From the March 2000 Idaho Observer:

Change agents prepping preschoolers for a lifetime as dependent, mindless mental patients and government informants

Compiled from reports

The number of preschoolers in the United States being prescribed anti-depressants and stimulants soared in the mid-1990s, despite limited knowledge about the effects of such drugs on young children, according to a study published recently.

The number of 2 to 4-year-olds on psychiatric drugs including Ritalin and antidepressants like Prozac jumped 50 percent between 1991 and 1995, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The “experts” continue to prescribe these drugs to ever increasing numbers of children even though the use of them has proven to be injurious to them and detrimental to society. It appears that the “experts” do know what they are doing and are intentionally drugging the youth of America so they can be lifetime mental patients who are dependent upon the government. The government also proposes to create a national network of anonymous hotlines for unhappy and unbalanced teenagers, many of whom will be under the influence of prescribed psychotropic drugs (see article page 17).

Unknown effects

Experts claim they are troubled by the findings because the long and short-term effects of powerful psychotropic drugs like Ritalin and Prosac in children so young are largely unknown. “Unresolved questions involve the long-term safety of psychotropic medications, particularly in light of earlier ages of initiation and longer durations of treatment, the report said.

“While it is reassuring that anecdotal reports have rarely documented these problems, the possibility of adverse effects on the developing brain cannot be ruled out," it added.

The report appears to be an attempt by JAMA to run damage control in advance of the American public expressing its collective outrage once millions of America's children grow up to be mentally and physically disabled adults who are be unable to perform simple functions.

Although the study did not examine reasons for the increases, Julie Magno Zito, the lead author and an assistant professor of pharmacy and medicine at the University of Maryland, suggested a few possibilities.

With an increasing number of children attending day care, parents may feel pressured “to have their children conform in their behavior," Zito said. She also said there is a much greater acceptance in the 1990s of psychoactive drugs.

Study details

The authors reviewed Medicaid prescription records from 1991, 1993 and 1995 for preschoolers from a Midwestern state and a mid-Atlantic state; and for those in an HMO in the Northwest. The states were not identified.

Use of stimulants, antidepressants, antipsychotics and clonidine, a drug used in adults to treat high blood pressure and increasingly for insomnia in hyperactive children, were examined. Substantial increases were seen in every category except antipsychotics, though in some cases the actual number of prescriptions was quite small.

The number of children getting any of the drugs totaled about 100,000 in 1991, and jumped 50 percent to 150,000 in 1995. That year, 60 percent of the youngsters on drugs were age 4, 30 percent were age 3 and 10 percent were 2-year-olds.

The use of clonidine skyrocketed in all three groups. Although the numbers were small, the researchers said the clonidine increases were particularly remarkable because its use for attention disorders is “new and largely uncharted."

They noted that slowed heart beat and fainting have been reported in children who use clonidine with other medications for attention disorders.

Looming mental health crisis

“One possible contributing factor is the way mental health services are provided to children, Dr. Joseph T. Coyle of Harvard Medical School's psychiatry department wrote in an editorial accompanying the study. “For example many state Medicaid programs now provide quite limited reimbursement for the evaluation of behavioral disorders in children and preclude more than one type of clinical evaluator per day. Thus, the multidisciplinary clinics of the past that brought together pediatric, psychiatric, behavioral and family dynamic expertise for difficult cases have largely ceased to exist. As a consequence it appears that behaviorally disturbed children are now increasingly subjected to quick and inexpensive pharmacologic fixes,” he added.

“These disturbing prescription practices suggest a growing crisis in mental health, he said.

Dr. David Fassler, chairman of the American Psychiatric Association's council on adolescents and their families, said the medications studied, “can be extremely helpful for some children, even quite young children. But they should be prescribed only after a comprehensive evaluation and in conjunction with other therapy,” Dr. Fassler ignored the fact that most mental illness can be traced to environmental factors such as toxicity and can be treated naturally and effectively without the use of psychotropic drugs.

Fassler believes that powerful and addictive psychotropics are being prescribed more and more commonly to increasingly younger children in part because doctors are getting better at diagnosing behavioral disorders at an early age.

Because we are allowing “expert” adults into the minds of our children while they are still full of youthful exuberance that they diagnose as mental illness that requires dangerous and unproven drug therapy, we are creating generations of children who will grow up to be damaged and dependant adults who “have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering and only be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring [themselves] to rivet their chains around the necks of our fellow sufferers,” Thomas Jefferson observed.

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