The Effect of Pills on Children
He received numerous diagnoses such as autism, bipolar disorder, hyperactivity, insomnia, oppositional defiant disorder. He now has to take antipsychotic Risperdal, the antidepressant Prozac, and one sleeping pill for attention-deficit disorder, each day. As you can imagine, he suffered a lot from the medicines, as he was sedated, and he became overweight because of them. Her mother was very worried about the fact that her child has to take pills from such an early age, but she stated that her main concern was that her child was not the child he used to be. She stated that the drugs made him act like a different robot; as if he were a robot who had no emotions and who kept a blank stare most of the times.
Today Kyle is six years old and he is in his fourth week of first grade, and he scored high in his first test. He has lost a lot of weight since he was three, and he acts in a different manner than before. Kyle now laughs with much ease, and he is a much happier person than before. Ms. Warren and his new doctors are amazed by his progress, and they are shocked by the fact that the previous doctors gave him such powerful drugs when he was so young for all those psychological disorders, when in fact he suffered from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Kyle now only takes Vyvanse for his attention disorder.
Her mother made his medical records public, feeling optimistic that thanks to this she will manage to expose the mistakes that the doctors often make. They usually offer very powerful drugs to very young children and infants without bothering to investigate the problem too much, and in most of the cases they do not require those drugs. The Food and Drug Administration revealed the fact that in September 2009 over 500,000 children and adolescents in America took antipsychotic drugs at the recommendation of the doctors. Tens of thousands of preschoolers are using the drugs as well, because the doctors believe that they can develop schizophrenia, which was believed that it could only attack the teenagers.
Columbia University has made a study on its own in which it found out that the rate of prescribing antipsychotic drugs for privately insured 2- to 5-year-olds from 2000 to 2007 has doubled. Less than 50 percent of those children have received the proper treatment. Dr. Mark Olfson, professor of clinical psychiatry and lead researcher in the government-financed study, believes that there are too many children who receive these drugs too sun, when they should not receive them. Some doctors and experts believe that such heavy treatments are needed once in a while when the children suffer from very troublesome psychological problems.
They believe that those medications are essential for the children, as they would not be possible to go to school or daycare without them. The Food and Drug Administration allowed the treatment of children with ages of at least five with Risperdal but only if they had certain disorders which would cause them to hurt themselves. Seroquel and Abilify are permitted to use but only on the children who are at least ten and who have bipolar disorder. Many doctors believe that prescribing those drugs to children who are very young would be a very dangerous thing to do, as the children could be affected by them. The body and the mind of the children could suffer because of it, and this is the main reason why most of the doctors do not agree with this.
It has been observed that the boys receive more medication than the girls. Dr. Ben Vitiello, chief of child and adolescent treatment and preventive research at the National Institute of Mental Health stated that it is very difficult for a doctor to identify the mental state of a child, because he undergoes lots of emotions. He says that the doctors often make the mistake of prescribing certain drugs to the children because they believe that they will not be affected by them, that they can tolerate the drugs. Needles to say, that happens very rare.
Johnson & Johnson is one of the pharmaceutical companies from the United States of America which has made a fortune by creating drugs which are intended for children. They have made $14.6 billion last year from the drug Risperdal. The company has lost the patent for the drug since then because it has been proven that it can be dangerous. Dr. Lawrence L. Greenhill, president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry stated that the Health Institute should keep track of the drugs which the preschoolers will take in the next ten years. He believes that the best method of treating the children who suffer from certain psychological disorders is psychotherapy, and not drugs.
A study performed by the Rutgers University revealed the fact that is way cheaper to buy medicines than it is to go to counseling. This is one of the reasons why the parents buy the medicines which might cause damage to the children instead of taking them to psychotherapy. This is a big problem especially in the cases of the poor families.
They have to resort to the medicines because they can not afford sending their child to a counselor. It has been proven that in 2009, $96 million was spent last year on antipsychotic drugs for teenagers and children, the biggest surprise being that three infants, who were less than 12 months old, also received the drugs. In California and Florida the doctors have been restricted when it comes to their freedom of prescribing antipsychotics for young children.11