Abuse of ADHD Drugs II

Lead: The increase in the diagnosis of children with A.D.H.D. has led to an increase in the abuse of the drugs used to treat the disorder.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: During the first two decades of the twenty-first century, children and young adults have presented Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (A.D.H.D.) in increasing numbers. The abusive use of those drugs used to treat A.D.H.D has seen a parallel increase during this period. Adderall, Adderall XR, Ritalin, and Vyvance are the primary medications in combatting the disorder as well as being the drugs of choice in enhancing recreational pleasure, academic and athletic performance. In the 2012 Stolz study almost 5% of eighth graders, 8.5% of tenth graders, and at least 10% of twelfth graders have used Adderall with or without a prescription. An estimated 25% of college students admit to an illicit use of the drug to help them focus on their academic work, particularly as they face end of semester deadlines. Often in the past students accessed University health clinics which were easier to engage than an outside psychiatrist, but as abuse has grown, Universities have become much more restrictive, making students undergo a lengthy process prior to prescription and including contracts promising not to sell or share their pills with friends.

Abuse of ADHD Drugs I

Lead: In recent years an increasing number of children have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (A.D.H.D.). With that increase has come abuse.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder. Scientists are not 100% sure of the cause of the syndrome but studies in the early 2000s have indicated that it is a malfunction in the frontal cortex of the brain which affects executive functions such as reasoning, planning, focusing, and problem solving. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, has been determined to be deficient in people with A.D.H.D. Absent sufficient quantities of dopamine, a patient may have trouble with memory and task flexibility. Studies by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that a child affected by A.D.H.D. may daydream a lot or lose important items, make careless mistakes, overdo physical activity, talk a lot and have reduced social skills. Unfortunately, this diagnosis is rather vague since such characterize many young children not all of which are troubled by A.D.H.D. This imprecise analysis is made even more complicated because of the drugs that have typically been used to treat the syndrome; drugs that have led to abuse of near epidemic proportions.

History’s Turning Points: The Black Death II

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. Among history’s turning points: Consider the results of the Black Death.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After the arrival of the bubonic plague in the 1340s, the people of Europe did not know what was consuming them. This ignorance spawned great acts of courage and compassion, particularly among the clergy, but also near barbaric brutality. Many people blamed the Jews, specifically for poisoning the drinking water. Christian civility went out the window and thousands of Jews were murdered. According to one source, 16,000 were killed in 1349 in Strasbourg alone. Many fled to Poland where in the 20th Century their descendants would be consumed in another Holocaust of human origin.

History’s Turning Points: The Black Death I

Lead: Historical study often helps reveal twists in the human journey. We examine history’s turning points: Consider the Black Death.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In early October 1347, a ship left the city of Caffa in Southern Russia, bound for the Sicilian port of Messina. Along with its cargo it played host to its usual compliment of migratory black rats. They in turn were infested with tiny fleas bearing the deadly bacillus, identified finally in 1800s as pasteurella pestis, the bubonic plague.


Lead: As the AIDS pandemic began to spread and claim more lives, the movie industry responded with films that took the level of sophistication to a new height.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: During the 1980s, in response to society’s apparent lack of concern for those suffering from AIDS, activist movies emerged which challenged people indifference and their government’s inertia, such as Target City Hall (1989) and Stop the Church (1990) which criticized the church’s pettiness and sometimes hostility to the victims of the disease. Rockville is Burning (1989) addressed the widespread homophobia which impeded attempts to halt spread of the disease. Sympathy stories such Buddies (1985) and An Early Frost (1985) examined the grieving of the families of AIDS victims as well as creating sympathetic characters in an ‘infected as victim” trope. By the 1990s well-developed characters such as the lawyer played by Tom Hanks’ in the award-winning film Philadelphia (1993) created powerful sympathy for those struggling hopelessly against a disease which had only one tragic outcome.

AIDS/HIV in Film I

Lead: In the early 1980s, a mysterious infectious disease began to emerge among gay men and intravenous drug users. It soon acquired a name and found itself the subject of motion pictures.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS crept into the national consciousness with slow but terrifying resolve. This blood-borne virus, HIV, infects and renders impotent those human cells which fight off other infectious diseases such as the skin cancer Karposi’s sarcoma and rare forms of pneumonia. The disease destroys the elaborate defense system the human body has developed over thousands of years and soon tens of thousands of people, beginning with gay men and intravenous drug users, had become infected through blood transfer or sexually transmitted fluids and had little hope for survival. Before a regimen of medications emerged in the 1990s which staved off the disease and opportunistic infections, AIDS had claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. As of the second decade of the 21st century, there is still no cure or vaccine to prevent HIV infection though there are prophylactic medications which if taken help prevent infection in endangered populations. World-wide, AIDS is no longer a gay disease as the vast majority of those infected or imperiled are heterosexual men and women.

Cosmetic Surgery

Lead: Though the dream of improving on nature’s gifts has persisted over the centuries, the modern practice of reconstructive surgery was given new birth in allied field hospitals in France during World War I.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Religious skepticism about human vanity or health concerns have swirled around surgical attempts to re-shape the body. Cosmetic surgery has caused great controversy from the beginning. As early as 600 BC physicians were trying to alter facial or other body features. The arrival of antiseptics and anesthesia in the nineteenth century increased the safety and success of such efforts, but did little to diminish the debate.

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Alcoholics Anonymous III

Lead: Alcoholics Anonymous has helped millions of people kick their addiction to liquor, but like all human institutions, the group is not without its critics.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Since its founding in 1935, AA has shown remarkable resistance to institutional sclerosis. The emphasis on anonymity and local control have kept conflict at a minimum. That said the organization is not without its flaws and it has critics. They point out that AA is beneficial to many individuals, but not all.