomnia, agitation, social withdrawal, stunted growth and sometimes even death (this is by no means an exhaustive list). It is unacceptable that a drug with such damaging side effects should be given to children.

2) Children who are simply creative, energetic, bored, gifted or suffering from emotional stress are often falsely diagnosed with ADHD and put on Methylphenidate. There is no medical test for ADHD, and there is debate as to whether the condition even exists. It is unacceptable that many children administered Methylphenidate have no mental condition, and are often normal, spirited children.

3) There are serious ethical questions about administering mind altering substances of any kind to children.

4) Methylphenidate is not always used by the intended recipients. There have been instances of the drug being stolen from schoolchildren who are prescribed it, and sold to recreational drug users (often other schoolchildren). There are also instances of parents who have their child prescribed Methylphenidate, then either take it themselves for the purposes of recreational drug use or sell it on the black market. The prescription of Methylphenidate to children is fostering drug abuse problems in the wider New Zealand community. Also, how can a drug in the same group as Methamphetamine (P) be suitable for children?

For these reasons above, we urge the New Zealand Government and the Ministry Of Health to:
- Phase out the use of Methylphenidate completely.
- Failing that, ensure that use is kept to a bare minimum, ensure that it is only used when there is an absolute necessity, and ensure that it is only used as a last resort after all other options have been thoroughly exhausted.
We also urge anyone else who may be in a position to help prevent the administration of Methylphenidate to children to do so.

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Madge IbarraBy:
Technology and the InternetIn:
Petition target:
The NZ government and the Ministry Of Health

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