is it any wonder?

Tara - posted on 11/11/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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When we start to drug children with amphetamines because of perceived behavioural issues, isn't it pretty obvious that these children will become reliant on drugs to moderate their emotions? And there should be no surprise when they go from taking the amphetamines prescribed by a doctor to taking meth amphetamine bought in an alley? or seeking out ecstasy pills instead of their ritalin etc.
Why do we continue down this slippery slope? Money and more money.
The stats for children taking pharmaceuticals for mental illness in Canada are hard to find, I'm still looking but I know from working in the foster care sector that it's high among kids in care. Other than that I have no idea.
sad.

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Sharon - posted on 11/11/2010

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A bit of the same here Kati - My oldest had/has add/adhd. We tried everything under the sun before trying medication. YEARS of trying alternatives before caving to medication.

But I have seen the pandemic of drugged kids and hearing teacher after teacher tell me how they've seen medication "fix" a student, just pissed me off to no end.

OH and my son wasn't the only person who saw a doctor for his issues. Before he came along, I watched alot of my friends drug their kids into submission and was pretty pissed off about it. My previous jobs in daycare and retarded adult care gave me a variety of tools to try to alter behaviour and I saw them work on their kids. I wasn't convinced that his issues weren't my fault so I talked to psychiatrists and behaviourists to see if it was somehow my fault. Nope.

Kate CP - posted on 11/11/2010

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I was one of the first Ritalin kids. I was put on it in 1989 when I was 7 years old. I didn't need it at all. I was just bored at school and wasn't being challenged in the classroom. My mother took me off it shortly after and I've never been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. Physicians are too quick to jump on the ADD/ADHD bandwagon and put a kid on medication. It gets the parents out of the office faster and off the doc's back. YES, there are some kids that genuinely need it but if my doctor recommended medication for my YOUNG child I would get a second and third opinion from child development specialists and behaviorists before I put them on medication. Medication on young children has a different effect than adults and the consequences can be devastating. Medication should never be the first reaction to a child who is having behavioral difficulties.

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Nikkole - posted on 11/11/2010

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yea they put my husband on i think it was called lexapro not sure how to spell it but he lost intrest in EVERYTHING and all he wanted to do was sleep and lay around it go to the point we argued every day and finally he stopped taking it and now hes running around everywhere having fun wanting to take me and the kids out so i can relate to you on that!

Amanda - posted on 11/11/2010

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My son was diagnosed with ADHD by his family dr at age 4. I than took him to a pysciatrist a week later and he said the same thing and put him on 3 different medications. He also said he had PTSD from the abuse his bio father showed towards me. I reluctantly gave him his medication. After 2 weeks of him "changing" I just noticed him being more tired, not wanting to wake up, and falling asleep at the dinner table. He lost his motivation to do just about anything. I took him off the medicine and started spending more one on one time with him, because I also have 3 younger daughters. He is now 7 and is doing excellent in school with absolutley no behavior problems. I have a very addictive personality and for my son to be on some strong medication that young I could only imagine what he would of been like as he got older. All my son needed was stability, more positive attention,and a routine. I don't agree with any dr who diagnosed him that young as ADHD. I think it's an easy excuse for drs to get people out of their offices and on meds. I think yes there are children out there that need medication, but I also agree that some people abuse it, and dr's perscribe it for useless reasons. This is a very debateable discussion with many different views. Mine personally from experience is that medication is not always the answer, but I also don't agree that kids on medications now will be in alleys buying illegal drugs or abusing their perscriptions. It's all about the responsibility you teach your child now.

Nikkole - posted on 11/11/2010

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My sister is 17 and has been on her meds since she was 7 and she is on something for ADHD,Bi Polar,anxiety,and asthma! But honestly i think the majority of her problems are my mother babied her and my younger sister they ARE HORRIBLE they get whatever they want and then when they dont they act like monsters i mean my sister could have bi polar or something else cause she does have anger issues! But i think she dosent need all that medicine i mean it dosent really work anyway and she has to switch it up every couple of months because her system gets used to it!

Tara - posted on 11/11/2010

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Kati, I can see your point if you have never really experienced over medicated children. I'm not anti-medication, I am medicated for depression and anxiety myself. Plus I have been a foster parent and worked in that sector and ALL the kids I worked with were medicated. So I definitely know what I'm talking about.

Over medicated kids are out there, more often than you think. You said you know 3 kids on medication. I have a friend who is a public school teacher, in her class of 28 students, 6 are medicated, she said that is pretty average. That's a lot of kids in my opinion, too many for them all to have real actual chemical imbalances like your son.

I know the compass you speak of Kati. I spent years helping kids and youth find and strengthen that compass so that they could learn to be contributing members of society and most of all to grow to love themselves. I know what happens when they don't get their medication.

I just feel that there are probably more kids who are being wrongly medicated than those who genuinely need it.

And that to me is dangerous.

Rosie - posted on 11/11/2010

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sharon brings up a point that unfortunately this year i HAVE seen , and it pisses me off to no end. my sons teacher insists that she KNOWS when he doesn't get his medication, and that we need to do a better job of administering it to him. i totally pissed me off. first of all, we give him the medication everyday, he can't have a higher dosage because of how small he is (it decreases his appetite) so he gets what he gets. anyhoo, what would this bitch do if i decided to yank him off of his medication? she was basically instructing me on how i need to be medicating my son. it totally pissed me off. in fact i went out and had a smoke it pissed me off so much, fucking cunt. anyhoo, yes, i actually see that point of your argument, cause it happened to me. :)

Kate CP - posted on 11/11/2010

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I can understand your defensive position, Kati. If I were in your shoes I would probably feel the same way. Hell, when it comes to bipolar disorder in adults I *AM* the same way! I think that people don't turn to medication soon enough when diagnosed with bipolar disorder and they get progressively worse. It's different when you're in the middle of it and not on the outside looking in.

Rosie - posted on 11/11/2010

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i guess for me, where i live i've never seen this whole ADHD pandemic of overmedicated kids. i can't say it doesn't exist just cause i've never seen it, but it just seems so weird an unlikely to me that all these psychologists are off their rocker prescribing medication left and right without any cause.

it's just in all these threads people keep on saying they're anti-medication, and it's obvious that these kids are going to end up hooked on drugs, and all these doctors want is money, and that ADHD is a lack of parenting skills. nothing about how they're anti-medication for SOME, and how SOME parents are the cause of their kids behavior. it just seems like everyone is blanketing everyone together, and it really infuriates me. hell, i've even tried taking my kid to a fucking chiropractor to see if that would help. ADHD is very real my friends, and i wish people would acknowledge that instead of making blanket statements dooming my child to a life of drug dealing.

Tah - posted on 11/11/2010

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DOn't take this personally because we are not saying that the children you know don't need it, i said that some of them do need it. ALOT DO NOT. I think some children are medicated when they don't need to be because that's a first resort for some instead of the last, if you know it doesn't apply to you, then don't sweat it.

Isobel - posted on 11/11/2010

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The sad thing is Kati, that while MANY children DO have these conditions and are in need of medications...many other cases are simple cases of neglect.

I know a family where the parents used to get drunk every night and then sleep till noon the next day, leaving the oldest (6) in charge of feeding and taking care of the other two. (4 and 1.5) and every time I talked to her she was PISSED that her kids had rummaged through the cupboards and eaten everything with sugar in it.

The last time I talked to her, she was on her way to the doctor's office claiming that the second two must have adhd the same as her first because they were acting the exact same way.

Our kids ARE being over-medicated...and that's not to say that kids who really need it shouldn't be, but when we have kids taking drugs that are KNOWN to cause suicidal tendencies...we should probably be paying a little closer attention to what's really wrong with them.

Rosie - posted on 11/11/2010

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i always get bent out of shape with these debates so forgive me. i just have never had this experience that you all are talking about where all these kids are being over medicated. i know of 3 people that have ADHD and are medicated. one of them is my son, another is my niece, and the other is my friends VERY autistic child. i guess i always HEAR of all these overmedicated kids that shouldn't be on medication, but actually seeing them is a different story. everyone i know that is on medication, needs their medication. they have problems that cannot be controlled without medication. it's not cause they dont' want to, it's because they CAN'T. everybody is acting as if ADHD is imaginary or the outcome of bad parenting, and it pisses me off. then to have someone basically state my child is going to go off looking for meth in a back alley is just ridiculous. i'm thankful for these drugs and always will be. they have helped my son gimp through life, without them he would be going through life without the internal compass that most of us are lucky to be born with. he would be lost. i'm willing to give my son a better chance at a normal life, why is that so bad?

Tah - posted on 11/11/2010

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i agree...far less children need medication than the number that are on it. Some of them are selling their ADD and ADHD medications to their friends. It is a slippery slope, i would have to explore every option before i went that route. For alot of children it is a lack of discipline and then you say little baddddd behind Johnny needs meds when he has almost never had a consequence to jumping on the couch, running wild, you have never given him any exercises to help him focus and then he gets to school and the teacher thinks she has a granimal assigned to her class. Then teachers are suggesting that children have these issues and mom and dad run him to the doctor to start them on a regime of behavioral medications. Some children do need help focusing..some need discipline....people need to know the difference..

Tara - posted on 11/11/2010

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Kati what I meant by perceived was the diagnosis of things like bi-polarism and depression and yes add and adhd and how it is fueled more by money than by genuine research. There are no blood tests to determine if a child suffers from any of the above illnesses and there have not been enough studies done on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs on in children. Ritalin was a bad example as it has been used for decades for the treatment of ADD and ADHD but remember Ritalin is essentially speed. And give to children who are entering or in their teens can be very dangerous.
The fact is we don't know enough to be messing with our childrens brains this way on a long term scale with little to now information on long term effects. It's risky in my opinion and unless there is very very clear evidence of a real behavioural issue that is not linked to environmental factors that can be controlled such as home environment, stress at school, ability to cope etc.
There had better be a very clear indication of a serious mental illness for me to put my kids on any kind of psyche. drugs.

Sharon - posted on 11/11/2010

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I'm surprised no one has clued in that the lack of discipline has led to children who push the boundaries constantly who seem to need to "medication" (aka DRUGS) to "control" themselves. DUH.

Rosie - posted on 11/11/2010

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perceived behavioral issues?from ADHD medication to buying drugs in an alley, really? holy hell we're all doomed...

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