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Poor Children Likelier to Get Antipsychotics
NY Times ^ | December 12, 2009 | DUFF WILSON

Posted on 12/12/2009 5:07:16 PM PST by neverdem

New federally financed drug research reveals a stark disparity: children covered by Medicaid are given powerful antipsychotic medicines at a rate four times higher than children whose parents have private insurance. And the Medicaid children are more likely to receive the drugs for less severe conditions than their middle-class counterparts, the data shows...

--snip--

The F.D.A. has approved antipsychotic drugs for children specifically to treat schizophrenia, autism and bipolar disorder. But they are more frequently prescribed to children for other, less extreme conditions, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, aggression, persistent defiance or other so-called conduct disorders — especially when the children are covered by Medicaid, the new study shows.

Although doctors may legally prescribe the drugs for these “off label” uses, there have been no long-term studies of their effects when used for such conditions.

The Rutgers-Columbia study found that Medicaid children were more likely than those with private insurance to be given the drugs for off-label uses like A.D.H.D. and conduct disorders. The privately insured children, in turn, were more likely than their Medicaid counterparts to receive the drugs for F.D.A.-approved uses like bipolar disorder.

Even if parents enrolled in Medicaid may be reluctant to put their children on drugs, some come to rely on them as the only thing that helps.

“They say it’s impossible to stop now,” Evelyn Torres, 48, of the Bronx, said of her son’s use of antipsychotics since he received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder at age 3. Seven years later, the boy is now also afflicted with weight and heart problems. But Ms. Torres credits Medicaid for making the boy’s mental and physical conditions manageable. “They’re helping with everything,” she said.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antipsychotics; disorders; federalspending; health; medicaid; medicine; mentalhealth; poverty; psychiatry
Bipolar disorder at age 3???

Broadened Use Of Atypical Antipsychotics: Safety, Effectiveness, And Policy Challenges

1 posted on 12/12/2009 5:07:17 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem
As someone who works with low-income kids who've been taken out of abusive situations I can vouch for the truth of this article's thesis.

Bipolar at age 3? Yup. Don't get me started on the ease with which these doctors give out that diagnosis.

2 posted on 12/12/2009 5:11:51 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (Godspeed, T, on your fourth tour of duty in Iraq.)
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To: neverdem

Some of the parents of these Medicaid children on psych medicines undoubtably welcome a diagnosis of “bipolar” or ADHD in their children.

Perhaps you don’t realize that those parents can receive $674 (or more depending on the state) per month for a disabled child on SSI with an impressive enough diagnosis.

Get 2 or 3 children with those diagnosis, and you aren’t living bad if you have Section 8 and food stamps and other benefits.


3 posted on 12/12/2009 5:15:13 PM PST by I_Like_Spam
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To: neverdem

There seems to be a connection between the government and drug companies. Maybe it’s just incidental, but drug companies want to put kids on drugs probably to sell their product, and the government doesn’t seem to mind going along with it. That’s the future of health care: a nation of drugged up kids. Anti-psychotics, by the way, are themselves psychotic. They improve severe cases of psychosis, but where no psychosis exists they create one.


4 posted on 12/12/2009 5:20:52 PM PST by Telepathic Intruder (The right thing is not always the popular thing)
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To: Darkwolf377

*cough* kickbacks *cough*


5 posted on 12/12/2009 5:21:57 PM PST by darkangel82 (I don't have a superiority complex, I'm just better than you.)
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To: Darkwolf377
Bipolar at age 3?

Definitely. I see them as well. And there is also a population of kids who may not meet all of the criteria for diagnosis, but have enough symptoms that it makes it pretty clear they are headed there.

6 posted on 12/12/2009 5:24:07 PM PST by Born Conservative ("I'm a fan of disruptors" - Nancy Pelosi)
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To: neverdem

Makes sense: The poor are more likely to be Democrats, and children exposed to Democrats are more likely to be psychotic. Of course poor children are more likely to need treatment.


7 posted on 12/12/2009 5:26:57 PM PST by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: neverdem

Well of COURSE they’re going to pump them full of drugs. The left needs to keep the poor dumbed down and drugged up so they keep voting for them!


8 posted on 12/12/2009 5:38:18 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin ( "When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both." - James Davidson)
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To: Born Conservative

While I believe some kids don’t fit the requirements, people believe the false story that other countries don’t have the same level of bipolar diagnosis, when in fact they’re not all that different, and one reason we seem to have more is that it’s simply diagnosed properly here, while in less-sophisticated places they don’t catch it, treat it, or even believe in it.


9 posted on 12/12/2009 5:47:54 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (Godspeed, T, on your fourth tour of duty in Iraq.)
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To: Telepathic Intruder

“Anti-psychotics, by the way, are themselves psychotic. They improve severe cases of psychosis, but where no psychosis exists they create one.”

Interesting statement. I was on serotonin re-uptake inhibitors for seven years (not for psychosis or depression, thank you very much). Since I would not accept any opiates (by choice) I was given an alternative which worked very well. Admittedly, I did not receive any really heavy anti-psychotics, but it was interesting reading the “black box warning” that came with the meds. Who would have thought that a medication to relieve moderate+ pain from adhesive arachnoiditis would carry a warning re. potential suicidal behavior? Fascinating, scary, but no suicidal symptoms developed I’m happy to say.

Interestingly enough, titrating off all of the meds, after a spinal cord stimulator was implanted, left me pretty cranky for 5-6 weeks. I guess the brain becomes unhappy when it doesn’t have the biochemical toys it’s gotten used to. No residual problems fortunately, but just by using this class of drugs you are reminded that it’s not like taking an aspirin every night.

Lord help those that need the meds, but don’t get them. That really must be like HELL on Earth. How did people live without out them 50 years ago? I know, many of them didn’t in the end.


10 posted on 12/12/2009 5:52:21 PM PST by Habibi
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To: Habibi
"potential suicidal behavior", yup. I think 50 years ago they would have just done the opiates. Did you know the Columbine shooters were on ritalin? It's hard to make a sweeping case on that one incident, however; but it's very possible that it was a contributing factor. Psychiatry is becoming more and more dependant on drugs. It's like they say: our technology is outracing our wisdom to use it. We don't know enough about the human psyche to determine all that's normal and all that isn't. Children can be unpredictable, it's their nature. To pump them full of drugs if they do something unexpected is dangerous and just plain wrong. It's harming them most of the time I would guarantee.
11 posted on 12/12/2009 6:10:15 PM PST by Telepathic Intruder (The right thing is not always the popular thing)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

“Well of COURSE they’re going to pump them full of drugs. The left needs to keep the poor dumbed down and drugged up so they keep voting for them!”

- Like the kids in Muzzie countries that recite the Quran 10 hours a day and rock back and forth cross-legged. Wonderful life they have.


12 posted on 12/12/2009 6:27:42 PM PST by Soothesayer9
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To: I_Like_Spam

I agree. This is about making their kids look more disabled.


13 posted on 12/12/2009 6:36:02 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: neverdem
And if they were getting less the NYT would be screech about that as well.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

14 posted on 12/12/2009 6:41:07 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (I miss the competent fiscal policy and flag waving patriotism of the Carter Administration)
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: Darkwolf377

>> I can vouch for the truth of this article’s thesis.

Are the poorer parents less likely to challenge the diagnoses?


16 posted on 12/12/2009 6:47:46 PM PST by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been redistributed. Here's your Change.)
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To: Telepathic Intruder

“......... our technology is outracing our wisdom to use it.”

It seems that this imbalance has always been the case, the ratio swinging either side of unity over the years.

Personally, it is nice to have the gadgets/pharmaceuticals/techniques available, even if we don’t completely understand the organism we’re working on. Frankly, I don’t we’ll ever really understand the organism/psyche. Far too complex, but that is its nature.


17 posted on 12/12/2009 7:18:25 PM PST by Habibi
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To: Darkwolf377

When I worked in patient Child Psych 20+ years ago, the diagnosis was unheard of. We thought we could pick them out, and probably did. I think there still is a hesitancy to put such a heavy duty label on the kids, which I can’t totally disagree with, unless they are sure it’s Bipolar.


18 posted on 12/12/2009 7:29:38 PM PST by Born Conservative ("I'm a fan of disruptors" - Nancy Pelosi)
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To: I_Like_Spam

BINGO
Follow the money. The parent gets the SSI money. The docs/pharmacists get their share.
IMHO many ADHD kids just need a good butt-whoopin’
ALL kids by nature are a bit ADHD. It’s the parents job to teach them to behave as they grow into more mature attention spans. Hyperactive? How about taking them outside and running them around? Nobody does this anymore. Easier to give them a pill.


19 posted on 12/12/2009 7:32:52 PM PST by Sunbunny
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To: neverdem
Yes. Bipolar at age 3.

I question it myself every time I read it in a chart but it is flavor of the week right now.

20 posted on 12/12/2009 7:43:10 PM PST by Volunteer (Though I know that the hypnotized never lie, do ya? - The Who)
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To: Gene Eric

The kids I work with have been taken from their parents for physical abuse and such, so I’m probably not a good source for that kind of information, but you bring up an excellent point. In my opinion, the poorer parents are not only less likely to challenge, they’re quicker to assume their kids have whatever kid’s behavioral issue is currently in the air.


21 posted on 12/12/2009 8:47:42 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (Godspeed, T, on your fourth tour of duty in Iraq.)
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To: Soothesayer9

Lots of similarites there in that cult-like behavior, no? ;)


22 posted on 12/13/2009 6:28:15 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin ( "When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both." - James Davidson)
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