A good friend of mine recently suggested that I watch the Frontline documentary regarding the over medication of children. The documentary tried to be as objective as possible however, it wasn’t very hard to see how little knowledge we have on the medications given to children. Since the 1900’s the amount of children on psychotropic medications has tripled. Some 6 million children in the US are currently on some form of prescription medications. Most if not all of the medications prescribed to children have never been tested on children. Psychiatrists find themselves making educated guesses on the dosage they prescribe to children. Some of the medications have not even been found to work on adults yet, they are still being used on children. On the other hand are the despair parents of children and teens who no longer know what to do with their children’s behavior and want help. They go to a doctor who gives them a prescription and then there is a negative side-effect. Therefore, another medication has to be given to treat that side effect. The cycle goes on from there. Soon many children find themselves on multiple medications. The CDC states that 4.5 million children 5-17 years of age have ever been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2006. Making ADHD the number one mental health problem among children in America. The numbers just keep rising. This is a must watch! Watch the preview on my video’s link. More research is definitely needed in this area because so far a lot of experimenting on children is going on. I must say however, that some children need the medications because there is simply no other way. However, more research should be done.
Food for thought:
Is it ethical to test medications on children to see the side-effects and effectiveness of the drugs if they will help other children?
How many prescription drugs is too much for child to be taking at time?