3 August 2003
"In the Western World, the more pervasive the sickness, the richer the doctors. Hospitals go out of business if their
beds are not filled or if patients do not stay long enough. The greatest economic tragedy that could befall Western
medicine is the total health of the citizenry.
In the East, the old acupuncturists were paid when their patients were well. They would examine and balance their patients at the beginning of each season, four times a year.
Acupuncturists were paid as long as their patients stayed well. If a patient became ill, the acupuncturist would
support the patient and the patient's family for the duration of the illness. For the acupuncturists, the
greatest economic bonanza occurred when all patients remained healthy.
We could structure our social programs so that we rewarded pro-life forces such as health, independence, and self-sufficiency rather than their opposites."
"There is no way a physician can deal successfully with the body without the body's cooperation. The best a physician
can do is get in harmony with the body and to support its healing processes and, occasionally, to delay the body from
destroying or harming itself until it has time to mobilize its healing processes..."
"Externally imposed drugs simply suppress symptoms, they do not heal. Aspirin relieves the "pain" of a headache,
penicillin reduces the "symptoms" of pneumonia. However, the toxic condition that led to the disease remains, and, in
addition, the drug I have taken must be dealt with by my body."
- Will Schutz, PhD, "Profound Simplicity"
During the past week, I've been literally swamped with information people have been sending me about drugs - drugs
that are being used on children diagnosed with 'ADHD' and drugs used to treat 'mental illnesses' generally.
In fact, with so many new documents to read through and to add to my existing dossier of 'ADHD stuff', it's been hard
to decide what to share with you now and what to leave for another occasion. As a result, what follows is not as
cohesive a presentation as I would have liked, and I will more or less have to let it speak for itself, but I hope it
will give you some insight into the dodgy behaviour that's driving the "manufactured epidemic" of 'ADHD' and other
First up, let's shed some candlelight on a drug called Ritalin - the 'treatment of choice' for most children
diagnosed with 'ADHD'. Here's some information on the subject from Dr. Peter Breggin, founder of the International
Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (ICSPP), that will pretty much tell you what you really need to know,
rather than what vested interests may prefer you to know:
Vital Information About Ritalin, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder and the Politics Behind the ADHD/Ritalin Movement Summarized from Talking Back to
Ritalin by Peter R. Breggin, M.D.
For the purpose of alerting the public to the dangers of stimulant drugs, this appendix to Talking Back to Ritalin by
Peter R. Breggin, M.D. may be reprinted without permission in unlimited numbers provided that no fee is charged for the
materials and that no profit is made from the distribution. The source must be identified and the material must be
reproduced in its entirety, including this page.
Talking Back to Ritalin by Peter R. Breggin, M.D. is published by Common Courage Press, P.O. Box 702, Monroe,
Maine 04951. Phone: 1-800-497-3207.
Our society has institutionalized drug abuse among our children. Worse yet, we abuse our children with drugs rather
than making the effort to find better ways to meet their needs. In the long run, we are giving our children a very
bad lesson - that drugs are the answer to emotional problems. We are encouraging a generation of youngsters to grow up
relying on psychiatric drugs rather than on themselves and other human resources.
- Several million children are being treated with Ritalin and other stimulants on the grounds that they have
attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and suffer from inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity. The
stimulants include: Ritalin (methylphenidate), Dexedrine and DextroStat (dextroamphetamine or d-amphetamine),
Adderall (d-amphetamine and amphetamine mixture), Desoxyn and Gradumet (methamphetamine), and Cylert (pemoline).
Except for Cylert, all of these drugs have nearly identical effects and side effects. Ritalin and the amphetamines can for most purposes be considered one type
- The number of children being drugged has escalated several-fold in the last few years.
- Ritalin and amphetamine have almost identical adverse effects on the brain, mind and behavior, including the
production of drug-induced behavioral disorders, psychosis, mania, drug abuse, and addiction.
- Ritalin and amphetamine frequently cause the very same problems they are supposed to treat--inattention,
hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
- A large percentage of children become robotic, lethargic, depressed, or withdrawn on stimulants.
- Ritalin can cause permanent neurological tics including Tourette's syndrome.
- Ritalin can retard growth in children by disrupting the cycles of growth hormone released by the pituitary gland.
- The recent finding that Ritalin can cause cancer in some animals was not taken seriously enough by the drug company
or the FDA.
- Ritalin routinely causes gross malfunctions in the brain of the child. There is research evidence from a few
controlled scientific studies that Ritalin can cause shrinkage (atrophy) or other permanent physical abnormalities in the brain.
- Withdrawal from Ritalin can cause emotional suffering, including depression, exhaustion, and suicide. This can
make children seem psychiatrically disturbed and lead mistakenly to increased doses of medication.
- Ritalin is addictive and can become a gateway drug to other addictions. It is a common drug of abuse among
children and adults.
- ADHD and Ritalin are American and Canadian medical fads. The U.S. uses 90% of the world's Ritalin. CibaGeneva
Pharmaceuticals (also known as Ciba-Geigy Corporation), a division of Novartis, is the manufacturer of Ritalin. It
is trying to expand the Ritalin market to Europe and the rest of the world.
- Ritalin "works" by producing malfunctions in the brain rather than by improving brain function. This is the only
way it works.
- Short-term, Ritalin suppresses creative, spontaneous and autonomous activity in children, making them more docile
and obedient, and more willing to comply with rote, boring tasks, such as classroom school work and homework.
- Short-term, Ritalin has no positive effect on a child's psychology or on academic performance and achievement.
This is confirmed by innumerable studies and by many professional reviews of the literature.
- Longer-term, beyond several weeks, Ritalin has no positive effects on any aspect of a child's life.
- Labeling children with ADHD and treating them with Ritalin can keep them out of the armed services, limit their future
career choices, and stigmatize them for life. It can ruin their own self image, subtly demoralize them, and
discourage them from reaching their full potential.
- There is no solid evidence that ADHD is a genuine disorder or disease of any kind.
- There is a great deal of research to confirm that environmental problems cause ADHD-like symptoms.
- A very small number of children may suffer ADHD-like symptoms because of physical disorders, such as lead
poisoning, drug intoxication, exhaustion, and head injury. Physical causes may be more common among poor communities
in the United States.
- There is no proof of any physical abnormalities in the brains or bodies of children who are routinely labeled
ADHD. They do not have known biochemical imbalances or "crossed wires."
- ADHD is a controversial diagnosis with little or no scientific or medical basis. A parent, teacher, or doctor
can feel in good company when utterly dismissing the diagnosis and refusing to apply it to children.
- Ciba spends millions of dollars to sell parent groups and doctors on the idea of using Ritalin. Ciba helps to
support the parent group, C.H.A.D.D., and organized psychiatry.
- The U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) push Ritalin as
vigorously as the manufacturer of the drug, often in even more glowing terms than the drug company could get away
The material in this summary is documented with citations to scientific literature in Talking Back to Ritalin. The
book also describes non-drug approaches to helping children diagnosed ADHD through identifying and meeting the basic
needs of children, and through improvements in school and family life.
If you want to support efforts to stop the psychiatric drugging of children, and to receive a newsletter, we invite
you to join the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, 4628 Chestnut Street, Bethesda,
MD, 20814. Visit our web site at http://www.breggin.com
For some 'further reading' on Ritalin, there's this article from the July/August 2001 issue of 'Adbusters' magazine,
written by Richard DeGrandpre, the author of Ritalin Nation: Rapid-fire Culture and the Transformation of Human
Consciousness (Norton, 1999):
"The truth about North America's greatest drug problem: Ritalin
On any given day in North America, almost five million kids will take a powerful psychostimulant drug. The geographical
caveat is important: more kids in North America are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and given
drugs like Ritalin to "help" them behave than in the rest of the world combined. In fact, the US and Canada account for a
startling 95 percent of worldwide Ritalin consumption."
Read the complete article here:
I don't think that other countries will ever catch up with the current usage of Ritalin in the USA, but it looks like
some countries may be working on it. This is a quote from an article published in the British newspaper 'The Guardian'
on July 24th:
"New figures this week show that use of the drug given to calm hyperactive children has soared 100-fold in Britain in
the past decade. Doctors dispensed 254,000 prescriptions of it last year, up from 2,000 or so given annually in the
Ritalin has been approved for use in children over five years old who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder (ADHD), but many doctors prescribe the drug - also known as methylphenidate - for children as young as 18
I've discovered something very interesting about Ritalin since I published my Parental Intelligence Report on 'ADHD'
in May. These extracts from articles I've found on the internet will tell you what that is:
"Many professional persons and members of the general public still believe that if stimulant medication leads to
improvement in the child's behavior, it is solid proof of the diagnosis of ADHD and good reason to continue the drug.
What they evidently do not understand is that, as with other cerebral stimulants such as caffeine, the effect is
experienced by almost all who take it, including completely normal children (Bernstein et al., 1994; Rapoport et al.,
1978; Rapoport et al., 1980)."
William Carey, MD., Director of Behavioral Pediatrics in the Division of General Pediatrics at the Children's
Hospital of Philadelphia and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of
Medicine, "Is ADHD a Valid Disorder?"
"People are still surprised to learn that Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta along with all the other new stimulant drug
formulations prescribed ostensibly to treat ADHD, also work in "normal" children and adults. A myth continues, which
began with the very first case reports in the 1930s, that stimulants work "paradoxically" to calm hyperactive
children. In reality, stimulant drugs have the same effect on everybody - low doses (like those for ADHD) improve
everyone's concentration and get people to be more methodical."
Lawrence Diller, MD., "Getting Up to Speed for the SAT"
In case you missed the awful truth, I'll run it by you one more time.
RITALIN HAS THE SAME EFFECT ON 'NORMAL' CHILDREN AS IT DOES ON CHILDREN DIAGNOSED WITH 'ADHD'.
In other words, it's NOT a medical treatment at all!! It's not even a medical treatment - it's not an intended 'cure'
for something - yet it's being administered to millions of children as if it is anyway.
Isn't that incredible? Isn't it just the most amazing insult - that members of the psychiatric and medical professions
and the pharmaceutical industry behind them should regard the general public as so GULLIBLE?!
And to add injury to insult, Ritalin - as we've seen - comes with some pretty nasty side effects.
Perhaps, however, the makers of Ritalin are beginning to pay attention to the feedback on that, at least. I've now
learned that there's a new pill on the block - something that's supposed to be an 'improvement' on Ritalin. It's
called Strattera. I found out about this only a few days ago.
"On November 27, 2002, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Strattera (atomoxetine HCL), a new non-
stimulant medicine for ADHD. This is the first new type of drug to be approved for ADHD in almost 30 years. Unlike
Ritalin, this drug will not be a controlled substance."
Here are some opinions of Strattera, extracted from a website that asks users of the drug to "report all Strattera
side effects here, for the purpose of research, public awareness and safety."
"My child is 15 years old (boy), he experienced rapid heart rate with Strattera, 60mg. He was only on it for about
maybe 2 to 3 months. His doctor immediately took him off this medication."
"...for about the past 3-4 weeks he has had bouts of anger, violence, hitting and screaming. I can only assume it is the medicine."
"My 5 year old was prescribed Strattera for her ADHD. The longer she was on it the more she vomited."
Sue Parry, Director of ADD Watch Hawaii, made this comment:
"All I can say about this drug is at least it isn't a stimulant that often interferes with a kid's sleep and
appetite but it's still just another mind-altering, performance enhancing drug for a disease/disorder that
Here's a further comment from an article called Examining Drugs for ADHD, Particularly 'Strattera' by Reverend Dan L. Edmunds:
"...though Straterra is being marketed in the fashion of being a non-stimulant drug, its ill effects are quite
similar to that manifested by the stimulant medications. Eli Lilly's website notes that growth suppression is a common
side effect and needs to be monitored in children making use of this drug. Loss of appetitite and weight loss is also
seen. The most common side effects as listed by Lilly are upset stomach, decreased appetite, nausea and vomiting,
dizziness, tiredness, and mood swings. These are not unlike that associated with the stimulant medications. Lilly states
in its press release in regards to Straterra's introduction: "It's not known precisely how Strattera reduces ADHD
symptoms. Scientists believe it works by blocking or slowing reabsorption of norepinephrine, a brain chemical
considered important in regulating attention, impulsivity and activity levels. This keeps more norepinephrine at work
in the tiny spaces between neurons in the brain."
If we examine this statement carefully, we see it states 'it is not precisely known', therefore once again a drug is
being prescribed whose effects are not fully known for a 'disorder' whose psychopathology is not yet delineated.
Clinical trials for Straterra have been limited and any information on long term effects has only been studied by Lilly itself.
It seems rather sad that medicine's solution to a problem drug is to manufacture another drug. Especially when it's
for a disease that doesn't exist and it's hardly an improvement anyway. I think the comments on Strattera that
I've become aware of so far - which have been negative almost without exception - will tell any person of average
intelligence everything they need to know about it. I hope so.
If you've read The Parental Intelligence Report on 'ADHD', you'll be aware that inventing new 'diseases' is a favourite
pastime of the psychiatric profession, and the drug companies, of course, love it, for the very reason that new
'diseases' mean new products ('treatments', that is, of course).
Here's a rather telling story that I was pointed in the direction of this week:
From WCA News.com Health Watch Newsletter:
"'New' diseases an excuse for 'phony' drugs, researchers say
Recent changes to the classification of psychiatric disorders are encouraging pharmaceutical companies to develop
new drugs that are of questionable clinical value, according to researchers in the BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal).
Since 1980, anxiety and depression have been split into separate diseases. Drug development has subsequently been
tailored to new "niche" diagnoses such as panic, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The proliferation of niche diagnoses is liked by the industry because it creates new licensing opportunities for phony new
Read the complete article here:
This article was brought to my attention by Dr. Bill Gallagher of an organization based in Scottsdale, Arizona,
called "Run Drugs Out Of Town Run". The purpose of Dr. Gallagher's organization is to raise awareness of and money
for drug abuse prevention, and its focus is mainly on kids including teens. The "main event" is the quarter mile run
for kids of all ages (so far ages 2-73) where everyone who crosses the finish line wins a medal that says, "I'm a
winner, I don't do drugs".
If you want more information or would like to get started on your own event, please email email@example.com
or visit their website: http://rundrugsoutoftownrun.org
Here's an article sent to me this week by a member of A.S.P.I.R.E. This, essentially, is about how a major drug
company trained its sales people to lie to doctors about the effects and side effects of its products in order to boost
"Drug giant accused of false claims
July 11 - The questions began with the confession of an insider at one of the nation's largest pharmaceutical firms.
He says his former company deliberately distorted information about one of its drugs, possibly putting lives
at risk, and costing patients and taxpayers millions of dollars. "Dateline" went looking for some answers and has
the results of a year-long investigation into what may be one of the biggest medical deceptions in history. NBC's
John Hockenberry reports."
Read the complete story here:
This next item is part of an article I found - believe it or not - in a freebie tourist magazine I picked up during my
recent holiday in Queensland, called "What's On in Broadbeach".
"The Business of Disease
The pharmaceutical industry is an investment industry. By its very nature it cannot and will not produce drugs that
prevent or eradicate diseases, because that would eliminate these diseases as a market place for the continued use of
those drugs. This fact is hard to comprehend and even harder to accept. But it is the truth and everyone should know about it.
Accordingly, 80% of the pharmaceutical drugs currently on the world market have no proven efficacy but merely cover
symptoms. As a direct result of this fact, today's most common diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer,
AIDS and many other diseases, are not contained but rather continue to spread despite the fact that effective, non-
patentable alternatives are available.
Students of biology and biochemistry around the world learn about the role of micronutrients for the optimum function of
the cells. Unfortunately, the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on medical education worldwide has such a tight grip that, so far, these scientific effects
have not been applied to solving medical problems. The precondition for the world to enjoy the benefits of natural
health treatment is both the acceptance of new scientific effects and the removal of artificial barriers in medicine
that are economically motivated by the pharmaceutical investment business with disease."
From "The Time Has Come", an interview with Matthias Rath, M.D
I think I'm getting the gist of what the pharmaceutical industry is REALLY all about now, aren't I?
Here are some very revealing facts about the results of the pharmaceutical industry's efforts from Dr. John Breeding of
Texans For Safe Education:
"In 1992, we [the USA] produced 626 kilos of amphetamines, about 1,380 pounds. The quota in 2002 is 13,964 kilos-30,785
pounds. These 15 tons of amphetamines are better than a 22-fold increase in the last 10 years."
"...an estimated 8,000,000 children between ages 5 and 18 were on psychiatric drugs as of 2000, about a 4000% increase
"Drug makers command an army of more than 68,000 sales people, one for every eleven doctors in the U.S."
"Data from the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement in California shows that out of a total of 461,636 children prescribed
Schedule II drugs in the year 2000, 108,244 were under 6 years old."
Russell Barkley, Ph.D, is a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and considered by many to be
the world's leading authority on 'ADHD'. I talked about his work and beliefs in the first episode of The Candlelight Project.
I discovered something very interesting about him this week in another article by Reverend Dan L. Edmunds called Meeting
the True Needs of Children Diagnosed as "ADHD".
"In his textbook, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Russell Barkley, an advocate for the use of methylphenidate
in the treatment of ADHD, notes that there is little improvement in academic performance with the short-term use
of psychostimulant medication.
Barkley also acknowledges that the stimulant medications can affect growth hormone but at present there is not any
knowledge of the long-term effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary growth hormones. Barkley (1995, pg. 122) also
states, "At present there are no lab tests or measures that are of value in making a diagnosis of ADHD..." "
This is from one of the gurus of biopsychiatry and somebody who once said that Ritalin is "safer than aspirin". It makes
you wonder, doesn't it? How stupid must these people think we are?
Anyway, I think that's enough about drugs for now. It certainly seems to me that the pharmaceutical industry is
keeping the 'myth of the magic pill' alive and well in the minds of millions of 'golden geese' all over the world who
seem unable to conceive of a life without a daily fix of manufactured chemicals. Even when - as in the case of so-
called 'ADHD' - those chemicals are unnecessary to start with as well as being potentially harmful.
I'll leave you this week with The Truth As I Know It.
"Your body is its own pharmacy: it makes all kinds of drugs - sleeping aids, tranquillisers, immuno-modulators. Just
about any drug you can name, the body makes by itself. Not only that, but it provides the right drug at the right time,
in the right dose, for the right organs. There are no side effects and all the instructions come with the packaging.
That is a fact, and one that is well documented by science."
- Deepak Chopra, M.D., and Leon Nacson, "How to Live in a World of Infinite Possibilities" (Rider, 1998), pp.62-63