Monday, October 22, 2007

Portsmouth, VA, School Board Warns Parents About Drug Dangers

Last month in Virginia, the Portsmouth School Board voted to send a note home to parents about the “harmful effects” of drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). That got some groups in an uproar - mostly the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, the Virginia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Tidewater chapter of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Funny how the people who may benefit most from drugging kids got annoyed.
I didn't see a complaint from the Feingold Institute or folks who are educating people about the dangers of food additives and other junk in our food supply.

OK - OK - I know I'm gonna hear from parents out there who say drugs have helped their kids - that's fine - I am glad for you - but there are just as many, if not more, whose lives have been ruined because of mis-diagnosis or improper use of psychotropic drugs. The point is that parents should be warned about the dangers of these drugs. They might also do well to look into alternative therapies.

Some folks said this isn't an issue for the school to deal with anyway - and that health issues should be between the student and his doctor (and I agree with that on most counts).... well it seems to me if the schools are going to continue to push themselves into a child's health and well being then there is no reason for them not to send some sort of warning home to parents - I give them credit - at least they are trying to help the parents here by giving them more information.

Someone has to warn parents about the dangers of these prescription drugs: some doctors surely aren't. Some of them are making a fortune out of their prescribing drugs to kids, or out of their relationship with the drug makers.

Perhaps the school is merely trying to get themselves off the hook of any liability - especially if they reported that junior wasn't paying very good attention in class, which probably was the reason he has a doctor prescribe drugs in the first place. It behooves them to warn these parents about the dangers of these drugs before one of those kids shoots up their school, or commits suicide - right?

Apparently no one seems to really know how these anti-psychotics and other drugs affect the developing brain. Some have already seen the physical effects on children.
One article from the Providence Journal says this:
Side-effects, including diabetes, increased serum lipids, significant weight gain, sedation, and cardio-vascular effects, are frequently encountered with atypical anti-psychotics. Children may be more likely to develop these side-effects, and once the weight gain or diabetes occur, they may stay with the child for years into adulthood.
How many kids have to die or spend their childhood zoned out or develop other illnesses before someone speaks up?

And just think ... if we get socialized medicine in this country ... that just makes it easier for the money for prescriptions for kids to flow into Big Pharma's pockets and out of everyone else's!

By the way - have you signed the petition against mental health screening of kids in school? If not - watch the video and then decide.

(Hat Tip: Ken K.)