The Over-Prescribing of Psychoactive Drugs to Children: A Scourge of Our Times

by Dr. Ronald Ricker and Dr. Venus Nicolino, via The Huffington Post,

Today, the administration of psychoactive drugs to children (6-17) is all too common and growing at an alarming rate. These drugs often cause the opposite of the intended effect, often condemning children to a life of misery and ill health. The prescription of these drugs is said to treat “chemical imbalances” which were said to cause ADHD, Depression and Bi-polar disorder. It turns out, however, that what we were calling “disease-causing chemical imbalances,” is simply incorrect . The sad irony is, the inappropriate use of these medications is in fact creating different chemical imbalances, which do cause mental disorders, many of which are both life-long and debilitating.

Furthermore, it is now clear that often we are diagnosing ordinary childhood and adolescent behavior as mental disorders (Wait, children are supposed to be bursting with energy? It’s normal for a teenager to be moody and aloof?). This diagnosing is not only based on this idea of “chemical imbalances,” but also a general and pervasive notion that every non-acceptable behavior is due to a mental illness. And last, but certainly not least, the prescribing of these medications by doctors is based on the disinformation provided them by the FDA, drug manufactures and often fraudulent studies, all in the name of making money, on the backs of our children.

In a recent lecture, respected journalist, writer and Nobel Prize Nominee, Robert Whitaker (PBS, Boston, June 15, 2010) highlighted not only the appallingly unscientific methodology used in the development, prescription and use of psychotropic drugs in school-aged children, but also how hopelessly corrupt and failed the systems that should be regulating the safety of medicines are in this country.

Unfortunately, many drug companies exist for one reason: to make money. As such, the people who run these companies have developed a worldview bereft of any more notion of ethics or morality than British Petroleum. Some drug companies’ success is not based on a drug’s usefulness or the safety of its products, but whether it makes money. The path to more money is simple: find new uses for their old drugs, invent new drugs and find new markets for both new and old drugs. Unfortunately, children are today’s newest market.

Click here to read the rest of this article on HuffingtonPost.com.