Saturday, January 29, 2005

Who's looking after your Kids?

CHILDREN under four were issued with more than 5000 prescriptions for antidepressants last year, prompting a warning to doctors to urgently review the practice.Health Insurance Commission figures obtained by The Weekend Australian show 14,421 antidepressant prescriptions were issued for children under the age of 10.
Depression experts said the prescriptions were to treat mental retardation, autism and severe behavioural problems in children with major development issues.
However, the Therapeutic Goods Administration said it believed doctors should be prescribing fewer antidepressants to children.

Last year, studies into the newest form of antidepressants, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, linked some of the drugs to an increase in suicidal thoughts in children.
In October, the TGA cautioned doctors that SSRIs should only be used for children and adolescents as part of broad treatment that involved therapy.
The figures show the number of prescriptions issued jumped to 60,495 for children under 15.
"The Australian Drug Evaluation Drug Reactions Advisory Committee is monitoring the prescribing and when we looked at the October figures there didn't appear to be a fall," the TGA's chief medical officer Dr John McEwan said.
"If it doesn't appear that use of SSRIs is moderating when we get the next figures in March an option would be to refer it to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee to see whether the subsidies could be more restricted." The PBAC has the power to restrict the use of pharmaceuticals.
However, clinical adviser to national depression group beyondblue, Professor Ian Hickie said antidepressants were not just being used to treat depression.
"They are used to treat behavioural complications of mental retardation and autism and fairly severe behavioral problems in kids who have other major neurological brain development issues.
"And they are not situations in which other behavioural therapies are commonly very effective."
Dr Daryl Efron, a pediatrician at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, said there was insufficient evidence to support the use of antidepressants to treat children for many conditions.
"There's an increasing range of medications that are being used on children. However there's not a lot of good research in children to support the use of most psychotropic drugs like antidepressants and mood stabilisers."

This is an article in one of Australia's newspapers today. Whilst i am not surprised by it at all, the realness of it just freaks me out.
In my job, many of my child clients are on medication such as those mentioned above. Sad considering these kids are witnesses and complainants to crimes....not the defendants.
I'm sorry, someone out there needs to prove me wrong in my thinking here. If all these kids are on amphetimines ( i know they are...i'm not disputing this), then wtf were they using back in my parents day and for that matter grandparents day? ADD...OCD...ADHD etc, never came to the surface till the 80s. You can't tell me, that all these kids need the drugs...its bullshit absolute bullshit. Take the kid out of the environment it lives and into another VIOLA! a different kid.........its been proven. I have seen kids with dyslexia given amphetimines and told its got ADHD...........bullshit. What's wrong with a decent kick up the arse instead of pandering to your kids wants. How come many of these kids are in single parent homes? How come these kids never go to school? Why are these kids "latchkey" kids? Why do these kids eat junkfood week in week out? What the fuck is wrong with labelling these kids as naughty kids, and give them a foot up the arse instead of medications?
I'm not saying it isn't a disease...............but holy crap....htf do kids under4 suffer depression?


Blogger No_Newz said...

Amen sista! The teachers and administration are also guilty of labeling and condoning drugs first. My son, prime example of what you mentioned. Once I realized I fought a losing battle with public school who kept crying ADD, I enrolled him (refusing to medicate him) into a private school. His grades have all improved (Ds to Bs), and his self esteem is through the roof. And all of this in less than one year at his new school. A kid needs ALL of the grownups in their life to have faith in them and it can make all the difference in the world. Great post! Have a good weekend.
Lois Lane

3:35 PM  
Blogger riskybiz said...

I agree! All those drugs, it's scary.
I think that all these childhood diseases are caused from diet, lack of exercise and environment. It may sound simple, but that's my view.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Lois ~ Well done and congratulations for being so tuned into Lane1 needs. Why are teachers all of a sudden GP"S? They sure as hell are here.....ridiculous. It blows me away how some parents are so willing to give in to medications so quickly.

Risky ~ Not simple at all. It's all common sense and as Lois said, self esteem.....its soooooooo important. Thanks for joining in the discussion :)

4:41 PM  
Blogger Jennyta said...

'Diet, lack of exercise and environment' - I agree totally. Also, lack of 'quality' parenting very often - giving in to the child for an easy life. There are so many parents who become parents when they're still kids themselves and just don't have parenting skills. Sadly, it's not a priority to provide ways of giving them these skills either.

5:09 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Jenny ~ Absolutely!!!

10:34 AM  

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