Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Drugging Our School Children

Study: Antidepressants May Help Kids

Associated Press Writer

April 17, 2007

Recently released findings of the psycho-pharmaceutical industry concludes that the prescribing of psychotropic drugs for children is a good thing. Let's take a look.

All this gets confusing, but as the man said, "the devil is in the details", and the details are pretty horrific.

This is the latest study of the "lab rat" variety. I am somewhat familiar with the way studies such as this are designed, and I can tell you without even seeing their data, that these "findings" and their conclusions were cherry-picked to support the use of drugs on children for the express purpose of controlling their behavior. The psychological community has been promoting such drug use for thirty-five years. All they have to do to get it classified in the The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is to add the word, "disorder" at the end, and voilá, we have another "mental illness" for which lots of expensive drugs can be prescribed.

The AP article names the National Institute of Mental Health , NIMH and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at the ones who provided funding. Several questions come to mind right away. The first question is: which companies conducted this, "most comprehensive analysis of the data yet put together" of antidepressants for children and teenagers? followed by the next question: What was the relationship of the doctors conducting the research to the companies conducting the study? Who is really behind studies such as these?

On the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics website, this study on ADHD is mentioned. I am including it in full because it is instructive as to how far the language goes to dehumanizing the children: remember methylphenidate is RITALIN, manufactured by Ciba Geigy Corporation.

Stereoselective disposition of methylphenidate in children with attention-deficit disorder

NR Srinivas, D Quinn, JW Hubbard and KK Midha

Six boys with attention-deficit disorder were given single doses (5 or 10 mg) of dl-threo-methylphenidate (Ritalin, Ciba-Geigy, Basel, Switzerland). Plasma samples through 8 hr were analyzed by capillary column gas chromatography with electron capture detection. Enantiomers were separated and measured as heptafluorobutyryl-1-prolyl derivatives. The method was sensitive to 0.1 ng of enantiomer per ml of plasma. The plasma levels of d-methylphenidate were at least 5-fold greater than those of the l-enantiomer in the profiles of all six children. Mean areas under the plasma level-time curves were 24.48 +/- 7.62 ng/hr/ml for d-methylphenidate and 3.77 +/- 1.04 ng/hr/ml for l-methylphenidate. There was appreciable intersubject variation in plasma level maxima and times to maximal plasma levels of each enantiomer.

Volume 241, Issue 1, pp. 300-306, 04/01/1987
Copyright © 1987 by American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
But Liberty Coalition reports that:

"The Federal Mental Health Action Agenda (FMHAA) is the implementation plan for the New Freedom Commission report, and it has many recommendations and plans. For instance the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that is overseeing this agenda is funding grants to develop and expand "mental health promotion and early intervention services for infants in mental health care settings and other programs that serve children and adolescents . . ." Apparently government involvement in the mental health of preschoolers as described in the NFC report was not early enough the Federal Action Agenda had to lower the age to infancy."

Secondly, this is junk science. It's very irresponsible of the AP to even report it in this fashion. The criterion for determining whether or not the drugs were harmful was:

"There were no suicides in any of the studies. The antidepressants included Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, Serzone and Remeron."

Let me tell you something: when the medical community concludes that a drug is safe for use by our children, simply because they didn't commit suicide while on it, we are in deep doo doo.

The study concluded:

"The medications are safe and effective and should be considered as an important part of treatment," said study co-author Dr. David Brent of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "The benefits seem favorable compared to the small risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior."

What benefits one might be tempted to ask? Benefiting whom? A statement like this is undoubtedly directly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, who stand to profit in the billions of dollars for even one successfully introduced psychotropic drug.


"Antidepressants worked best when used to treat anxiety, the analysis found. They worked moderately well treating obsessive-compulsive disorders. They worked less well, but were still effective in treating depression."


"Effectiveness of the drugs was measured in the studies using widely accepted rating scales. The analysis appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association."

Widely accepted by whom? The doctors who are prescribing the drugs?

The widely accepted policy of subjecting our school children to "mental health testing" - often without approval or even knowledge of the parents - and subsequent drugging, must stop.

My question is: do schools who allow the promotion of prescribing drugs to our young children and adolescents for "behavioral problems" qualify as "Drug-Free Schools"? I would have to say, no they don't. And we wonder where they get the idea that drugs are good? Take a pill.

Not included in this study is the common practice of prescribing Ritalin for the treatment of ADHD, or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which is not a disease. An estimated 5,000,000 children in the US alone take as methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin.
Ritalin is classified as an amphetamine.

Where was Ritalin when I was a school kid? It didn't exist. Our "behavioral" problems were handled by our teacher, our principal, and our parents. Did we have peer pressure to conform and misbehave? Ah, yes we did. Awareness of the consequences of our actions was about the only guiding principle we went by. It was very effective, but we still had a great time in school.

In Cloning of the American Mind, Beverly K. Eakman states, unequivocally:

"School violence is the result of peer groups usurping the authority of the parent. The authority of the parent is gone. The authority of the adult is gone. The adult is no longer guiding or leading the child. Therefore the peer group is doing it. This is the result of psychology, this is what psychology promotes, actively - and has promoted for 35 years, and it has culminated in epidemic school violence."

How did this usurping of parental authority come about? Here is a clue...

Published in the Education Reporter, November 2006.
By Karen R. Effrem, M.D.

Government Shrinks in the Nursery
Infant and Toddler Mental Health

"In fact, a 2005 study by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley said, "Attendance in preschool centers, even for short periods of time each week, hinders the rate at which young children develop social skills and display the motivation to engage classroom tasks, as reported by their kindergarten teachers." So, in fact, preschool does not improve children's social interaction and development; they harm them. The proposed government solution is creating the very crisis it purports to solve."

"Sadly, the other major and even more dangerous way for intervening in the mental health of young children is using powerful psychiatric drugs as a chemical straitjacket. A 2000 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed a 300% increase in the use of these drugs in 2-to-4-year-old children between 1991 and 1995. And key child psychiatric opinion leader Dr. David Willis said, "Psychopharmacology is on the horizon as preventive therapy for children with genetic susceptibility to mental health problems." (Emphasis added)"

"Yet, the science behind the diagnostic criteria, the screening instruments, and the treatments, whether drug or educational and social interventions, is appallingly bad. Dr. Benedetto Vitiello, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at the National Institutes of Health acknowledged the "diagnostic uncertainty surrounding most manifestations of psychopathology in young children." The technical information for one of the most commonly used screening instruments for young children admits that it is wrong 73% of the time. There are no studies showing long-term safety and effectiveness or effect on the developing brains and bodies of any psychiatric drug in children."

"Yet, two of the three classes of these drugs are under the FDA's most stringent warnings short of bans, called Black Box Warnings, for suicide, violence, and increased death rates. They also interfere with learning, causing violence, neurological problems, obesity, diabetes, and heart attacks. The vast majority are not FDA approved for use in children, but children are put on them by the millions, most often as members of a captive clientele, such as the welfare, foster care or juvenile justice systems. They are often medicated in unstudied, unapproved combinations. Dr. Vitiello also said, "Little research has been conducted to study the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions in young children, and the long-term risk-benefit ratio of psychosocial and pharmacologic treatments is basically unknown.""

"What can be done to stop this horrific, unscientific, ineffective, and dangerous government invasion into the minds and values of our most vulnerable citizens?"

"We must refuse to submit our children to any of these unscientific screenings and surveys, no matter where or by whom they are proposed. We must demand that the federal government quit funding the programs that carry out this invasion of parental authority and family autonomy. We must demand better information regarding the dangers and side effects of these drugs. Instead of drugging, we must demand the promotion of strong two-parent families and tax policies that do not force mothers into the workforce."

"Most importantly, we must view our children, and insist that government mental health industry also view them, as unique individuals "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights," not sick people with broken brains that may only be fixed by a toxic drug or government program. (See for more information and specifics on how to fight this system in your own state)"

All the more reason to Home School.