Monday, October 13, 2008

U. S. Kids High on Psychotropic Meds

tidbits that tantalizeWith Drugs, More May Not be Better...

Americans are an edgy lot. Too much of this, or too little of that and life’s delicate balance quickly unravels. Parents are pulled in seventeen simultaneous directions in any given day and it’s beginning to show – in their kids’ prescriptions.

A new study reveals American kids are three times as likely to be prescribed psychotropic medications as their European counterparts. Is life really that much more complicated on this side of the Atlantic?

The researchers say it’s not likely. But, they do point to significant cultural differences to explain the disparity. Americans have been on a tear in recent years to label every over-active child as bipolar. Not surprisingly, the United States has a higher per capita number of psychiatrists.

Consider these facts. A previous study revealed that by 2001 ten percent of all office visits by teenage boys resulted in the prescribing of a psychotropic drug. About one-third of the visits yielded a new diagnose of ADHD, one of the favorite catchalls for teenagers. And, to top it all off, few of the prescribed medications have actually been approved for use in adolescents. And…

Drug manufacturers spent close to $30 billion in direct-to-consumer advertising in 2005.

Health is a challenge and, typically, the medical community does a fabulous job. But, we need to step back from the brink of medical management of every aspect of our children’s lives.

So if you, or your children, are a bit edgy maybe a dose of Prozac isn’t the answer. Instead, try something really radical and tell your kids to take a hike. As a matter of fact, put on your sneakers and join them – you’ll love the fresh air and, without the TV blasting, will have a great excuse to share some much-needed conversation.

To read more about the study, see this from ScienceDaily. To learn more about raising healthy kids, see this from


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