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Child Drugging Increases In Australia

According to the Sydney Morning Herald a psychiatry professor at the University of Adeliade, Jon Jureidini, is raising the issue of the increased use of psychiatric drugs on children in Australia. The article in question bears the heading, Concern at psychiatric drugs used on children.

This article points out that after the addition of black box warning labels to anti-depressant bottles in the USA there was a 58 % drop in the use of those drugs on children in that country.

Yet between 2007 and 2011 in Australia antidepressant prescriptions increased from nearly 22 prescriptions per 1000 children aged below 16 to nearly 27, data provided to the Herald by the Department of Human Services under freedom of information laws shows.

The use of antidepressant drugs on children in Australia is increasing while the use of neuroleptic drugs on children has doubled in little more than 5 years time.

Last year there were about 14 antipsychotic prescriptions for every 1000 children, compared with seven in 2007.

Professor Jureidini points out that this increased usage has occurred despite the fact that the rate of psychosis among children has not increased so significantly. He offers a prescription of his own.

Professor Jureidini said more monitoring of the drugs and their side effects was needed, along with training for GPs on non-pharmacological treatments.

I’d say that the situation of Australian represents an object lesson that doctors and mental health professionals in other countries would do well to learn from.

2 Responses

  1. That’s a worrying trend but one that seems to be garnering attention before it gets completely out of hand. Hopefully the warnings will be extended. Medications should be labeled like cigarettes are these days, don’t you think?

    “RISK OF SUDDEN DEATH” or something equally catchy like that in large letters should make parents think twice.

    • Good analogy, but SSRI antidepressants have black box labels now, and it’s reported that fully 11 % of the US population are on them. People need to be educated in ways that they are not now educated. A drug company glossy is not the place to find out about these drugs. Informed consent is seldom truly informed. This education must come with alternatives to the present drug, drug, drug paradigm of cough cough care. Much of what people are calling “mental illness” is actually iatrogenic in nature, and drug induced. It is one of the reasons people are not recovering from such conditions. Deal with the drug damage, and you can watch the number of people on disability for a psychaitric reason dwindle. This disability is mostly drug caused disability. Take the drug away, and the disability vanishes with it. When the kind of alarm that has been generated over cigarette smoking has been stirred up over psychiatric drugs, then, and only then, will know that progress is being made.

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