skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 163349 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Methylphenidate (A Background Paper)
Corporate Author: Drug Enforcement Admin
US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: Drug Enforcement Admin
Springfield, VA 22152
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: Drug Enforcement Admin
US Dept of Justice
8701 Morrissette Drive
Springfield, VA 22152
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Methylphenidate, structurally and pharmacologically similar to the amphetamines, is generally prescribed in the United States for the treatment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) and narcolepsy.
Abstract: About 85 to 90 percent of all prescriptions for methylphenidate in the United States are written for young children and adolescents for the treatment of ADHD. Methylphenidate is available as the brand name product, Ritalin, and as a generic product. The use of methylphenidate in the United States has increased dramatically in recent years, and this increase contrasts sharply with medical practice trends in the rest of the world. According to 1993 United Nations statistics on psychotropic drugs, the United States produces and consumes five times more methylphenidate than the rest of the world combined. Internationally, methylphenidate is listed in Schedule II of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, along with amphetamine and methamphetamine. Under treaty obligations, the United States must provide data to the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board on the production, distribution, and consumption of methylphenidate. Because the United States prescribes methylphenidate in significant volume, support and advisory groups need to play an important role in the distribution of information about ADHD and its treatment. Of particular concern is that ADHD literature prepared for public consumption does not address the potential or actual abuse of methylphenidate. Instead, methylphenidate is routinely portrayed as a benign, mild substance that is not associated with abuse or serious side effects. In reality, however, the scientific literature indicates that methylphenidate shares the same abuse potential as other Schedule II stimulants. Further, case reports document that methylphenidate abuse can lead to tolerance and severe psychological dependence. Industry practices associated with the manufacture and distribution of methylphenidate are examined, along with current public health concerns over the drug. 112 references, 67 footnotes, 2 tables, and 2 figures
Main Term(s): Drug abuse
Index Term(s): Amphetamines; Attention deficit disorder (ADD); Drug manufacturing; Drug treatment; Neurological disorders; Prescription drugs; United Nations standards; United States of America; US/foreign comparisons
Note: DCC
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.