Why are our children being exposed to potentially harmful drugs?

Posted: September 9, 2015 in Medical Industrial Complex
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In our book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures, we focus on the alarming overmedication of children diagnosed, or misdiagnosed, as having ADHD, depression and other such ailments.

An excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex  follows:

Overmedication of children diagnosed – and often misdiagnosed or even not diagnosed – with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has, it seems, reached alarming levels, and the public debate has been as vocal as that surrounding the issue of overprescribing antidepressants.

By some estimates, around four million children in the US have been diagnosed with ADHD and more than half of them have been prescribed drugs. This despite the fact there are very real concerns about the impact the drugs have on growth and brain development – especially in preschoolers.

One who has had something to say on this matter of late is Dr. Nancy Rappaport, a certified child and adolescent psychiatrist at Cambridge Health Alliance and an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. In a Washington Post article dated June 4, 2014, and headed ‘We are overmedicating America’s poorest kids,’ she claims that thousands of children between the ages of two and three are being prescribed stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall for ADHD even though the medicine’s safety and effectiveness has barely been explored in that age group.

Dr. Rappaport says she finds it even more troubling that a disproportionate number of those children were on Medicaid, which to her is an indicator of poverty. “That,” she says, “is the huge red flag”.

Referring to her experience as a child psychiatrist, working with at-risk children for more than 20 years, she points out the simple fact is that underprivileged children often grow up in home environments that lead to troubling behavior.

“To the untrained observer, it looks as if these children suffer from ADHD. But they don’t need medicine. They need stability and support”.

This raises the obvious question: Why are physicians prescribing potentially harmful drugs instead of recommending family-based support services for toddlers who display ADHD symptoms and disruptive behavior?

Dr. Rappaport asks this very question. She says, “Medication may be judiciously used to help ADHD when a biological illness is truly present, but true ADHD cannot be differentiated from other problems at such young ages. We owe it to our children to give the consistent message that we will do whatever it takes to foster their development. And that doesn’t always mean prescribing a pill”.

Amen to that.

It’s a fact that in this modern era most of us look for a quick fix for whatever ails us or for whatever ails our children. Our willingness to pop a pill in order to get a good night’s sleep or to ease a queasy tummy or to clear a foggy head or to…(the list goes on) is frightening. Even more so when we pass such quick fix ideas onto our children.

We seem very willing to overlook the fact that all drugs – prescribed or otherwise – have side-effects. Sometimes deadly side-effects, often unhealthy or otherwise undesirable side-effects.

We also overlook the fact that oftentimes there’s a simple, readily available, natural remedy available for those day-to-day ailments we encounter.

For example, physical exercise has long been recognized as an effective way to combat depression. Not for all, granted, but, we suspect, for many.

The Atlantic article referred to earlier reports that a growing body of research suggests that exercise is one of its best cures for depression. It claims a randomized controlled trial showed that depressed adults who took part in aerobic exercise improved as much as those treated with Zoloft, and a recommendation was made that physicians counsel their depressed patients to try it.

A later study looked at 127 depressed people who hadn’t experienced relief from a commonly used antidepressant and found that exercise led 30% of them into remission – a result described “as good as, or better than” drugs alone.

The article continues, “Though we don’t know exactly how any antidepressant works, we think exercise combats depression by enhancing endorphins: natural chemicals that act like morphine and other painkillers. There’s also a theory that aerobic activity boosts norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood. And like antidepressants, exercise helps the brain grow new neurons”.

The article concludes that “this powerful, non-drug treatment” hasn’t yet become a mainstream remedy. Why not? And why are so many people still popping pills?

We suspect the conclusion speaks volumes about the state of our mental health services and infrastructure, the physician reimbursement system (more about doctors’ kickbacks coming up) and the alacrity with which doctors dispense prescription drugs ahead of advising on diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes.

Regrettably, it also speaks volumes about our unwillingness to take responsibility for, and control of, our own health, preferring, instead, to entrust that to our family doctor.

You have been reading an excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex. To find this book on Amazon go to:  http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

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