federal probe – america worried about kids on prescription drugs – medical experts – 10min

Posted: August 30, 2013 in Uncategorized
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U.S. probes use of antipsychotic drugs on children.

If you thought kids are being put on Ritalin etc too often, you are obviously right. Reality is sinking in slowly, or maybe not so slowly in the psychiatric profession. Listen to audio below.

Extracts: Prescription of powerful anti-psychotic drugs for children has tripled. 1 in 10 Americans prescribed anti-depressants, including 1 in 4 women in 40s and 50s. Use of ADHD drugs increased by 50% in England.

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Federal health officials have launched a probe into the use of antipsychotic drugs on children in the Medicaid system, amid concern that the medications are being prescribed too often to treat behavioral problems in the very young.

Some doctors say there is too much emphasis on medicating children instead of working with them and their caregivers to understand what is triggering their behavior. Dr. Glenn Saxe, chairman of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU-Langone Medical Center and a proponent of trauma-focused therapy, says psychiatry has missed “big opportunities to help children. This problem has led to kids being medicated more and more.”
Dr. Siles agrees that lots of children could be helped by trauma-centered therapy, “but there is no budget for it.”

Government Medicaid data indicate that some of the prescriptions are being written for very young children. An analysis by Mathematica found that in 2008, 19,045 children age 5 and under were prescribed antipsychotics through Medicaid.

Government Medicaid data indicate that some of the prescriptions are being written for very young children. An analysis by Mathematica found that in 2008, 19,045 children age 5 and under were prescribed antipsychotics through Medicaid, 3% of recipients under 20, up from 7,759 in 1999, according to James Verdier, a senior fellow at the organization.

Data from the inspector general’s five-state probe indicate that 482 children 3 and under were prescribed antipsychotics during the period in question, including 107 children 2 and under. Six were under a year old, including one listed as a month old. The records don’t indicate the diagnoses involved.

Texas said about five children under the age of 1 had been prescribed antipsychotics during the time period of the probe, including two who were five months old.

Dr. Stephen Cha, a chief medical officer at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the HHS agency that foots some of the bill for drugs prescribed to Medicaid recipients, says the government wants to reduce what he termed “the unnecessarily high utilization of antipsychotics.” He urges doctors to consider other approaches, including therapy to help children and families cope with psychological trauma that could be at the root of behavior issues. – Source : Wall Street Journal

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The Briefing 08-16-13. Listen to full audio here.

Comments
  1. I believe this is correct, anti-psychotic drugs are very dangerous and over-prescribed.

    As a schizophrenia patient I can tell you about quite a few side effects to antipsychotics, including akathisia (restlessness, random uncontrollable movements of limbs and fingers, inability to keep legs still, trembling hands), emotional and functional apathy (not doing anything anymore, not feeling any pronounced emotion anymore), diminished ability to concentrate, headaches, nausea, and I could go on. Not to mention that the akathisia is generally incurable.
    This is not stuff you want to give to a kid whose brain is evolving. Schizophrenia, and other illnesses with fundamental psychotic symptoms, usually manifest around adolescence, cases of them in young children are very rare.

    Behavioral problems in children, caused by trauma, family trouble, bullying, etcetera… are usually best solved with talk therapy. Not only to protect their young brains, but also because in small children the medication often has no good effect whatsoever, apart from tranquilizing them.

    Our society has a culture of giving medication for everything, treating the symptoms instead of solving the problem. Not to mention that a lot of things have become perceived as a problem as of late, while they actually aren’t one.
    Young kids are hyperactive, in most cases this is a phase in their development that passes. (Says the person who studied child psychology and has 3 younger siblings.) Older kids have trouble with themselves, their bodies, their emotions… this is called puberty and guess what? It passes. And so it goes on. Most “children with issues” don’t need meds, they just need time to grow up, and comprehending people around them willing to give them that time.
    Of course there will always be exceptions, but they don’t warrant the current amount of prescriptions.

    Another part of the over-prescription is old people. While most may care more about young kids being medicated, there is also a large group of non-psychotic elderly people who receive the same kinds of drugs, simply to keep them calm and make life easier on the caretakers. I have interned in a home for the elderly, and you come surprisingly far with being friendly to old people. It’s no surprise that they “don’t want to stay calm” when they’re treated like I’ve seen a lot of personnel treat them…

    I’m sorry for this huge comment, but as you’ve probably noticed this is something that hits pretty close to home for me. I can’t help but climb on my soapbox whenever this comes up, because I know how bad things can get with antipsychotics, and I have both experience taking them and knowledge from my studies about them. Hope it doesn’t bother you (too much).

    • Servant says:

      Hi. No I really appreciate your comment. I wanted to “ping” you about it (specifically thought of you), but forgot with the business if life.

      I would like to respond in more detail, but can’t now.

      Hope you’re doing well.

      May God bless you (with the knowledge of Himself).

    • Servant says:

      Behavioral problems in children, caused by trauma, family trouble, bullying, etcetera… are usually best solved with talk therapy. Not only to protect their young brains, but also because in small children the medication often has no good effect whatsoever, apart from tranquilizing them.

      Coming back to this post, I just I have to say thanks for you comment again; I’m happy you feel passionate about it, as do I; and I fully agree – except I think positive benefits for anyone, actually is very unlikely. …reasoning behind that is

      1) Witnessing my father-in-law on and off the drugs over several years (plus documentaries & other personal research). He was happiest off it – and nevermind talk around “withdrawal highs” – yes, happened, but he stopped for longer times – his passion for life returned. He has his most rewarding & full times off the drugs. He had interest in life & had plans & hobbies & friends. The total opposite as the numb zombified person I also knew at other times.
      2) If doctors & specialists are ill-equipped to prescribe to kids & they do anyway, they are also ill-equipped to prescribe to adults. These drugs act on the most complex organ in the body that the most advanced science will never comprehend – or in the time available before mankind starts world war 3 or something major – sad, but likely – different topic though.

      • I have gotten out of a deep and completely detached psychosis thanks to antipsychotic medicine, so I’m not sure to write it off completely, but what you say is certainly true. There is too little known about the effects of the drugs, both short term and long term, and they should only be prescribed when there is no other option. And in most cases there is another option. Unfortunately, prescribing pills will always be easier than making an effort to do full physical examinations to find non-psych issues causing mental disturbances (think hormone levels, a brain tumor, hypertension from high blood pressure, etc), to actually talk to people to learn about and understand their problems, and to show a little compassion and empathy in general. It is really sad how little compassion there is left in the medical profession, and that while for psych issues just showing you care is often the best medicine.

        In a way, the doctors who carelessly give those meds to people are no different from the “doctors” in early days who made people bleed out to heal them. In some cases it helped, in most cases it didn’t, and in general they never really knew why it (didn’t) work(ed).

        • Servant says:

          Wow, I more profoundly agree with each comment you post. 🙂 …except comment at the end, strictly speaking *

          Sorry if I get a bit carried away, this also leads into other topics I’m passionate about in turn. 🙂

          … to find non-psych issues causing mental disturbances (think hormone levels, a brain tumor, hypertension from high blood pressure, etc), to actually talk to people to learn about and understand their problems, and to show a little compassion and empathy in general. It is really sad how little compassion there is left in the medical profession, and that while for psych issues just showing you care is often the best medicine.

          Exactly, exactly right – compassion, empathy – or just plainly called love. Love in the non-selfish sense. It’s sad that so much on the TV etc has been sold as love – it doesn’t make it attractive or real for those that increasingly see the cracks in the instant gratification / what’s-in-it-for-me culture – and just don’t find lasting satisfaction in it anymore. [hold your breath, spiritual stuff mentioned in one sentence 😉] I recently listened to a teaching on holiness & the sense it relates is that the point that was made was that “sin cannot satisfy” – it can cause pleasure, but nothing lasting & it just pulls people into more & worse sins… a real sad & deepening cycle. Can share the MP3 if you want to listen to something different. 🙂

          It is really sad how little compassion there is left in the medical profession, and that while for psych issues just showing you care is often the best medicine.

          I want to make another comment about this – it’s a symptom of deterioration of large portions of society – not just in the medical profession. Why should people genuinely care about others in a materialist worldview? Dawkins puts it in a nihilistic format, but then denies the full reality of what he says: “DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music”. You ought to care about people, is what they want to deduce from science … and as they say, science works with “is” not “ought”. If you want, see the “is-ought problem” here.

          In a way, the doctors who carelessly give those meds to people are no different from the “doctors” in early days who made people bleed out to heal them. In some cases it helped, in most cases it didn’t, and in general they never really knew why it (didn’t) work(ed).

          I don’t want to upset you though, if some of this is possibly ‘new’ (maybe not) – it may be distressing given your passion around the topic etc.

          This reminds me of the ‘chapter’ in the documentary below that is labelled as “The Origins of Psychology” (skip to 5:25 in video) & something like “Psychiatry’s miracle cure : Brain Damage” (don’t know where this is in video yet). I think that’s what they do. Also notice the plain torture they performed at 8:08. They numb down people – by damaging them, sadly. I believe in a cure though.

          I don’t want to promote this since it’s done by Scientology & I have a big problem with them, but in this case, I think they made a good documentary.
          Psychiatry An industry of Death

          * Strictly speaking & just my opinion, in terms of possible good as last resort (I hope you’re right that it did you good), I need something really compelling to make believe that since these things get you hooked also… and then they add more things for additional symptoms – as far as I know, heard & have seen.

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