I have been looking at the information available in regard to dangerous trends facing children today. One of them as we reported earlier is depression. In a response to that the Food and Drug Administration reports in September 2009 that more than 500,000 children and adolescents in America are now taking antipsychotic drugs. This includes not only teens, but more shocking, is the growing use of drugs in tens of thousands of preschoolers.
From 2000 to 2007 there has been a doubling of the prescriptions of antipsychotic drugs for privately insured 2-5 year olds, with only 40% of them having received proper mental health assessments. Even more disturbing, children from lower income situations were far more likely to be given a prescription than having counseling for the child and the whole family – due to the difference in the cost of the two ways of approaching these issues.
Here is a link to the story found in the NY Times this week about one such boy and the story of 5 years of diagnosis, drugs, therapy and the end result.
“Families sometimes feel the need for a quick fix,” Dr. Gleason, a Columbia medical graduate who had led a team that wrote 2007 practice guidelines for psychopharmacological treatment of very young children, said. “That’s often the prescription pad. But I’m concerned that when a child sees someone who prescribes but doesn’t do therapy, they’re closing the door that can make longer-lasting change.”
At the end of September, I will be releasing a report on the research I have been doing on the 6 Most Dangerous Trends Facing our Children Today. I look forward to sharing it with parent groups in our community. For more information please feel free to contact Joe Van Deuren at Balanced Life Skills.