Author Peter Breggin doesn't try to hide his opinion: the introduction to The Ritalin Fact Book
clearly states, "This book is written from a viewpoint that is critical of stimulant drugs and their prescription for "attention deficit hyperactive disorder." As a medical expert in legal cases against pharmaceutical companies, Breggin has access to information many doctors have never seen, and what he presents is frightening.
After a vivid and harrowing tale of a young man placed on numerous medications that only compounded his problems, Breggin dives into several fairly technical chapters concerning the effects of stimulating drugs on children and how they can actually cause psychiatric disorders. He repeatedly insists that ADHD, which he refers to in quotation marks as "ADHD," can be corrected by improved parenting and teaching styles, and assures readers that a biochemical basis for the disorder is "simply nonsense." For many children this may be true, but the book will be frustrating reading for parents who have been exploring therapy and self-control training for years without positive effects.
While many of Breggin's detailed explanations of chemistry and character are important for navigating the maze of pediatric mental health, his explosively negative style could do as much harm as good. --Jill Lightner
By the author of The Antidepressant Fact Book and Talking Back to Ritalin, a straight-talking guide to the drugs used to treat ADD and ADHD. Known as the "Ralph Nader of psychiatry," Peter Breggin has been the medical expert in countless civil and criminal cases involving the use or misuse of psychoactive medications. This unusual position has given him unprecedented access to private pharmaceutical research and correspondence files, access that informs this straight-talking guide to the most-prescribed and controversial class of psychoactive medications prescribed for children. From how these drugs work in the brain to documented side and withdrawal effects, The Ritalin Fact Book is up-to-the-minute and easy-to-access. With its suggestions for non-prescriptive ways to treat ADD and ADHD, it is essential reading for every parent whose child is on or who has been recommended psychoactive medication.