Passionate Instigator, Dynamic Problem Solver
May 22nd, 2014 09:10:00 am
If you haven't read the Today “expose” that came out this week concerning over 10,000 toddlers being medicated, there's a good chance you saw it in your social media feed. This is a good opportunity for me to weigh in, since I have been anti-medication since the 1990s.
Watch the video blog here.
There are a few things I want to remind people of. First: all of these medications have black box warning labels. Sometimes called black label or boxed warnings, these are the most serious warning labels a medication can carry. Side effects could be dire, resulting in permanent disability and even death. Yet the peer-reviewed Journal of Pediatrics told doctors they didn't agree with the labels and that it was okay to ignore them. Most parents have no idea how dangerous the side effects really are, because no one's telling them.
For over fifteen years I have been saying “medicate two or three years olds? Please.” Years ago, there was a 400% increase in two to four year olds taking these medications. At that time, it was said it shouldn't even be administered or used in kids below eight, and now that's been dropped to age four. Some studies claim that medicating kids may give immediate benefit—the operative word here being “may.” But there are long-term costs. And when we're talking about toddlers, that's a lot of long-term for a two or three year old.
Back in my day, if a two or three year old was acting crazy and a parent when into the doctor to ask what was wrong, a doctor would say, “here, take some vitamins. They're not called the terrible two's for nothing.”
The question isn't whether or not we should label these kids. The question is:: what are you going to do about it? What are we going to do about it? Are we going to let our toddlers be sacrificed on the cash cow alter so pharmaceutical companies can make another billion?
Another aspect of the report that was really upsetting was the fact that some of these kids are on Medicaid. There's double and triple dipping going on here. The families may be making money off having these kids labeled. Social services is making money. Schools are making money. Pharmaceutical companies are making money, which they then give to Washington through legalized bribery or lobbying, and campaign supports.
Everybody gets to make money, while we take away our children's childhoods. Telling them it's bad to touch things, to get excited, to go out and explore the world.
If you didn't want a child, why did you have one? Because when you had one, somewhere along the way you must've realized that they have a lot of energy and curiosity. Guess what? They're supposed to.