Ritalin Foe Advocates, Sells Ephedra for Children 

Ritalin Foe Advocates, Sells Ephedra for Children 
Posted by FoM on June 17, 2000 at 22:06:52 PT
By Guy Gugliotta, Washington Post Staff Writer
Source: Washington Post
In the beginning, Debra Jones was simply trying to do a favor for a friend, but today she is a leader in the cause of finding natural remedies for the childhood maladies known as attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.It is a fertile and growing field. Her organization, Parents Against Ritalin, is a rallying point for opposition to the leading prescription treatment for ADD and ADHD, and interest is "like never before," she said.
Parents Against Ritalin, as its Web site attests, advocates "natural alternatives" for treating ADD and ADHD, including herbal and dietary supplements. "Our organization does not endorse or recommend any product, company, service or physician," Jones said. "We're not hooked up with a company."But Jones is. Since about the time she founded Parents Against Ritalin in Claremore, Okla., in 1995, Jones has served as an independent distributor for the Utah-based supplement company Enrich International.Jones said she is "very protective of there not being a conflict of interest," but in the murky world of health advocacy, disinterest may be a hard argument to make.Jones said she founded Parents Against Ritalin in response to a plea from a friend who had earned the ire of her son's North Carolina school district for refusing to put him on Ritalin. Her friend "had the resources" to win the battle, but others did not, Jones said.On Aug. 23, 1996, Jones appeared on behalf of the organization at a hearing in Austin, before the Texas Department of Health, to speak against a proposal to regulate the sales of products containing the herb ephedra, also known as ma huang.Enrich had a half-dozen speakers at the hearing, for while it makes only three products for children  a nutritional drink mix, an echinacea product and a tranquilizer using the sleep aid valerian  it produces a full line of adult supplements, including ephedra, usually marketed as a fat-burner or energy-booster.And in 1996, Enrich was actively promoting ephedra as a remedy for children's ADHD. Its in-house magazine at the end of that year included testimonials from parents who had successfully treated their children with Enrich products, among them "Spark"  each capsule of which contains 204 milligrams of ephedra.Ephedra is the most controversial supplement in the industry, linked by the Food and Drug Administration to 685 cases of serious illness and 39 deaths in six years, and is the subject of an ongoing battle between the supplement industry and would-be regulators in the federal and state governments.Jones discounts ephedra's reputation for serious side effects, including insomnia, nervousness, hypertension, seizures, stroke and death. "Often, when you investigate the details, you find that use of ephedra was only one of many contributing elements," she said.And in Austin, Jones made the case for ephedra as a Ritalin substitute: "It saddens me to think that we would live in a society today that would prefer to . . . drug our children than allow them to have the freedom to grow and to flourish naturally with herbal supplementation."Jones had no science to support her statement. Instead, she said, she relied on the endorsements of her members: "Parents have gotten in touch with us, and say they have gotten great results."Later that day, Jones and some anti-Ritalin parents joined ephedra company lobbyists in a meeting with Ron Lindsey, Gov. George W. Bush's health adviser."They made the most impressive case I ever heard," said North Carolina-based health consultant Clinton Ray Miller, who represented Enrich and other companies at the meeting.Enrich, now a subsidiary of the Dutch nutritional giant Royal Numico, makes no claims regarding ephedra's use as a treatment for ADD or ADHD. Chief Operating Officer David Mastroiani, who joined Enrich in 1999, said he is "much more conservative with children and herbs." He noted that company lawyers are supposed to approve all promotional literature used by distributors.Three times  in 1996, 1998 and 1999  the Texas Board of Health proposed a rule making ephedra products available by prescription only; three times, in the face of fierce industry opposition, the board allowed the effort to die.Jones did not return to Texas's fight over ephedra after 1996, but her support for ephedra as an ADD and ADHD treatment remains unshaken. "You wouldn't think you would give an ADHD child a stimulant such as Ritalin (or ephedra) to calm them down and/or increase their focus, but in many children that's exactly the effect that is produced," Parents Against Ritalin's literature states.By Guy GugliottaWashington Post Staff WriterSunday , June 18, 2000 ; A15  2000 The Washington Post Company Related Articles:FDA Takes Aim at Ephedra America's Kids are Suffering Legal Drug Abuse Ephedra - Salon Magazine
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Comment #5 posted by karie brooks on August 01, 2001 at 00:35:34 PT
tring to start to get some ritalin f/adhd
hi my name is karie , i am triaing to get some ritalin for my adhd., or a doctor in the high desert who will prescribe s0me for methank you karie.
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Comment #4 posted by observer on June 19, 2000 at 11:55:41 PT
Hi FoM !
Hello FoM! It is always great to post here! I've been in lurk mode for a while, working on a programming project :-)- - -more Ephedra info . . Ephedra Site with everything about Ephedra Sinica / Ma Huang
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 19, 2000 at 09:16:31 PT
Hi Observer and dddd!
Hi observer! Thanks again! I am glad to see you around. I have gotten used to seeing certain people here and if they are gone too long I'm glad when I see them post again!Peace, FoM!
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Comment #2 posted by observer on June 19, 2000 at 07:41:36 PT
Nevada Ephedra (Mormon Tea) 
In this case the Prohibitionists are really fighting against the tide. Ephedra is a kind of sagebrush that grows all over the US Southwest in desert and scrub areas...Nevada Ephedra (Mormon Tea) is so simple to prepare as a tea, too! ``Mormon Tea, Desert Tea, Squaw Tea (Ephedra spp.)In a boiling pot of water, place a small handful of green or brown Ephedra twigs for each cup desired. Cover and steep 20 minutes. Strain and drink. There are many species of Ephedras in the Desert Southwest, but all make a tasty, energizing tea. Southwestern Indians and European desert travelers have long brewed Mormon tea or chewed the twigs to quench thirst and boost energy. Mormon tea is considered a general tonic for stomach ailments and kidney disorders.Note: Those who are sensitive to caffeine should probably avoid this tea. The drug ephedrine is obtained from a Chinese species of Ephedra.''I have a feeling that the more the Prohibitionists rail against plants like ephedra, the more people will use ephedra. 
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Comment #1 posted by dddd on June 18, 2000 at 23:05:35 PT
We Know
The only way ephedra will be allowed,and/or approved,will be when drug companies can corner the market on it.............dddd
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