Monday, July 17, 2006

Kids on drugs -- by court order

Here's a sad story about how the mental health industry overmedicates children with pharmaceuticals. Alex P. is a kid who was diagnosed with ADD at the age of 11 and put on Ritalin. By the time he was 15 he had been forced by court order to be regularly dosed with Fioricet with codeine, Klonopin, Ativan, Dilaudid, Prozac, Paxil, Maxalt, Immitrex, Depacote, Phenergan, Inderal, Thorazine, Amitriptaline, Buspar, Vicodin, Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Clozaril, Norco, and Oxycodone. In this time frame, he suffered gross insomnia, a suicide attempt, rampaging behavior and got into various minor scrapes with the law.

And what did they arrest and send him to rehab three times for? Marijuana -- the only "drug" that helped his condition.

Alex was lucky. Thanks to his mother's persistence, he eventually escaped his court mandated incarceration by medication and in 2005 medicated exclusively with marijuana. He smokes, under a doctor's prescription, approximately one ounce per week. A year later, Alex reported dramatically improved mood and functionality... He is in an independent study program at a small public school and getting straight As and Bs. His mother reports... He sleeps well, he's not on any of the other medications... ...He's been totally fine. He walks the dog, cleans up his room, does chores for the family. And I know that he's going to be okay.

Alex is a success story, he was saved from pharmaceutical hell, but there are all too many other young victims of the new trend towards medicating young people. Prescription drugs have taken precedence over real therapy for one reason. The insurance companies will pay for drugs but limit the in person sessions with the therapist who thus becomes little more than a vendor for the pharma companies. Natural marijuana, an herbal medicine with almost no negative side effects, is being ignored as a medicine for only one reason. The pharmas don't control it and they can't charge outrageous sums under the guise of R&D for it when anyone with a flowerpot can grow it for themselves.

The only greater travesty in the war on some drugs than the criminalization of a naturally occurring weed with such beneficial properties is that our government spends over $9 billion a year putting people in jail for using it. And how insulting to civil society that they claim to wasting this money on "protecting our children" from this evil weed while they actively mandate the drugging of kids with powerful psychotropic pharmaceutical medications designed for adults.

[hat tip Vig]


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