The Drugging of U.S. Children Continues

By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

According to new research, the number of American children being treated with psychiatric drugs (such as Ritalin) has tripled from 1987 to 1996 and is showing no sign of slowing.

Psychiatric medications are now being prescribed to children and adolescents at nearly the same rate as adults, “despite the relative lack of knowledge about how they are used and how well they work in younger age groups,” according to the research.

In an article published by the Albuquerque Tribune, research professor Candace B. Pert states, “I am alarmed at the monster that Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Solomon Snyder and I created when we discovered the simple binding assay for drug receptors 25 years ago.”

While several of the articles in today’s news are looking to justify the use of psychiatric medications, some such as the Albuquerque Tribune, take a different approach.

Some interesting points include:

  • both Ritalin and cocaine are similarly distributed in brain regions believed to be responsible for reward and pleasure related behaviors
  • The 1996 December issue of Pediatrics, reported that 1.5 million children, ages 5 through 18, were taking Ritalin
  • Also in 1996, the National Association of School Nurses said the number was more like 3 million
  • A Johns Hopkins newsletter now says “over 7 million children consume over eight tons of Ritalin every year in the United States
  • According to the Tribune article, teachers are still specifically mentioning Ritalin by name and asking parents whether they had ever considered putting their child on it. Teachers are not supposed to be suggesting specific drug treatments to parents.

    Washington Post: More Kids Receiving Psychiatric Drugs – Question of ‘Why’ Still Unanswered
    Sacramento Bee: Psychiatric drug use in young is exploding
    The Albuquerque Tribune: Johnny needs attention, not pills and games

    View more than 40 articles related to the use of Ritalin…
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