Skip to comments.Proof Is Scant on Psychiatric Drug Mix for Young
Posted on 11/23/2006 6:09:55 AM PST by shrinkermd
...Bottles of psychiatric medications fill the shelves. Stephen, 15, takes the antidepressants Zoloft and Desyrel for depression, the anticonvulsant Lamictal to moderate his moods and the stimulant Focalin XR to improve concentration. Jacob, 14, takes Focalin XR for concentration, the anticonvulsant Depakote to moderate his moods, the antipsychotic Risperdal to reduce anger and the antihypertensive Catapres to induce sleep.
Over the last three years, each boy has been prescribed 28 different psychiatric drugs.
Sometimes, when you look at all the drugs theyve taken, you wonder, Wow, did I really do this to my kids? said their mother, Tricia Kehoe of Sharpsville, Pa. But Ive seen them without the meds, and theres a major difference.
...Last year in the United States, about 1.6 million children and teenagers 280,000 of them under age 10 were given at least two psychiatric drugs in combination, according to an analysis performed by Medco Health Solutions at the request of The New York Times. More than 500,000 were prescribed at least three psychiatric drugs. More than 160,000 got at least four medications together, the analysis found.
Many psychiatrists and parents believe that such drug combinations, often referred to as drug cocktails, help. But there is virtually no scientific evidence to justify this multiplication of pills, researchers say. A few studies have shown that a combination of two drugs can be helpful in adult patients, but the evidence in children is scant. And there is no evidence at al
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I agree with your assessment. I might add a couple more points* but your comments are right on.
I should ping the list to this one, maybe tomorrow.
*Such as the pounds of strange chemicals now added to food. And the miserable content of what passes for education, actually indoctrination. And the solid ground of culturally accepted moral absolutes that are now swirling down the drain. Sorry for the mixed metaphors.
Sounds like you come from the "drugs are the answer" generation.
R. Candace Pert, the scientist who discovered SSRIs (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, etc.) is appalled that they are in general use.
You hit it on the head.
And these are the same folks complaining about the aging folks and their blood pressure meds. Just who is going to benefit most from a national health plan or increased private health costs? Looks like a level visit to the government trough to me.
As parents and aging adults, they have simply replaced their illegal, "amusement" drugs with legal prescription drugs-for themselves and their children/grandchildren.
Why are we surprised?!
I admire your faith and your willingness to consider all options to help your child. He is very lucky to have such caring parents. I have been in your shoes, and I know it isn't easy. I especially hated those who felt that I was a lousy parent, who didn't want to discipline my son, so I just put him on meds.
My son in now 16 and medication free. (His choice) He is in a private Catholic High school, and his grade average is an 87. (Not perfect but far better than previous) They do grow out of it, at least a little. He still struggles with executive function, but overall he is doing fine.
You are a good parent. There are many parents that would be too proud or stubborn to do what you did. I wish you and your son the best. Happy Thanksgiving.
Lokk, you made an uninformed comment and have been corrected. You know little about the shooting incidents or the problem of psychiatric meds or their side effects. You can stop already with the childish posts.
I've given this example before in discussions about medicating children about a non-med thing ... our school used (they changed this yeaer) Saxon Math, where they'll give kids about 50 equations on a sheet and the kids have a certain amount of time to get them done. Our son always had problems with that because giving him a sheet with 50 equations on it, it just seemed like everything blurred out on him and his mind couldn't pick out one to focus on. The meds helped, but my wife came up with the idea ... and his teachers had no problems with this ... of cutting a horizontal slot out of an 8.5 by 11 piece of white cardboard to where he could lay it on top of his math paper and would see only one row of equations at a time. Worked wonders. His teachers also ... and they've been universally wonderful to work with, I hate to make assumptions but I've always wondered if we'd get the same kind of cooperation in public schools ... will only give him one sheet of work to do at a time instead of multiple sheets, as they do the other kids. When he gets done with that sheet, then they'll give him another one. Again, it's worked wonders. And again, it's an example of the things you have to do aside from meds to do it right, a parent who tells a kid, "here, take your Ritalin and go away and don't bother me," is damaging, not helping, his kid, IMHO.
I said if the juvenile murderers weren't on medication, people would say they should have been.
Read posts 11, 17, 18 & 27. All are saying that the murderers were on medication, implying that the medication had something to do with the actions.
So, if the murderers weren't on medication they should have been. If they were on medication, then that's what caused it.
You are describing my middle son. We always laugh that he is in his own universe. He seemed to blossom once he got to the 7th grade. He is a freshman this year and is doing great. I believe your son will grow out of the need for meds. You and your family sound like you made your decision with great care. Unfortunately alot of people would rather medicate than parent. I talk to parents who say their kids are ADD and ADHD like it some sort of badge of honor.
In truth, I come from the "swift kick to the pants is the answer" generation.
"R. Candace Pert ... is appalled that they are in general use."
Fine. And for all those who are similarly appalled, then STFU when these kids commit crimes and you wonder aloud why the parents weren't medicating them for their "obvious psychological problems".
Monday morning quarterbacks.
Gee, I guess so. You wouldn't dare be so hypocritical to say that I'm uninformed if you weren't.
If those murdering juveniles weren't on meds, you'd be the first in line to say they should have been -- and you know it.
Someone told me one time that ADD is mis-named. There is no deficit of attention, there is too much attention. True ADD kids are attentive to everything. This is why a page with 50 math problems or 5 worksheets is overwhelming. They can't zero in on just one thing, when there is so much out there.
There are many ways to assist these children in classrooms and it varies for the child. We are lucky to have a private school that works with us and it sounds like you are too. Modifications are just as important as the medication, and they are enough for some children. We tried that, and had a little success, but not enough. Finally, a teacher told me that it was like our son was trying to run a very important race, with a broken leg. We would get him treatment for a broken bone, why not his attention issues.
Medication is definately overused, which is sad. But, there are still some kids that NEED it to succeed or even survive in a classroom. It is just as unfair to prevent those kids from receiving medication, as it is to medicate children that don't need it.
Drugs are more likely to cause "obvious psychological problems" than cure them.
So, what drugs do you have your kids on?
His teacher described some of the problems our son had been having ... her constant refrain was "he's just not with me" ... and then got some literature about ADD and there were I think 13 signs of it and our son was 13 for 13. The teacher and principal said they were not trying to influence us to medicate our child, that they would absolutely work with us whatever we chose to do, but that they thought we needed this information.
Then we spoke with our Sunday School teacher who had an ADD child who was on Ritalin through high school (and is now, FYI, a sergeant in the Air Force and the crew chief on a bomber, so the tale that the military won't take you if you have taken ADD or ADHD meds in the past is an urban legend at least in his case; that's an awful expensive looking airplane that he's standing on top of in the photo that's prominently displayed in his parents' house, and as crew chief is responsible for the maintenance of).
She told us, basically, this is something that you can't diagnose by seeing, but that you can't diagnose high blood pressure by seeing either, yet people take the doctor's word and undergo treatment for high blood pressure, so we should not be afraid of meds.
So we contacted a doctor, who turned out to be another wonderful person and who, as I said, stressed up front that the meds are not a magic bullet and that we were going to have to work our tails off in other ways to deal with this. And in hindsight, we are absolutely convinced that we did the right thing for our child.
If that's what you believe, I have no problem with that.
I'm assuming, therefore, that you're not one of those who complain that the parents should have been medicating their child ... after the child kills or injures someone.
That is worse than irresponsible, it is criminal. How many adults could be given all those different drugs without harm? And children, who are still developing, can somehow be given all these drugs and it will help them? How many people have cognitive difficulties or problems with behavior throught life because they were given potent drugs as children?
Your ego is out of control. You made a mistake and should have just acknowledged it and moved on. Now you are reduced to writing absurd counterfactual posts regarding people you don't know.
The info is from Drug Awareness.org. It's a Scientology front.