Evan Kitchens, 10, suffered severe side effects as a small child before being weaned off atypical anti-psychotic drugs.
According to a special report published in the St. Petersburg Times today, "more and more, parents at wit's end are begging doctors to help them calm their aggressive children or control their kids with ADHD. More and more, doctors are prescribing powerful antipsychotic drugs. In the past seven years, the number of Florida children prescribed such drugs has increased some 250 percent," reported Robert Farley.
There is so much to this issue, I can't encapsulate it in a blog post. But the concerns are many. How often are antipsychotic drugs actually necessary? How much of a child's environment affects his behavior and emotions? Have we counted the costs? All of them?
One pediatrician interviewed for this article said this. "Some parents are so stressed out, they come in seeking a pill," Dr. Esther Gonzales said. It's easy to medicate kids; "it is very hard to change environment."
There is more divorce and more drug abuse, more domestic violence, physical and sexual abuse. Working parents are overwhelmed. This may be one collection of reasons, but I don't think working parents are the only ones overwhelmed. We need to study that more.
Do the side effects outweigh the potential benefits of the drugs? I don't know.
Anyone out there have personal experience with this issue that you can share? Help us understand how you battle on behalf of your child.