Drugged Children or Children on Drugs?

As insurance companies dictate what is covered and what is not, handing out a fist full of cheap drugs is preferred to working with a mental health professional. Research has shown that drugs mask the underlying problem and don’t fix it. As a result children grow up without coping skills provided by mental health professionals and end up with problems as an adult.

If you were given a choice of being drugged to make you oblivious to the problem, or given the ability to deal with the problem and find closure, what would you do?

Surprisingly enough the split is about down the middle. If a person feels they have time to deal with counseling or therapy they will do it. If the insurance will not pay then many who would have preferred counseling will opt for drugs to put their head in the sand like the proverbial Ostrich. The ones that chose being drugged first learned that choice as a child when they were given drugs that they had not a clue about. Now just forward think about what looms with the world economy should it head south. Then picture lines of people out the doors of pharmacies stocking up on drugs because they want someone else to deal with the problem because they can’t. Get the picture about needing coping skills? At that point a troop of renegade boy scouts could mount a successful coup to take over the country.

PARIS (AFP) – Youngsters in the United States are three times likelier to be prescribed antidepressants and stimulants and twice as likely to be given antipsychotic drugs than counterparts in Germany and the Netherlands, according to a new study.

The use of antidepressants and stimulants such as Prozac and Ritalin to treat hyperactivity, attention deficit and bipolar disorders in teenagers and young children has become a subject of sharp controversy.

Proponents say these powerful drugs, known as psychotropics, target newly identified conditions that were undertreated or mis-diagnosed in the past.

Critics say the medications are being used too broadly, addressing behavioural problems that should be tackled by softer therapies.

Drawing from data on nearly 600,000 youngsters 19 years old and younger, the study is one of the first rigorous comparisons across several countries of how these medications are dispensed among the young.

In 2000, nearly seven percent of children in the US took psychotropics of some kind, while 2.9 and 2.0 percent, respectively, did so in the Netherlands and Germany, according to the study.

One in 12 of American children aged five to nine were taking these medications, four times the European levels.

Lead researcher Julie Zito, a University of Maryland pharmacologist, said psychotropic use in the United States may have increased since the data was collected.

“The US trends appear to be continuing,” she told AFP in an email.

Seeking explanations for the disparity on either side of the Atlantic, the study noted that direct-to-consumer drug advertising was allowed in the United States, but banned in Europe.

Cultural differences could also play a role, they suggest.

“The increased use of medication in the US reflects the individualist and activist therapeutic mentality of US medical culture,” Zito said.

There are also differences in the way behavioural disorders are defined and classified.

The diagnosis of “hyperkinetic disorder” in the European medical system, for example, is more stringent than that of the “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD), the equivalent syndrome in the US classification.

Another difference is who is handing out the medication: there are more psychiatrists per capita in the United States, which could influence prescription patterns, the study says.

Reimbursement policies and government regulatory constraints may also be factors.

Amphetamines and other stimulants are rarely prescribed for children in Western Europe. In France, their use was banned during the period covered by the study, 1999 and 2000.

Government health plans in Europe have also cut down on the use of expensive, patent-protected drugs, especially antipsychotics and antidepressants.

The study was published online, on Thursday, in the British-based open access journal BioMed Central.

The bottom line is seek out a mental health professional first and avoid a psychiatrist as first choice. Only Psychiatrists can prescribe medication for mental health problems. Psychologists, Clinical Hypnotherapists, and counselors can not. So if they feel you need medication to assist with your therapy, they will reefer you to a Psychiatrist. That way professionals dedicated to mental health therapy and counseling can help you decide what is the correct way to deal with your personal issues.

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