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Drugging Toddlers for A.D.H.D.

Drugging Toddlers for A.D.H.D.

On May 16, 2014 the New York Times ran an article titled Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries

Drugging Toddlers for Inattention, Impulsivity, and Hyperactivity

“More than 10,000 American toddlers 2 or 3 years old are being medicated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder outside established pediatric guidelines, according to data presented on Friday by an official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

The CDC official is Susanna Visser, MS, DrPh, Acting Associate Director of Science for the Division of Human Development and Disability, and she was speaking at the annual Rosalyn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum.

Bottom line

Psychiatry’s primary agenda for the past fifty years has been the expansion of its “diagnostic” net, and the prescribing of more and more pills to more and more people.  Psychiatry promises joy, happiness, and a trouble-free life from a pill bottle, and tragically our society and our political leadership have bought it.  Today, no group is safe from psychiatry’s depredations.  Their net embraces people of all ages, all walks of life, and all circumstances.  There is truly no human problem that cannot be “diagnosed” as a “mental illness,” and for which psychiatry doesn’t have a pill.

Ten thousand American toddlers taking stimulants for ADHD is just business as usual.  By all means, let us speak out against this psychiatric assault on our toddlers, but let’s not lose sight of the greater tragedy – that this kind of approach has become the norm.  Feeding children psychoactive drugs as a substitute for instilling age-appropriate habits of discipline, self-control, and interpersonal respect is a tragedy beyond description.  If street-dealers were promoting their products to toddlers and their parents in this way, there would be outrage – and rightly so.  But psychiatrists, dressed in nice suits, and with their image polished by an international PR firm, are accepted.
As a society, as a culture, we have truly lost our way.

read more at http://www.madinamerica.com/2014/05/drugging-toddlers-inattention-impulsivity-hyperactivity/

May 22, 2014

On May 16, the New York Times ran an article titled Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries, by Alan Schwarz.  Here is the opening sentence:

“More than 10,000 American toddlers 2 or 3 years old are being medicated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder outside established pediatric guidelines, according to data presented on Friday by an official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

The CDC official is Susanna Visser, MS, DrPh, Acting Associate Director of Science for the Division of Human Development and Disability, and she was speaking at the annual Rosalyn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum.  I have not been able to find the text of Ms. Visser’s speech.  (It will probably be published later.)  Meanwhile, there is a good deal of information in Alan Schwarz’s article.  Here are some more quotes:

“The report, which found that toddlers covered by Medicaid are particularly prone to be put on medication such as Ritalin and Adderall, is among the first efforts to gauge the diagnosis of A.D.H.D. in children below age 4. Doctors at the Georgia Mental Health Forum at the Carter Center in Atlanta, where the data was presented, as well as several outside experts strongly criticized the use of medication in so many children that young.”

“The American Academy of Pediatrics standard practice guidelines for A.D.H.D. do not even address the diagnosis in children 3 and younger — let alone the use of such stimulant medications, because their safety and effectiveness have barely been explored in that age group. ‘It’s absolutely shocking, and it shouldn’t be happening,’ said Anita Zervigon-Hakes, a children’s mental health consultant to the Carter Center. ‘People are just feeling around in the dark. We obviously don’t have our act together for little children.’”

“Dr. Lawrence H. Diller, a behavioral pediatrician in Walnut Creek, Calif., said in a telephone interview: ‘People prescribing to 2-year-olds are just winging it. It is outside the standard of care, and they should be subject to malpractice if something goes wrong with a kid.’”

“Dr. Visser said that effective nonpharmacological treatments, such as teaching parents and day care workers to provide more structured environments for such children, were often ignored. ‘Families of toddlers with behavioral problems are coming to the doctor’s office for help, and the help they’re getting too often is a prescription for a Class II controlled substance, which has not been established as safe for that young of a child.

read more at http://www.madinamerica.com/2014/05/drugging-toddlers-inattention-impulsivity-hyperactivity/

 

 

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