July 25, 2002
US Drug Usage Explodes_327% increase in Children
FYI The National Center for Health Statistics analyzed data gathered by the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (office-based physicians’ data). The findings: Drug prescriptions increased 34% between 1985-1999; Psychiatrists had the largest increase in drug mentions, jumping to 178 drugs per 100 visits in 1999, from 82 per 100 visits in 1985.
“Central nervous system drugs had the highest increase for children, up a startling 327%.
This study, as every other study shows that Ritalin was among the most frequently mentioned drugs in this class during children’s visits in 1999.
That is a direct result of the unholy alliance between psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry. They have together concocted a profit-making “disorder” that robs many normal children of a healthy, drug-free childhood. As columnist Armstrong William notes, “Simply, if a child is observed to be acting bored, distracted and/or boisterous in the classroom, he is often believed to be suffering from ADHD; as opposed to suffering from, say, childhood.”
“By drugging these children into complacency, the pharmaceutical companies give order to the chaos of childhood and make lots of money. Just one thing: A recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that the chief medication prescribed for treating ADHD, Ritalin, has addictive qualities and cardiac side effects similar to those of cocaine. Nonetheless, “production of Ritalin has increased more than sevenfold in the past eight years, and 90 percent of it is consumed in the U.S.,” reports Time magazine.”
And thanks to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an experiment is using 3 year-old children to “test” Ritalin. It’s called, Pediatric Attetion Deficit Treatment Study (PATS) The unacknowledged purpose of this experiment is to legitimize doctors’ over prescribing of the drug and to lay the ground for the FDA to extend the drug’s approval to tots.
PATS is an example of how federal agencies whose mission is to protect the public health have become servants of the pharmaceutical indutstry.
US Drug Usage Explodes
Physicians are prescribing medications at a far faster clip than they did two decades ago, a trend that is likely to result in a doubling of drug spending in the next 5 years. Between 1985 and 1999, the prescribing rate rose 34%, from 109 to 146 prescriptions per 100 visits, the study found. All major therapeutic classes, except for microbial agents such as penicillin and tetracycline (which fell 12%) experienced increases during the study period. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Armstrong Williams July 16, 2002
The mental health industry
In 1987, a smoke filled room of pharmaceutical executives invented the diagnosis, “attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”
In a nutshell: ADHD is described as a neurological disorder that prevents children from focusing on a specific task. It is worth noting that there exists no scientific method for diagnosing this ailment. Simply, if a child is observed to be acting bored, distracted and/or boisterous in the classroom, he is often believed to be suffering from ADHD; as opposed to suffering from, say, childhood.
Presently, every public school child is required to undergo testing for attention deficit disorder. The most recent analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1.6 million elementary school children were diagnosed with ADHD between 1997 and 98. By drugging these children into complacency, the pharmaceutical companies give order to the chaos of childhood and make lots of money. Just one thing: A recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that the chief medication prescribed for treating ADHD, Ritalin, has addictive qualities and cardiac side effects similar to those of cocaine. Nonetheless, “production of Ritalin has increased more than sevenfold in the past eight years, and 90 percent of it is consumed in the U.S.,” reports Time magazine.
Lawrence Smith and his wife are deeply sensible about the dangers associated with this powerful amphetamine. They lost their 14-year-old boy, Mathew, after Ritalin treatment exacerbated an existing heart condition, resulting in the child’s death. Smith says he was pressured into putting Mathew on Ritalin by the school’s social worker. “She said that if we wouldn’t consider getting Mathew on Ritalin for their diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, that social services could charge us for neglecting his educational and emotional needs. My wife and I were scared of the possibility of losing our children, if we did not comply.”
Smith feels that if they were informed about the risks involved with Ritalin or about available alternatives, their child might be alive today.
So who is making all of these ADHD diagnoses? Often times it is school counselors who are not equipped to make mental health assessments. Dr. Mary Ann Block, an advocate for the treatment of ADHD without drugs, warns that most of the schoolchildren labeled ADHD “have never had a thorough medical exam to rule out any health problems causing the symptoms, or as a precaution before prescribing typical ADHD drugs that carry so many risks.”
In lieu of overmedicating our children, might I suggest that we consider a return to parenting? A not-so-subtle example: My father was confronted with several boisterous children who tended toward excitability. That is to say, like most children, our young consciousness raced lightening quick in about 43 directions at all times. My father’s solution was a few stern words and the loud snap of a belt. Believe me, we began paying attention.
Of course, nowadays parents are made to feel guilty for disciplining their children. There can even be hell to pay in lawsuits. So we opt instead to murder our children’s consciousness with medication. Medicate the child whose eyes glaze during science class. Medicate the child who displays a little too much childlike exuberance. Medicate him. Medicate her. Medicate everyone.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 1 million children take psychotropic drugs to help control their behavior. Some of those children will suffer serious side effects as a result of a faulty diagnosis of ADHD. Others, like Mathew, will die.
Against this backdrop, it is imperative that we pass legislation prohibiting teachers and other unqualified school personnel from making mental health diagnoses. Lawmakers also need to ensure that children receive thorough medical examinations to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms associated with ADHD. Equally important is that parents receive full disclosure of the dangerous side effects of the psychotropic drugs being prescribed to their children.
Very simply, our schools should not be co-opted by drug companies. Nor should the minds of our youth be so carelessly tossed on the psychiatric assembly line.
©2002 Tribune Media Services townhall.com
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