Kids and drugs. Too much, too little?

Palm Beach Post
by Opinion Staff

George Sheldon, head of the Florida Department of Children and families, says that 2,699 children in foster care — about 13 percent of the total — are taking one or more psychotropic drugs. That’s higher than the roughly 4 percent of children nationwide taking such drugs.

Frighteningly, 16 percent of the Florida foster kids given such drugs are taking them without permission from a parent or judge. One such child, 7-year-old Gabriel Myers, who was taking a combination antipsychotic and antidepressant, hanged himself in April in his Broward County foster home.

It isn’t known whether the drugs contributed to Gabriel’s suicide. But doctors have said that such mind-altering drugs, including many common antidepressants, can lead to thoughts of suicide in children and have put special warnings on the medications.

That, in turn, might have contributed to a drop in the number of children and teens diagnosed with depression, a new study says. The danger is that the risk of suicide from untreated depression could be greater than the risk of suicide as a side-effect of the medicine in kids.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Kids and drugs. Too much, too little?

  1. C. Wagner

    “the risk of suicide from untreated depression could be greater than the risk of suicide as a side effect of medicine in kids.” This is the lie. Children are not by nature depressed. Depression is generally caused by underlying issues, emotional, physical, medical and I would say probably rarely from a chemical imbalance needing the antipsychotics and antidepressives being issued to too many children and adults in this nation and abroad. The diagnosis of bipolar, schizophrenia, manic depressive disorder, conduct disorder, and labels such as ” texting disorder”, are labels issued by those who want paid for their services and time by insurance, medicare, medicaid. Unfortunately this is what it has come to. These diagnosis’ would by protocal require a script for the antipsychotics, antidepressants. The bigger issue is the lack of therapeutic face to face counseling for these vulnerable children and adults as a treatment in lieu of the drugs. Where is the support for the children in terms of allowing them the opportunity to work out their issues with a licensed clinical psychologist in lieu of toxic drugs? Where are the funds for this method of intervention? Surely this would be a more effective and healthy permanent treatment with hopeful resolution of the underlying issues causing the depression and behaviors that have caused the need for physicians to prescribe potent neurological altering drugs. Drugs are produced by big companies with big money to market their drugs to physicians, while they advertise on media of the need for the drug for all kinds of conditions. Senator Grassley has intervened with the corruption involved with this aspect of these marketed drugs. Unfortunately many physicians have bought into the easy out of script writing. We need to ask ourselves the following. Do we want a society of mind numbed children taking mind altering drugs growing up dependant on the toxins to function, unable to blossom and thrive with their mind intact, while the pimps get rich?

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