- "If I had heard that people are dying from
Ritalin, I would have never given Matt the first pill." - Lawrence
Smith whose son died from Ritalin.
- My name is Lawrence Smith. I am here to let you know
about the death of our fourteen-Year-old Son Matthew. He died on March
21, 2000. The cause was determined to be from the long- term (age 7-14)
use of Methylphenidate a medication commonly known as Ritalin.
- The Certificate of Death under, due to, (or because of)
reads: "Death caused from Long Term Use of Methylphenidate, (Ritalin)."
- According to Dr. Ljuba Dragovic, The chief pathologist
at the Oakland County Medical Examiners office in Michigan said upon autopsy,
Matthew's heart showed clear signs of small vessel damage, the type caused
by stimulant drugs like amphetamines.
- The medical examiners told me that a full-grown man's
heart weighs about 350 grams and that Matthew's heart weight was about
- Matthew did not have a preexisting heart disease or defect
that we knew of. We, his parents never ignored his medical needs. The medical
examiner said this type of heart damage is not easy to detect with the
standard test performed, necessary for prescription refills.
- While visiting the doctor with the schools diagnosis
and the recommendation for Ritalin, he seemed very frustrated and asked
us to let the school know, I am not a pharmacy. This leads me to believe
that we were not the first parents sent to this doctor, with the schools
diagnosis and recommendation for Ritalin.
- No one ever informed us of other crucial tests (echocardiogram)
that we could have had done. The standard test performed consists of blood
work, listening to the heart, questions about school behaviors, sleeping
and eating habits.
- It all started for Matthew in the first grade the school
social worker in Berkley, Michigan kept calling us in for meetings. One
particular morning before an IEP meeting, the school social worker, Monica
Fuchs, my wife and I were waiting on the others to arrive.
- Monica made us feel very threatened when she said that
if we wouldn't consider getting Matt on Ritalin for their diagnosis of
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, that social services (child protective
services) could charge us for neglecting his educational and emotional
needs. My wife and I were scared of the possibility of losing our children,
if we did not comply.
- I believe that some school employees like having children
medicated because, it makes frustrated students that are having a difficult
time learning and understanding easier to manage, regardless of the physical
and psychological risks this practice poses to children.
- Not all families can afford hundreds of dollars for a
drug free, private evaluation, so they will not be cornered into medicating
- I am hoping that Republicans and Democrats will join,
to fight this horrific war against the future of America, our children.
- Medical diagnosis should remain outside the realm of
education and stay there. Pressure to seek specific medical treatment is
not the job of the school system.
- We did not want Matthew on any medications, even though
the school social worker or the doctor never informed us about the dangers
of Ritalin. We made it very clear to school officials.
- Informed Consent", which states in part A person's
agreement to allow something to happen (such as surgery) that is based
on a full disclosure of the facts needed to make the decision intelligently;
i.e. knowledge of risks involved, alternatives etc" and "the
probable risks against the probable benefits"
- The violation of parent's rights is when they are not
told of the unscientific nature of so-called disorders such as ADHD or
the risks of the treatments involving (drugs) and they certainly are not
told of alternatives to their child's behavior such as undiagnosed allergies
or food sensitivities, which could manifest with the symptoms of what psychiatry
- If we weren't pressure by the school system, Matt would
still be here with us today. I cannot go back and change things for us
at this point. However, I hope to God my story and information will reach
the hearts and minds, of many families, so they can make an educated decision
with more than a little selective information, if any, paid for by the
- This information could save parents, or even you from
all the suffering and heartbreak the whole ADD/HD issue has caused our
family and many others.
- Please do not be intimidated by family, school staff,
doctors, or anyone into medicating your child for ADHD or ADD. These mental
illnesses are scientifically unfounded with no scientific validity what
so ever. The dopamine theory is nothing more than wishful thinking on the
part of the psychiatric industry.
- I truly believe this must have been Matthew's purpose,
to save the lives of many other children.
- How old will people live after taking these types of
drugs as a child? Every time I hear about a child or young adult that has
died from heart failure, I always wonder if they were ever on a stimulant
medication used for ADHD or ADD.
- If I had heard that people are dying from Ritalin, I
would have never given Matt the first pill.
- Did you know that children that are diagnosed as having
ADHD or ADD and take medication, the school labels them as learning disabled,
and the schools receives additional state and federal funding per-child,
- I wonder if that is one of the reasons why school administrations
is so adamant about medication, and the other would be to keep children
under control, in their drug free school zone.
- One of the very hard things for me to deal with is the
fact that Matthew never wanted his medication.
- How many more 11-year-old Stephanie Hall's and 14-year-old
Matthew Smith's will have to die before someone puts a stop to the biggest
health care fraud ever? How many times will schools and drug companies
get away with this?
- Children, do not need to be made into robots with medication.
I feel that good parenting, structure, diets, and teaching methods can
make all the difference in the world. Different children develop in different
ways; you cannot put children all into one box.
- Did you know that the ADHD diagnosis checklist of behaviors
is almost the same as the list of behaviors for gifted children. www.nfgcc.org
- Did you know that doctor's use to give amphetamines out
for diet medication? They stopped because of the dangerous and sometimes
fatal heart related side effects.
- From the research that I have done on amphetamines, when
they are used, all the veins and arteries constrict and get very small
which makes it hard for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. The
extra force it takes to circulate blood causes damage to the heart.
- Now drug companies have a new market, with new names
for the drugs and have went from adult weight medication to children's
- The DEA has classified Ritalin as a schedule two drug,
comparable to Cocaine. Ritalin is one of the top ten abused prescription
drugs on the streets today.
- There are many other drugs that are given to children
for ADHD with different names; Ritalin, Concreta, Adderall, the list goes
on and on, most if not all are stimulant drugs with Amphetamine-Speed.
- We are coming to a point in our history were children
have been taking these drugs for some time. Now the information is starting
to come out. This is a very sad why for us to find out the long-term side
effects, by using our children as guinea pigs.
- If you have had a similar experience, with schools pressuring
you into medicating your child, Please let me know or place your comments
on the message board.