This is a continuation of my blog, Protect Your Children from Psychiatric Medications – Part I.
The reason that the pharmaceutical companies want to expand the psychiatric drug market to children is because children are more compliant in taking the drugs than adults. Their parents will make sure of that. When adults take these psychiatric drugs they often have such bad side effects that they will discontinue them. Expanding psychiatric marketing to children provides the drug companies with an increased revenue stream.
Psychiatric drugs cost the patient between $3 and $14 per day depending upon the brand name. In 2008 sales in the U.S of psychiatric drugs was $40.3 billion. The breakdown was $9.6 billion for antidepressants, $11.3 for antiseizure drugs that were often given off label for psychiatric use, $4.8 billion for ADD drugs and $14.6 billion for antipsychotic drugs. $40.3 billion for psychiatric drugs is not chump change. Over $9 billion of this was spent on psychiatric drugs for children.
Using the state school systems, the federal and state governments, under the guise of preventative health, screen children for mental health issues, asking them questions that would determine whether or not they need mental health services and psychiatric medication.
Here is a sampling of their questions:
1) Have you often felt very nervous or uncomfortable when you have been with a group of children or young people, say, in the cafeteria or at a party?
2) Has there been a time when nothing was fun for you and you weren’t interested in anything?
3) Has there been a time when you had less energy than usual?
4) Has there been a time when you felt you couldn’t do anything well or that you weren’t good-looking or as smart as other people?
It seems that most children, and adults too, would answer yes. Who hasn’t felt that way at one time or another? These are normal feelings. These ridiculous, leading questions are being used as a guideline for determining if a child has mental health issues and if they should be prescribed psychiatric drugs.
Even in the psychiatric community there are substantial differences in opinion as to what actually defines mental health and mental illness. With children it is even more complex since they are developing quite rapidly and do not stay the same long enough to make a stable measurement.
The psychiatric drugs are often promoted by drug companies to physicians to be given for off-label use to children. Drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for specific medical indications. While doctors may prescribe a drug for an off-label use, drug companies are prohibited by law from promoting off-label use to physicians. Yet, they do this all the time and when caught they simply settle with the federal and state governments for hundreds of millions and billions of dollars. The pharmaceutical companies consider this the cost of doing business.
In his book, The Emperor’s New Drugs, Exploding the Antidepressant Myth, Irving Kirsch, Ph.D. documents that antidepressants are no more effective than placebo sugar pills. Dr. Kirsch is a professor at Harvard Medical School and appeared on CBS 60 Minutes on February 18, 2012 to discuss his blockbuster book. Click here to view Dr. Kirsch’s interview.
Sadly, there has been a substantial increase in the prescriptions of psychiatric drugs to children and teenagers. The antidepressants carry the black box warning for those under 24 years of age that they cause an increased risk of suicidal ideas and actions.
Christians believe in the doctrine of Original Sin. The bible teaches that we are all sinners who need redemption. Children and teenagers need the guidance of their parents who should instill them with Christian values and provide them with appropriate structure and discipline. Children need the affection, affirmation, approval, companionship and love of their parents, not psychiatric drugs.
The American fast food diet, which is loaded with stimulants, sugar, dyes and chemicals can adversely affect the brain chemistry and cause children and adults to misbehave or function poorly.
Birth control pills are drugs that counterfeit natural occurring hormones. In teenage girls, and in any woman, birth control pills can cause a host of emotional problems which are often then treated with antidepressants. This only compounds the problem.
Constitutionally, it is not the responsibility of the public schools and the state and federal governments to conduct mental health screenings on children. These screening programs, which have been promoted by the pharmaceutical companies, have caused parents to be coerced to allow their children to be prescribed psychiatric drugs.
What You Can Do:
1) Tell Congress to eliminate funding for mental health screening.
2) Tell your school board members that you do not want the schools to have mental health screening.
3) Tell your state legislators to oppose all funding for mental health screening in schools.
4) Be on the alert to block any mental health tests from being integrated with academic standards.
5) Work for legislation that prohibits children from being required to take a mental health screening test.
6) Clean up your family’s eating program. Eat healthy. Eat to live.
7) Spend time with your children. Read to them from classic books that teach them morals and right living.
8) Most behavior problems are best remedied by love and affection, interest in what your children are interested in, physical work, structure, and discipline. Drugs can mask the real problems.
Steven F. Hotze, M.D.