Sunday, January 20, 2008

Drugs and kids

The below letters are in response to the article entitled States Sue Over Costly Drug Program - Florida Undecided:
Daytona Beach News Journal
Letters to the Editor for Jan. 20, 2008

Drugging not way to go

As a former remedial teacher in private schools in Florida, I think all criticism leveled against psychiatric programs escalating and expanding the drugging of babies, toddlers, kids and teens is justified This is not the way to go. I worked with grammar school kids who had difficulty in class. I had great success using a variety of techniques, including the great Maria Montessori techniques for teaching.

Then, I had a cousin who couldn't sleep. He was in his late 20s. He had other physical problems, not yet determined. This had been going on for quite a while, and though he was suffering, he was living with it. His family physician prescribed antidepressants. A week, or less, later, he was found dead in his room (in bed).

Babies and kids, just like all of us, have moods. Kids have trouble learning, just like all of us. Kids -- especially boys -- are active. This is a good thing, not "bad." Moods are not "wrong," they are not "illness" or "disorders." Moods are responses and indicators of something, be it school, other kids, teachers, possible physical illnesses, etc. To determine the problem and solve it is the correct action. Drugging the kid so he doesn't feel that emotion is like playing God. It's arrogant and wrong and has backfired and will backfire.

We're losing our new generation to psychiatry's critical view of the world: "Kids should be seen, not heard"; "Religion is just a crutch"; "We should control all emotions and behaviors." These are dangerous views, and we should not be supporting them with unthinking agreement or with our tax money. I cringe to think that my tax dollars are going to drug foster kids, prisoners and soldiers. And yet that's precisely where they are going!

JOANNE CALI, Southborough, Mass.

Must examine behavior

The drugs in most cases create side effects that are worse than what the child was first medicated for. These drugs also create a dependency. We have children who will grow into adults with a dependency on drugs.

Many times the root of the child's behavior is not investigated. A sugar high from an improper diet? Lack of parental skills? Other classroom children creating a problem for the child? Medication is not the answer for a child's behavior until all areas of the child's life have been explored.

Florida needs to join the other states in the lawsuits against use of anti-psychotic drugs in children. We have a world in which whatever makes the money is more important than the human.

CAROL J. BEECHER, R.N., Monticello, Ind. 

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