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sts062finalpaper - Matt Angle STS.062 Our Other Drug...

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Matt Angle STS.062 Our Other Drug Problem Society has long moved in cycles with regard to acceptance of drugs. Not a hundred years ago, in the United States, cocaine and heroin were wonder drugs that were available over the counter at your neighborhood pharmacy. Mere possession of these substances today would likely land you in jail for a not insignificant period of time. In countries such as Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, alcohol was expressly forbidden and carried more severe penalties than cocaine or heroin does here, yet opium was openly allowed to be sold. These lines deciding what is acceptable to society have long been drawn arbitrarily. Today, in the U.S., stimulants are being prescribed to treat a variety of behavioral and performance problems, primarily attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. As a society, we must ask ourselves where this line must be drawn and how much we're willing to deal with. Ritalin, as we know it today, was synthesized in Europe in 1944 in an attempt to create a stimulant without addiction or tolerance. The compound synthesized, methylphenidate hydrochloride, failed to achieve these goals. In 1955, the FDA approved the compound to treat drug-induced lethargy, mild depression, and narcolepsy. It wasn't until the 1961 that it became available under the brand Ritalin after being approved by the FDA for geriatric patients to improve their memory as well as to young children to improve behavior. As of 1971, Ritalin was classified as a Schedule II drug. (Diller 21-27). The Controlled Substances Act, which consisted of Title II and Title III of the Comprehensive drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 established the scheduling system and gave Ritalin and Adderall the Schedule II designation. To be classified a schedule II drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency, a substance must have a high potential for abuse, a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions, and severe psychological or physical dependence when abused. Morphine, phencyclidine (PCP), cocaine, methadone, and methamphetamine are all Schedule II drugs <http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/abuse/1-
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csa.htm>. Adderall is similar to Ritalin. It is also commonly prescribed for Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Instead of methylphenidate hydrochloride, it is amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Both are classified as central nervous system stimulants. They are both prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy. Another use for Adderall is obesity, and Ritalin for depression and cancer induced fatigue. Warning labels reflect schedule II classifications as well as cardiovascular risks (Mosby's Drug Consult). They will be considered the same from here on. Amphetamines' effects on behavior in children was first observed by Charles Bradley in 1937.
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sts062finalpaper - Matt Angle STS.062 Our Other Drug...

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