Drugging Our Children
How Profiteers Are Pushing Antipsychotics on Our Youngest, and What We Can Do to Stop It
Antipsychotic drug prescriptions for children are skyrocketing, in spite of the fact that they cause irreparable harm to developing brains and bodies and shorten lifespan when used long term. When market forces rather than science drives mental health care, children are placed in grave danger.
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This book exposes the skyrocketing rate of antipsychotic drug prescriptions for children, identifies grave dangers when children's mental health care is driven by market forces, describes effective therapeutic care for children typically prescribed antipsychotics, and explains how to navigate a drug-fueled mental health system.
Since 2001, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of antipsychotics to treat children for an ever-expanding list of symptoms. The prescription rate for toddlers, preschoolers, and middle-class children has doubled, while the prescribing rate for low-income children covered by Medicaid has quadrupled. In a majority of cases, these drugs are neither FDA-approved nor justified by research for the children's conditions.
This book examines the reasons behind the explosion of antipsychotic drug prescriptions for children, spotlighting the historical and cultural factors as well as the role of the pharmaceutical industry in this trend; and discusses the ethical and legal responsibilities and ramifications for non-MDs—psychologists in particular—who work with children treated with antipsychotics.
Contributors explain how the pharmaceutical industry has inserted itself into every step of medical education, rendering objectivity in the scientific understanding, use, and approvals of such drugs impossible. The text describes the relentless marketing behind the drug sales, even going as far as to provide coloring and picture books for children related to the drug at issue. Valuable information about legal recourse that families and therapists can take when their children or patients have been harmed by antipsychotic drugs and alternative approaches to working with children with emotional and behavioral challenges is also provided.
- A chapter on effective parenting coauthored by a leading parenting expert, Laura Berk
- Contributions by noted medical journalist Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic
- Information on legal issues by Harvard-educated lawyer Jim Gottstein
- Insights from former pharmaceutical industry insider, Gwen Olsen
- An examination of community approaches to children's mental health care by internationally known psychologist Stuart Shanker
- Offers solid facts about antipsychotic medication and effective therapeutic alternatives
- Provides an ethical and legal roadmap for licensed psychologists and other non-MD mental health professionals seeking to protect children in their care from unnecessary and risky drugs
- Gives parents effective tools to advocate more effectively on behalf of their children within the mental health system
- Author Info
"This is a powerful indictment of the American penchant for prescribing cocktails of dangerous drugs for troubled children instead of dealing with the underlying problems. Anyone who is worried about this nation's children—and we all should be plenty worried—will find the book eye-opening."
"Aggressive drug company marketing has promoted the widespread overuse of antipsychotic drugs with potentially harmful side effects. This valuable book provides a powerful pushback."
"The over-use of anti-psychotic drugs with America's children has been one of the leading scandals in mental health for years, and this outstanding volume explores every angle of it, from its history and causes to some solutions in the best interests of children. Parents and professionals alike need to read this book."
"Drugging Our Children is compelling and disturbing. It is a must-read for all health care professionals. This enlightening well-researched volume will help to protect our children from maltreatment and abuse from inappropriate use of medication. I highly recommend it—for parents as well as professionals."