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Drug Detox: A Likely Future for the Next Generation
It’s been a boom decade for investors in pharmaceuticals since the marketing of antidepressants was sold to the world as a panacea for childhood “disorders.” The drugging of children – from infants to teenagers – with mind-altering “psychoactive” drugs has become an epidemic in the Western world, so commonplace, in fact, that even family doctors are prescribing antidepressants for conditions as trivial as bed-wetting. If this generation of kids can survive the torrent of pharmaceuticals coming at them, millions are going to be prime candidates for drug detox.
The problem of over-medicating children exists wherever the long arm of psychiatry and pharmaceuticals can reach – which is nearly everywhere in the world. Doctors are treating so-called emotional and mental problems by handing out antidepressants as a cure-all. Those of us old enough to remember may recall family physicians who listened to and talked with patients rather than setting them up for a future that included drug detox.
In the UK a new report shows that the number of prescriptions for anti-depressants and other mind-altering drugs given to children under the age of 16 has more than quadrupled in the past decade. In New Zealand, the number of antidepressants prescribed to kids in one typical school district more than doubled between 2000 and 2005, and the story is much the same across Europe and the USA, where prescriptions, on average, have doubled or tripled. In America, antidepressants and similar drugs have been associated with the dozens of school shootings across the country, events which may have been preventable if the troubled teens had received drug detox, rehab and some decent counseling.
Long suppressed scientific evidence from clinical trials shows that children on psychoactive drugs can become aggressive, hostile, anxious and manic, and have been put at a twofold greater suicide risk than those treated with a sugar pill. For example, 16-year-old Sharise Gatchell of Sussex was prescribed an antidepressant because she was shy. She soon suffered from dramatic personality swings, becoming hostile and aggressive, and started to self-harm, all recognized SSRI side-effects. Sharon stopped the drugs, but never received drug detox. Two years later she sought a new prescription herself and, shortly thereafter, hung herself in her parents home.
“Anti-depressants do not work in this age group,” says UK child psychiatrist Dr Sammi Timimi. “There have been several double-blind placebo trials which uniformly show that sugar pills worked just as well as the SSRIs.” Timimi adds that the practice has become institutionalized. “It’s a triumph of marketing over science.”
Parents, teachers, counselors and friends should beware of putting kids on psychoactive medications. The known side-effects and withdrawal symptoms of mood- and mind-altering drugs can be effectively reduced or eliminated through a well-designed medical drug detox program and, if necessary, drug rehab. Help get our kids off drugs today. Don’t set them up for a future of dependency on dangerous drugs.
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