The Daily Dose - The Over Prescribing of Our Children

ADHD, Academics and Psycho Actives Drugs:  How Doctors are using ADD & ADHD To Turn Children Into Drug Addicted Zombies

When you hear the drug name Abilify it conjures up the image of helping you regain or achieve the ability to do things again. The name has almost miraculous connotations. Other drug names are thought up to have the same effects and even if the name is not so great the advertising dollars and messages portray some of these meds as truly life changing. The problem is that so many of the changes that occur while on these drugs actually change the lives of those that take them in anything but a positive direction. Another striking development in recent years has been the dramatic increase in the prescription of these drugs to children to control behavior. The problem with this is that these drugs carry distinct side effects, create dependency that some experts feel could last a lifetime, and rather than improve behavior, can often lead to worse problems that were initially experienced before starting the drugs in the first place. This is also pretty widespread with some 10% of kids in school using adderall or ritalin without a prescription. Police focus of stopping illicit drugs while legal drugs are so widespread and causing so many health problems that is seems blatantly ludicrous.

The vast majority of shooters that have shocked this nation and the world in the past few years have used powerful antipsychotics. It is legal and approved to use these classes of drugs for diagnoses of bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and irritability amongst other conditions. Some conditions are approved to be treated using these drugs, while other conditions get prescribed these same drugs "off label". In fact it would seem that far more of those taking these antipsychotics are taking them for conditions for which they have not been approved. Even worse, many of the prescriptions are prescribed by doctors that are not even mental health specialists. A New York Psychiatrist, Dr Breggin criticizes these protocols heavily and feels from research that these drugs are damaging the developing brains of young people. He claims these drugs work because they effectively damage the frontal lobe and cause the cessation of many types of behaviour. Whatever happened to activities that give kids an outlet for their energy and creativity. You can easily see a direct link between PE times being cut and hyperactivity levels going up. Coup the kids up long enough and more and more of them will end up needing drugs to stay calm and sitting in a chair all day long.

In an article by Bailey Rahn and Chance Campbell, researchers for All treatment, they spoke of a young girl who found it hard to stay focused at school. Her mother thought she might need to be on something to help her focus. When he stepped out of the office to speak to the mother, leaving music on both he and the mother stood astonished to watch the young lady start dancing to the music. The doctor, being one of the few to have the sense to realize, advised the noter to take the young girl to dance school rather than prescribe her a drug. The girl Gillian went on to become a successful dancer, writer and creator of the musical Cats. Obviously many kids are better suited to a more physically active form of education.

Besides physical problems associated with many of these drugs, antisocial behavior including but not limited to violence is on the rise in those taking these drugs regularly. Many on these drugs develop diabetes and other life threatening diseases. I know personally of two people this has happened to, one male and one female. We try to make round pegged adults and children fit into a square pegged world and when they are unable to do so we drug them. That is a sad testament to the state of our nation and world. College students, striving to perform better and harder are turning to Adderall, another dangerous drug that is actually an amphetamine. It keeps them up without long periods of time while they unknowingly fry their glandular systems, namely their pancreases and adrenals. It is not licensed for sale anywhere but in the US and Canada because of its dangers, some of which include sudden death in rare cases. Frequently those that abuse Adderall end up with diabetes or adrenal disorders. It can certainly be argued that drugs like adderall can yield some academic improvements, but at what price. I would hazard a guess that good nutrition with superfoods and organic whole foods, accompanied by regular strenuous exercise would be a much better approach. This approach can also be supplemented with herbs that help calm the nervous system while recognizing that more fundamental change in the educational system should be a goal for all of our young people. After all not everyone should be expected to sit still for eight hours a day without moving.