Abusing Ritalin; Intentional Childlessness on the Rise

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December 1, 2000

Children across the U.S. are abusing the usage of Ritalin and other drugs that treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Federal officials have begun an investigation of public elementary and secondary schools where evidence of theft, trade and sale of the drug has been growing. According to a survey of teenagers, Ritalin, sometimes called “skittles” or “smarties” because of its pastel color, is often crushed and snorted, popped or injected for a high. In Chicago, two 14-year-olds transferred schools after being threatened by other students for their medication. U.S. Drug Enforcement officials have observed children selling or giving their pills to classmates after pretending to take it. Adults are also misusing the drug. One school principal has been convicted of stealing the drug, and several school officials have been questioned. Rep. Henry Hyde said, “Virtually every data source available confirms what the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, state and local law enforcement, and various media outlets have documented: widespread theft, diversion and abuse of Ritalin and drugs like it, within the public schools throughout the country.” He is hopeful that the report from the General Accounting Office “will help us not only learn more about this problem, but will also point us in the right direction as we in Congress consider ways in which to address it.”

Intentional Childlessness On the Rise
According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, intentional childlessness in American women increased 19 percent in 1998, and is on the up rise. Many women are beginning to view parenthood as a disruption and cause of too much change in their lives. But Janice Shaw Crouse, senior fellow of the Beverly LaHaye Institute, believes “Feminism sold women a dream of having it all, and there was no mention of the price tag they’d have to pay.” Cheryl Wetzstein quoted Allan C. Carlson, president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, in an article she wrote in the Washington Times saying, “For many young women, getting an education and carving out a career take priority over getting married and having babies. It’s also harder than before for a married couple to get by on one income, thus discouraging childbearing.” “Women may pay a hidden cost if they chase the ‘right’ dreams at the wrong stage of life”, says Crouse.

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