prescription hand things

“Someone with depression will not be saved by medication, though pills may instigate the stability they need to open up to friendship’s liabilities.’





Andrew Solomon





“It’s a disorder not a decision.”



via lafoib





This is about medication & prescription drugs.


I sometimes think when I read some headlines and articles that we have completely lost our minds.



On one hand we have a bunch of wacky people NOT wanting to give vaccinations <medication> to their children … and on the other hand we seemingly have a huge swath of the adult population more than happy to have drugs prescribed to their children.

prescription pills lots

I wrote about the wacky people not vaccinating their kids awhile back < https://brucemctague.com/vaccinations  > and I still believe they are wacky <and irresponsible>.





This medication rant/observation goes beyond vaccinations to an overall view on how we are medicating, or using medications on, our youth.




The following is my opinion.



I’m pretty sure there are cases of kids being medicated unnecessarily.



In fact.



I tend to believe we seek medication solutions as ‘quick fixes’ rather than seek to take on the harder part of behavioral management.



<note: doesn’t this seem even more absurd given the fact the same people most likely to deprive their kids of vaccinations are also the ones more likely to give their children medication later in life?>







I absolutely understand many kids are helped by certain medications and really do need them.


Bond out sick

And it is a disservice to the kids who truly suffer from any health issue , which impedes personal growth in youth, when we fail to acknowledge that there are a number of them who legitimately need and benefit from a specific drug.










I will begin my issue by ignoring the obvious behavioral question of ‘if I give prescription drugs to a young person are they more likely to use drugs recreationally’ <let alone abuse drugs or anything addictive>.






Why would I do that?



Because it is a chicken or egg discussion.



Because if they have some behavioral need that has to be addressed by prescription drugs <a real need> does it make them a better person, productive person, for the remainder of life <albeit a user of prescription drugs for the remainder of their life>?


<and vice versa … no drugs in youth does it make them a less productive person later>



And does that matter <does the end justify the means>?






To me … the medicating our youth elephant in the room question revolves around this type of scenario …






“Medication for wiggling in their chairs, losing homework, and shouting out answers rather than teaching coping skills.”









School may be more demanding than when I was in school.









I am not sure about that.



I do feel we got more done in school <which led to less out of school – homework – assignments back in the day>.



As a corollary this means I sense the amount of homework kids gets these days is significantly more than in the past.





high school

Homework, youth stress, whatever ‘today issue’ you want to throw in here … suffice it to say school has pretty much always been school and it … well … sucks.



Stressful and a grind where achievement has always been important.





Children are receiving more prescriptions than ever before to treat medical, emotional and psychological problems <source: Medco Health Solutions>.






There’s no doubt that medication is a tremendous solution for kids who face severe disorders.



But we seem to be in more of a rush to diagnose many kids as having a severe disorder.



I sense we’re losing touch with our ability to distinguish the normal crazy behavior of youth from genuine neurological problems.



No one argue that certain conditions aren’t real <I will not>.



It’s just hard to believe that one in five high school boys have ADHD.



Let me express my concern showcasing some other numbers.



More than 25% of children with health insurance in the U.S., and nearly 30% of all children from 10 to 19, take at least one prescription to treat a chronic medicate kidscondition.



The most substantial increases over the past nine years have been in antipsychotic, diabetes and asthma drugs <source: Medco>.



“I think we have become a society that says it’s OK to medicate the symptoms of kids.


Medication is easier.



I think as a society we are quick to change behavior rather than understand it.”





A Doctor







The numbers of kids with diabetes, asthma and allergies are increasing. But not at the same rate as the medication prescriptions & usage.



Millions of kids today are on medications for conduct disorders, depression, bi.polar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, mixed manias, social phobia and of course ADHD .





Just a reminder.



All medications, behavior medications included, can be destructive if used improperly.







Beyond conduct disorders it seems like just as many kids are being treated for non-psychiatric conditions that are often “adult diseases.” <source: IMS health>.



Since 2001,

Desperate schoolgirl

Desperate schoolgirl

– high blood pressure meds for kids have risen 17%

– respiratory meds 42%

– diabetes meds 150%

– heartburn/GERD meds 147%






50% of pediatricians also prescribe kids insomnia drugs <Pediatrics Journal>.



Before 1994 it was rare a child or teen was diagnosed as bi-polar.



By 2003 there was a see a 4,000% increase in diagnosis of this “overlooked condition.”

These children were described as irritable with prolonged, aggressive temper outbursts that are called “affect storms.”

Some children as young as 3 are diagnosed and receiving medication … and over 60% were under age 12.



Most of these ‘new’ diagnoses occurred among children & teens … yet the diagnostic criteria had not changed <and diagnosis were mostly for children under 15>.



On a separate note … in many European countries over the same time period diagnosis for children actually decreased.



Oh my … is this a U.S. thing?






25% of children and 30% of adolescents now take at least one prescription for a chronic condition <Medco> which makes the kid prescription market almost 4x bigger than the adult market.



One reason is the pediatric population is suffering from weight issues just like the adult population <too many calories and too little exercise>.


unhealthy eating obese4

Over a third of U.S. kids are overweight and 17% are obese — which for a 4-foot-10 inch child would be 143 pounds. And we know obesity predisposes children to diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal disorders.



Oh my … is this a U.S. thing?






Attention deficit.


A British study from 1970 suggested that only 1 in 1,000 children had this condition.

The American consensus in 1979 was that the figure was closer to 1 in 100 <are Americans smarter than British? … hmmmmmmmmm>.



Even back then, physicians recognized that the American reaction was to label a student’s behavior as “attention deficit” and treat with medication, while the British reaction was to label the same behavior as “conduct disorder” and tell the child to shape up or ship out.







All my bitching and worrying aside … to me the issue always resides around ‘the best interest of the child.’



What does it teach them?



The greater good of learning to cope with the world–for the kids and the society they will inhabit–in the realistic environment of unmediated normalcy that is a far more important concern.



The truth is that we can diagnose anybody with anything.



Mood swings are a normal part of childhood.



The people who are medicating their kids for “disorders” while their brains are still developing are selecting them for a future of medication dependency … before they have even reached potential phase.



To be clear.



If I were a parent, I would do whatever I had to do to get my child whatever he or she needed in life.



And I am not suggesting parenting is easy … but I do know that in London the London Parent Child Project discovered that a parents’ capacity to reflect upon and understand her child’s experience helps that child learn to regulate strong emotions.



Subsequent research has shown that child may be born with a genetic vulnerability for emotional dysregulation, but interventions that address family conflict and support relationships protect against this vulnerability and facilitate emotional regulation at the level of gene expression and biochemistry of the brain.


Without medication.



My hope is that at some point we realize the potential harm of medicating so many young children, too soon, with powerful drugs that have serious side effects.



Bottom line.


If you have a disease <or a debilitating psychological condition >you take medications.



And I do think it is unfortunate that there is a stigma put upon by society with regard to medications encapsulated in a bunch of trite tripe like “smile because it’s not that bad” … “it could be worse” … “you should get out more or think more positive thoughts.”



Medications, when needed, should never be stigmatized.



But here is my worry.



We give kids medication in the absence of the really important stuff. Stuff like … father & son pinterestwell … love.



Why love?



It gives kids evidence <and hope> that life may be worth living if they can only get better.



It gives kids a place and space to admit to their illness.


Admitting it is the first step toward resolving it.



It gives people a reason beyond themselves to keep going on.



That may seem some nebulous thought when discussing something as important as medication … but it is important.


Letting kids know that someone cares … I mean REALLY cares … is important.



It seems to me that maybe that would be the first medication I would prescribe before anything else … because I surely wouldn’t mind a generation of kids growing up with that addiction.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Written by Bruce