Educate Before You Medicate
Our society has become very challenging and within those challenges a trend has begun to take hold – too many of our young children are being placed on medication. According to Dr. Peter Breggin, M.D., psychiatrist and medical expert, writing for the Huffington Post states that America is using Ritalin more than five times the usage of the world combined. Ten percent of our nation’s children have been diagnosed as having ADD/ADHD, and for treatment more than 5 million children are using Ritalin or other stimulants such as Adderall, Dexadrine, Concerta and Focalin. There have been yearly reports of children taking more than the recommended dose of Ritalin and other stimulants resulting in overdose, and children aged 6 through 9 are at the greatest risk of overdose.
These statistics scare me and the fact that we are giving drugs known to be amphetamines to our children with growing minds and bodies is unthinkable. In Chapter ten of Dr. Breggin’s book The Ritalin Fact Book states, “no antidepressants are approved for treatment of depression in children because they don’t work and because they cause mental and physical problems in children.” But yet, we are giving this medication to children like we give them vitamins. How can we, as a society, allow this to happen to our greatest asset – our children?
When parents come to my office in search of answers they have either been pressured by their child’s school to place their child on medication for ADD or their child has already been on some form of medication and they have been witnessing the side effects in their child, such as agitation, hostility, and depression, lack of sleep, not eating, and weight loss. Imagine what can happen to these children when they are on such medication for an extended period of time?
Parents are at a loss as schools have pushed medication as the answer, neurologists have recommended it and pediatricians are writing prescriptions for it. The Pharmaceutical industry has been very effective at promoting the story that medication will solve any attention deficit problem and our society has been buying into it.
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