Disturbingly and oddly enough film maker Louis Theroux recently did a television show for Great British audiences on America’s Medicated Children. Ironically, this over drugging trend hasn’t caught on so much in Britain as it has in the states. One wonders how entertaining the drugging of children here must be for inhabitants over there.
He doesn’t seem to be very critical in his reportage of the phenomenon. One wonders whether this trend could eventually prove more catching among Brits given this sort of exposure. Perhaps they want to export the over diagnosis of childhood ‘mental disorders’, and the over prescription of psychiatric drugs. I’m sure someone might be able to make a bundle preying on children and their families in the same fashion that they are preyed on in the USA in the UK if they were clever about it.
On a more serious note, an American writer, Leigh Donaldson, who is doing a series of investigative pieces for The Portland Press Herald, has done a story on the alarming rise of children in America taking psychiatric drugs, Psychiatric drugging of American children is cause for alarm.
Talk about dramatic; doubling in a period of 8 years or so I would call quite some incline!
According to a 2010 study of data on more than a million children reported by American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s journal, the use of powerful anti-psychotics with privately insured U.S. children, ages 2 through 5, doubled between 1999 and 2007.
These drugs cause metabolic health problems, movement disorders, and they have been known to damage the brain. They are not the sort of thing you should be feeding to children, or adults for that matter, if you can help it.
In the 2007 study, the most common diagnoses of anti-psychotic treated children were pervasive developmental disorder or mental retardation (28.2 percent), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (23.7 percent) and disruptive behavior disorder (12.9 percent).
All of the diagnoses listed above are for ‘off label’ or illegal and unapproved uses of these drugs. These psychiatric drugs are typically characterized as treatments for ‘psychosis’.
Poor families receive the brunt of this over drugging of children.
Just as tragic is the 2009 revelation in federally funded research that children covered by Medicaid were prescribed anti-psychotics at a rate four times higher than children with private insurance.
The data indicated that more than 4 percent of children in Medicaid fee-for-service programs received anti-psychotics, compared to less than 1 percent of privately insured youth. Poorer kids are receiving more of these drugs than richer ones.
Isn’t it curious that the ‘schizophrenic’ gene should be more prevalent in poor communities than in richer ones? I haven’t heard it suggested that poverty, too, is caused by bad genes, the way it is assumed that what are referred to as ‘mental illnesses’ are caused by bad genes, but I imagine that that suggestion has got to be on its way.
Filed under: ADHD, Biological Psychiatry, Children and Adolescents, Food and Drug Administration, Health Care, Investigation, Media, Mental Health Care, Pharmaceutical Company, Psychiatric Drugs | 5 Comments »