The US Drug Enforcement Administration classifies Ritalin and other ADHD drugs in the same class of highly addictive drugs as cocaine, mophine and opium—Schedule ll drugs, with the highest potential for abuse. In addition, 31 drug regulatory warnings and 20 studies have confirmed that ADHD drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta, prescribed to 5 million American children, can cause heart problems, stunted growth, drug dependence, suicide, violence, depression, mania, psychosis, hallucinations and death.
Army leaders are increasingly concerned about the growing use and abuse of prescription drugs by soldiers, but a Nextgov investigation shows a U.S. Central Command policy that allows troops a 90- or 180-day supply of highly addictive psychotropic drugs before they deploy to combat contributes to the problem.
Drug formulary includes drugs like Valium and Xanax, used to treat depression, as well as the antipsychotic Seroquel, originally developed to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, mania and depression.
Dr. Grace Jackson, a former Navy psychiatrist, told Nextgov she resigned her commission in 2002 “out of conscience, because I did not want to be a pill pusher.”