Steps Taken To Curb Use Of Drugs To Calm Young

Steps Taken To Curb Use Of Drugs To Calm Young
Posted by FoM on March 21, 2000 at 06:45:33 PT
By John F. Harris, Washington Post Staff Writer
Source: Washington Post
First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday added her voice to a rising chorus of medical experts who fear that physicians are too quick to prescribe drugs such as Ritalin to young children possibly suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or other behavioral problems.
Making a cameo appearance at the White House from her new home on the Senate campaign trail in New York, Clinton joined federal health officials in announcing a series of steps designed to prompt parents and doctors alike to think twice before medicating difficult children or teenagers.The steps included the release of a federal "fact sheet" for parents about treatment of children with behavioral problems and a $5 million study by the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct further research on the effects of "psychotropic medication" on children under age 7. She also touted a conference scheduled for the fall on "Treatment of Children with Behavioral and Mental Disorders." The Food and Drug Administration also has begun a process aimed at devising cautionary labels on the use of psychiatric drugs for children."Some of these young people have problems that are symptoms of nothing more than childhood or adolescence," Clinton said. "Some of them need a parent to love them, or a person simply to listen to them talk about their pain."But the first lady, and White House aides afterward, emphasized that she was not challenging the usefulness of drugs for some young people. "Some children do have severe emotional behavioral problems that can be helped by prescription drugs. These children are waiting for our help and today we are taking important steps to provide it," she said.The point of the government campaign, a White House official said, is to encourage a more methodical approach by the health community in deciding who is genuinely suffering from behavior maladies and might be helped by drugs.Long-standing concerns about possible over-medication received new impetus last month when a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association documented soaring use of psychiatric drugs for children under 5.The number of preschoolers on antidepressants jumped 200 percent over five years; the number of children on "tricyclic antidepressants," often prescribed for bed-wetters, jumped 220 percent. The number of children ages 2 through 4 taking the stimulant methylphenidate, marketed under the brand name Ritalin, to control attention-deficit disorder doubled.A White House fact sheet cited studies suggesting that prescriptions of these drugs--in some school districts 20 percent of fifth graders are being medicated for attention deficit disorder--are many times higher than the normal rate of incidence.There are risks, health officials warn. Clonidine, a drug that in recent years has soared in use for children exhibiting disruptive behavior, can cause rapid or irregular heartbeats and fainting spells. By John F. HarrisWashington Post Staff WriterTuesday, March 21, 2000; Page A08  Copyright 2000 The Washington Post CompanyRelated Article:Over-Medicating America's Kids Articles On Ritalin:
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Comment #2 posted by dddd on March 23, 2000 at 02:27:09 PT
 For anyone who is paying attention to "The War on Drugs",this is an excellent example of the blatant hypocricy,and subversive nature,of this phony "war". Observer makes the excellent point,,that much of the drug war rhetoric is framed with the;"for our children" justification.In addition to this,a main theme of the foes of marijuana legalization is;"it hasnt been tested,,we dont know if it's safe". This article/news,makes the people who believe or support the war on drugs,fit into one of three categories;1)Sad,yet innocent people who have been misled by the government,2)Idiots,who have not yet realized,that the drug war is a sham,perpetrated by political/big money interests,3)Political/big money insiders,who are scrambling to produce some appropriate spin control,to make this seem like an honest lack of oversight,,or some other way to squirm out of this thing. It will be interesting to see how this issue gets buried,or justified.It's quite likely that there will be a strangely minimal reaction to this issue.The "news",will end coverage by saying;"The FDA is looking into this",or some such comment to alleviate public concern.....disgusting.....dddd
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Comment #1 posted by observer on March 21, 2000 at 10:29:42 PT
Ritalin brain damage the lethal dose and brain damage done by these profitable drugs (Prozac, Ritalin, Xanax, Zoloft, etc.) to lethal dose and brain damage done by marijuana.Remember: our police-state politicians are only jailing adults using marijuana "for the children." It is all just "for the children."
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