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Thursday, September 02, 2004 commentary:

Schoolchildren Are Increasingly Dosed With Both Ritalin and Anti-Psychotic Drugs, Says New Research

Researchers from the Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt have found that anti-psychotic medications are being prescribed at an alarming rate for Tennessee children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. The use of anti-psychotic drugs has more than doubled since 1996, and today children are not only being dosed with Ritalin -- a powerful narcotic drug -- but now anti-psychotic drugs to mask other symptoms related to behavioral disorders.

Every time I write about this subject, I can't help but be outraged at the fact that we are a nation dosing our children with powerful narcotics in order to alter their brain chemistry rather than teaching them how to avoid the foods that cause these behavioral disorders in the first place. We don't teach our children how to eat right, nor do we teach our parents how to teach good dietary habits to their own children. Instead, we turn our children into literal druggies by forcing them onto extremely dangerous narcotic and anti-psychotic drugs.

In this nation, there appears to be a drug for every problem out there, including undesirable behavior on the part of children. In reality, ADHD is not a behavioral disorder, nor is it some sort of mysterious chemical imbalance in the brain. It is simply the natural effect of pursuing a diet that is very high in refined carbohydrates and very low in optimum nutrition.

This dietary pattern almost perfectly describes the pattern pursued by virtually all children in the United States. They load up on high-sugar breakfast cereals, soft drinks, candy bars, sweets, cookies, and desserts, and then, just in case they don't have enough sugar in their system already, when they go to school they get rewarded with more candy and desserts, and they even have the opportunity to purchase soft drinks and candy bars from vending machines that are actually supported and promoted by the school bureaucrats.

So on one hand, we have public schools deriving funding from the sale of soft drinks and candy that promote ADHD in children, and then on the other hand, instead of addressing this problem at its source, we have a fast-expanding collection of mental health professionals who are increasingly putting children on powerful narcotic drugs in order to mask the symptoms caused by the widespread consumption of sugars and processed foods.

The victims in all of this are, of course, the children themselves, who end up being unable to learn as well as they normally could, since their brains have been dulled by multiple prescription drugs -- and who end up going through the public school system with increased risk for obesity, diabetes and other diseases promoted by the consumption of food ingredients like white flour or refined white sugar.

And people wonder why we have such high rates of obesity, diabetes, and drug dependency in our adult population. It's not mystery -- just look at the children we're raising in this country. We're raising yet another generation of drug-addicted, chronically diseased, overweight, brain-numbed zombies -- and proudly declaring it "public education."

Learn more about: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder  | ADHD  | behavioral disorders  

About the author:
Author Mike Adams is a holistic nutritionist with over 4,000 hours of study on nutrition, wellness, food toxicology and the true causes of disease and health. He is well versed on nutritional and lifestyle therapies for weight loss and disease prevention / reversal. View Adams' health statistics showing LDL cholesterol of 67 and outstanding blood chemistry. Adams uses no prescription drugs whatsoever and relies exclusively on natural health, nutrition and exercise to achieve optimum health. He serves as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Research Center and is author of several books about health and nutrition, including Low-Carb Diet Warning and Superfoods For Optimum Health. In his spare time, Adams engages in pilates, cycling, strength training, gymnastics and comedy improv training. In the technology industry, Adams is president and CEO of a well known email marketing software firm.

Related Reading:

  • At a time when parents, schools and physicians still struggle with the perceived overuse of the medication Ritalin to treat children with attention difficulties, a new study suggests the potential for another controversy.
  • Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt have found a new class of antipsychotic medications is being prescribed for an increasing number of TennCare children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • The study, published in the August Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, found that nearly one in 100 adolescent TennCare recipients are being prescribed powerful antipsychotic medications for behavioral problems associated with ADHD.
  • Use for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and mood disorders increased more than twofold.
  • Perhaps most concerning, the adolescent population had more than a threefold increase in use of the drugs for ASDHD/conduct disorder, that amounted to nearly one in every 100 adolescents covered under TennCare.
  • Conrad says RIP promotes the use of behavior modification including positive reinforcement; techniques she has tried with two sons and a daughter with ADHD or related conditions.
  • Cooper says it appears antipsychotic medications are targeted to help aggressive behavior associated with ADHD.
  • "In this society, with aggression, they want to nip that in the bud," said Conrad.
  • The drugs were introduced during the 1990s as a new generation of antipsychotics, and include clozapine, risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine fumarate and ziprasidone hydrochloride.
  • The study's authors eliminated any child listed with a severe disability, including a severe mental illness like psychosis or autism.
  • "The goal of this article is to encourage physicians to carefully consider the risk/benefit ratio in their decision making about prescribing practices for the new generation of antipsychotics.


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