Skip to comments.Psychotropic Drug Prescriptions For Teens Surge 250% Over 7 Year Period
Posted on 01/04/2006 10:39:59 PM PST by neverdem
Psychotropic drug prescriptions for teenagers skyrocketed 250 percent between 1994 and 2001, rising particularly sharply after 1999, when the federal government allowed direct-to-consumer advertising and looser promotion of off-label use of prescription drugs, according to a new Brandeis University study in the journal Psychiatric Services.
This dramatic increase in adolescent visits to health care professionals which resulted in a prescription for a psychotropic drug occurred despite the fact that few psychotropic drugs, typically prescribed for ADHD, depression and other mood disorders, are approved for use in children under 18. The study is one of the first to focus on prescriptions to adolescents, rather than children in general.
The study shows that by 2001, one in every ten of all office visits by teenage boys led to a prescription for a psychotropic drug. Other findings in the study show that a diagnosis of ADHD was given in about one-third of office visits during the study period. Also, between 14 and 26 percent of visits in which psychotropic medications were prescribed did not have an associated mental health diagnosis, said lead author Professor Cindy Parks Thomas, an expert on prescription drug trends, at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management.
"There is an alarming increase in prescribing these drugs to teens, and the reasons for this trend need further scrutiny," said Thomas. "Our study suggests a number of factors may be particularly important to assess, including the impact of direct-to-consumer advertising and other marketing strategies."
Additional factors likely fueling the trend, noted by the authors, include greater acceptance among physicians and the public of psychotropic drugs, the advent of new medications with fewer side effects, increased screening for mental health disorders, and patient demand for such drugs. Nevertheless, the study noted that overall, pharmaceutical companies increased their spending on television advertising six fold, to $1.5 billion, between 1996 and 2000, with the trend accelerating after 1997, when the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act was passed.
However, at the same time teenagers were being prescribed more psychotropic drugs than ever before, other prescription drugs taken by adolescents were trending down, said Thomas. For example, the use of antibiotics, the most widely prescribed drugs for teenagers, fell dramatically in response to widespread public educational campaigns about the dangers of antibiotic resistance due to overuse of these drugs.
"The dramatic increase in prescribing of psychotropic medications is of considerable concern, particularly because these medications are not without risks," Thomas said.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
As if they weren't confused enough already.
when the federal government allowed direct-to-consumer advertising and looser promotion of off-label use of prescription drugs
Well, how about letting pharmacies sell directly to consumers? Or should we continue to restrict liberty for the 'public saftey'.
America's children are suffering from a nation gone mad with "legal" immorality of every kind, divorced parents, substance abuse, a lack of parental/teacher authority, violence glorified in tv/videos/movies, pressure to have sex by age 12, Satanic worship, body piercings, homosexual deviancy being almost worshipped by society, and worst of all from living in a country where God's name is prohibited by the state. In other words children are being raised in the chaos that State atheism has fostered. And the best answer they can find for our children is to feed them psyotropic drugs.
I see we are creating our very own "THX-1138" society.
Children are often inconvenient. And besides, aren't you curious about the long term effects of complex compounds on developing brains? It could be interesting.
I think I'd rather trust the long term effects of the tried and true methods of appropriately applied butt whuppings, thoughtful listening, conscientious guidance and lots of hugs.
Well, thank God for this bit of good news!
What fun is that? You have to be pro-active and pour as many combinations of pharmaceutical compounds into the system as possible. I mean, the kid should have more drugs that Courtney Love's purse on a Saturday night.
That only works until they're 18 or so, then they become labeled "addicts" and get sent to rehab or jail for continuing to "need" their drugs.
Yeah, well, every bit helps.
Many elementary-aged children have been helped immeasurably by Ritalin. However, we have done nothing to alleviate the overuse of Flintstone multivitamins. I'm contacting my lawmakers tomorrow!
If we can stamp out the use of antibiotics in teens, while simultaneously increasing the use of antidepressants., we can surely tackle this problem.
Anti-biotics were becoming a big problems. They were building better germs through over-prescription. Mis-use of
drugs were responsible for building the super strains of TB.
A lot of kids truly in need have been helped by ritalin, but it's hugely over-prescribed. The prescriptions for ritalin is in the millions. If a kid is unruly, they jam a pill down their throat. Now, they've started giving kids Prozac.
Maybe it's different in other parts of the country, but in NYC there are giant numbers of people medicated through prescription drugs for vague anxiety, depression etc. Added to that the folks who self-medicate with pot and alcohol on a regular basis.
I know...I hope you know I was kidding! It's absolutely hideous, what they are doing.
They report with glee that they have dramatically lowered antibiotic prescriptions, and if my experience is any indication...many of the denied patients actually need antibiotics.
Meanwhile, they are ramping up the psychotropic drugs.
If anyone needs mental evaluation, it is the medical establishment that is fostering this travesty.