Over-prescribing of Drugs to Children

Families today have to deal with the rampant over-prescription of psychoactive such as antidepressants, Ritalin, and Adderall. Many of these drugs cause a broad range of side effects that are not adequately explained before children and adults alike begin using them, leading to regret in later years when all of the adverse effects become apparent.

Prescription Drugs Common Side Effects

Common side effects associated with these medications include suicidal thoughts, nervousness, uncontrollable shaking, and other health issues. Many of these adverse effects prove to be permanent, meaning that they continue even after the patient in question stops using the drug. Doctors and psychiatrists frequently leave out this important information when recommending a drug, and even the honest ones fail to emphasize how little research has been done concerning the long term impact of these drugs on minors despite their being the largest market for them.

The result of this has been a significant increase in the number of children and adolescents who have been prescribed these medications. The reason cited is often “chemical imbalances,” the mythological root cause of a variety of mental ailments such as bipolar disorder, depression, and ADHD. Such imbalances largely do not exist, meaning that kids are being treated for nothing more serious than being kids. Worse yet, these drugs frequently cause the chemical imbalances that they claim to cure, dooming patients to a lifetime of ill health.

The truth is that minors sometimes behave in ways that adults find unacceptable. This does not mean that the kids in question have a mental illness, and it certainly does not suggest that they require toxic medications. Sometimes kids need to be allowed to learn from their mistakes without artificial treatment.

Doctors are not entirely to blame for the massive increase in psychoactive drug prescriptions, as many are being fed false information by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the manufacturers of these products. Both organizations fund massive research studies designed to support the drugs in question, evidence that is then cited by well-meaning doctors to support these prescriptions. Doctor and patient alike are the victims of the drug companies money lust in these scenarios.

One notable example of this fraud was exposed by journalist and Nobel Prize Nominee Robert Whitaker in a recent lecture (PBS, Boston, June 15, 2010). In it, Mr. Whitaker detailed not only the unscientific methods used to develop and prescribe psychoactive drugs to school-aged children in the United States, but also the corrupt nature of the institutions that are supposed to be looking after their welfare.

In this environment, parents must remain vigilant. They should inquire about whether the “chemical imbalance” that their child supposedly has actually exists, and whether the drug being recommended can actually help (most cannot). More importantly, they need to ask about the long term side effects of any drug before administering it to their children.

If you or a family member have been victimized by the fraud being carried out by the drug companies, you have legal rights. Contact Atlanta Prescription Attorney Offices Of Matthew C. Hines to find out how we can help you.