The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) have released a report detailing how an estimated 7.5% of US children ages 6 to 17 are currently prescribed psychotropic mood stabilizers for alleged emotional or behavioral problems.
This translates to 1 in 13 school-aged children in the US are taking at least one major pharmaceutical on the basis that their behavior is not appropriate and necessities medical attention.
Data concerning 2011 and 2012 from 17,000 children was provided to the NHIS for this study.
It was shown in the study that white, non-Hispanic; males were most likely to have a diagnosis of a behavioral disorder, while 4.0% of older female children were being prescribed psychotropic drugs.
Those children on Medicaid or CHIP coverage were 9.9% more likely to have prescribed medications than those who came from families that could afford private health insurance.
LaJeana Howie, statistical researcher for the NCHS commented : “We can’t advise parents on what they should do, but I think it’s positive that over half of parents reported that medications helped ‘a lot,’”
The intimation by the researchers is that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is represented as the majority of diagnosis; which would validate the argument that ADHD is over-diagnosed and as a result the children are over-medicated for issues that may not necessarily pertain to them.
In fact, 9.2% of impoverished children were prescribed psychotropic drugs where the household income was at 100 – 200% of the poverty line.
Shockingly, it was also shown how the parents’ perception of their children’s behavior great determined whether or not the child would be forced to take drugs to control their moods.
The trend shown in the rise of diagnosis of ADHD has inspired one doctor to come forth to expose a scheme to medicate children unnecessarily for the financial benefit of the pharmaceutical corporations.
Last March, Richard Saul, behavioral neurologist at Castle and Connolly Best Doctor in Chicago, explained that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) does not truly exist.
Saul said: “I have found more than 20 conditions that can lead to symptoms of ADHD, each of which requires its own approach to treatment. Raising a generation of children—and now adults—who can’t live without stimulants is no solution.”
According to a new report , the number of adults taking a pharmacological drug for ADHD has risen to 53% in the young 20-somethings.
Saul explains that ADHD has become “an easy catchall phrase that saves time for doctors.”
In this world “as a population, [we] are more distracted today than ever before” and Saul is concerned that the label ADHD is being tossed around for the profit of the drug companies.
The history of ADHD explains how this alledged behavior disorder was invented and how it has been used to prescribe brain altering drugs to developing minds.
In the 1930s, Charles Bradley began using benzedine on children who were diagnosed with behavioral problems.
Bradley was able to get these test patients to improve their performance with this drug and paved the way for other psychotropic answers to children’s natural tendency to be full of energy and short of attention.
In fact, Bradley set the foundation for the pharmacological treatment of ADHD with benzedine.
Because ADHD was gaining popularity, more drugs such as Ritalin and Cylert became available and increased the stimulants children were being given to suppress their innately tenacious behavior.
In the 1980s adults were also targeted through the DSM III which “introduced a classification for adults with the condition.”
This led to more Americans covering up symptoms with stimulants without a worry of how the developing human brain will handle being synthetically altered.
Saul said: “Today, the fifth edition of the DSM only requires one to exhibit five of 18 possible symptoms to qualify for an ADHD diagnosis. If you haven’t seen the list, look it up. It will probably bother you. How many of us can claim that we have difficulty with organization or a tendency to lose things; that we are frequently forgetful or distracted or fail to pay close attention to details? Under these subjective criteria, the entire U.S. population could potentially qualify. We’ve all had these moments, and in moderate amounts they’re a normal part of the human condition.”
One good reason to keep people on stimulants under the guise of disease is because stimulants are highly addictive. Saul explains: “The body stops producing the appropriate levels of neurotransmitters that ADHD meds replace — a trademark of addictive substances. I worry that a generation of Americans won’t be able to concentrate without this medication; Big Pharma is understandably not as concerned.”
When a patient is taking stimulants for ADHD, the effects can range from:
• Increased anxiety
• Depressive moods
• Weight loss due to appetite suppression
• Erectile dysfunction
Saul warns that stimulants are a “short-term” answer which is meant to “serve as Band-Aids at best, masking and sometimes exacerbating the source of the problem.”
To break down the misconception, Saul explains that people diagnosed with ADHD are either 1) of a normal level of distraction considering our modern environment, 2) have more acute difficulties are require “individual treatment”.
Saul recommends to his patients diagnosed with ADHD:
• Healthy diet
• Increased exercise
• At least 8 hours of quality sleep
• Minimize caffeine intake
• Monitor cell-phone use
• Find something to be passionate about
Moreover, in 2013, the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (CCH) commissioned a report that pointed out how the prescriptions for anti-psychotics given to children of preschool age and older have begun to wane in recent years.
From 2005 to 2009, the amount of psychotropic drugs recommended and administered to children who were males and Caucasian showed a rise in prescriptions from 1994 to 2009.
Tanya Froehlich, pediatrician at CCH and lead author of the study said : “The likelihood of receiving a behavioral diagnosis increased in 2006 to 2009, but this was not accompanied by an increased propensity toward psychotropic prescription. In fact, the likelihood of psychotropic use in 2006-2009 was half that of the 1994-1997 period among those with a behavioral diagnosis.”
Participants in the study were 600 children aged 2 to 5 years. The data was provided by the National Ambulatory and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys (NA-NHAMCS).
Data from 1994 to 2009 showed that as diagnosis of behavioral problems in white male children began to rise, so did the use of anti-psychotic medication.
These drugs included:
• Typical and atypical anti-psychotics
• Mood stabilizers
Froehlich said: “It’s good to get a gauge on what we’re doing with psychotropic medications in this age group, because we really don’t know what these medications do to the developing brain. Furthermore, given the continued use of psychotropic medications in very young children and concerns regarding their effects on the developing brain, future studies on the long-term effects of psychotropic medication use in this age group are essential.”