Dramatic Child Drugging Increase Investigated In Great Britain

The United Kingdom’s Channel 4 News headline spells out the problem succinctly, Number of children on antipsychotic drugs doubles. Channel 4 News is doing an investigation on children prescribed neuroleptic drugs, and they found that over the course of 10 years the numbers of children prescribed these drugs has doubled.

As many as 15,000 children and young people under the age of 18 were prescribed this medication last year. But these figures are only from GP surgeries and primary care trusts and do not include hospital prescribing, which suggests the true number could be far higher.

Apparently the Brits are doing something more about psychiatric over-drugging in some quarters than rustle their newspapers.

The investigation comes as the government announced that GPs could face jail if they are found to be “chemically coshing” elderly patients with dementia. But no mention was made of children and young people in the announcements.

There is also little monitoring of this child drugging.

Of concern to a growing number of experts is the effect they have on developing brains. They said proper monitoring was essential. But Channel 4 News has obtained a confidential report into the way mental health trusts look after children and young people on anti-psychotic drugs. It found there was “no evidence” whatsoever that some young people are being properly monitored.

Awhile back I read about a British director who made a movie shown in the UK on the child drugging craze in the USA. Apparently there is a danger of importing this child abuse to the UK right under the noses of the inhabitants of that country. I have to applaud Channel 4 News for getting wind of the matter. Whatever little may come of this investigation, it has got to be better than complete complicity in crime—-legislated or otherwise.

4 Responses

  1. Another factor here is bad parenting. There are some parents, faced with disciplining unruly children or just simply getting off their backsides and doing some parenting, who would prefer to take their children to the doctor, have them stuffed full of drugs, and be told it’s not their fault.

    • I agree with you on that score, G. M. Although the recent backlash against psychoanalyst approaches would not blame parents specifically, we don’t live in a social vacuum, and we shouldn’t absolve people of responsibility for their actions, even if some of those people happen to be parents. Child rearing is more than a practice, its a skill, and its a skill that more and more people seem to be letting fall into neglect.

      An additional factor is poverty. In the USA poor parents are having their children psychiatrically labeled, and with this labeling comes drugging, in order to increase their government benefits. The parents could think that they have no choice, that its a matter of need, but the kids are the ones who end up being the real victims of this ploy. Once you’ve marginalized them, and taken them out of the workforce, how are you going to get them back in? When stats say that 1/2 of the lifelong mental health treatment cases are diagnosed by age 14, you get a real glimpse into the dangers involved in labeling and drugging kids. Increasingly the kids being doped up and labeled are toddlers, and doing that sort of thing should be criminal.

  2. Is that the case? That 50% of lifelong mental health cases are diagnosed by 14?
    I have a real problem with kids being on anything their need for hasn’t been double-checked, triple-checked and quadruple-checked. There are too many factors involved and children can be too easily influenced to give the answers adults want to hear.
    Drugging them is an alternative to getting to the bottom of what is really going on. It should be a last resort, not the first option.
    I am shocked if your figures are correct. The problem with “diagnosing” children is that this can shape their life path. On the one hand, a child may have a real problem. On the other, a child is handed a reason for their every problem, which can literally stunt the growth of their mind and effectively disable them. They may fail to develop the coping mechanisms of a “normal” child as a result.
    What is likely to follow in all but a few cases is a lifetime of not believing in oneself and the grim probability of disorienting medication, unemployment, hospital stays, incarceration, and any number of social ills.
    That poverty should be a factor in the way you describe shows malfunction at the primary level, which is why stringent controls should be in effect with regards to prescribing children with anything that could potentially interfere with their mental and emotional development.

    Parenting is the most important job in the world.

    • I’m referring to the first sentence in the introduction from an NIMH fact sheet, Treatment of children with mental illness.

      Research shows that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14.1.

      The source for this statistic is cited as follows.

      1. Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Merikangas KR, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;62(6):617-27.

      Yeah, when you let children loose in the world without a lot of parental supervision, problems are going to arise. I think you stated the case well.

      Parenting is the most important job in the world.

      Parenting is a very important job. I couldn’t agree with you more.

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