Many Americans are taking psychiatric drugs and according to the latest research, one in six Americans is in some form using these medications. However, these medications are not mild drugs but can pose a great threat for the body and not many people are aware of this. What is even more alarming is that young children under the age of six take these drugs, too?
Over a million of children under the age of six take psychiatric drugs, and half a million of them are in the ages of 4 to 5, as per mental health watchdog group Citizen Commission on Human Rights. Around 370,778 toddlers in the age of 2 to 3 take this medication, and believe it or not, babies are also given psychiatric drugs. As the age goes higher the numbers are becoming even more alarming. According to the data from IMS Health nearly 4,130,340 children in the age range of 6 to 12 take psychiatric drugs.
In these numbers the children receiving ADHD drugs are not included. Namely, 181,000 toddlers take ADHD drugs, and 1,422 children younger than a year take the same drugs.
The rest of the children are commonly given anti-anxiety drugs. These drugs are given to approximately 227,132 babies under a year and to 248,000 children in the ages of 4 to 5.
If this numbers alarm you, then you should know that in reality they are even higher.
Some doctors give psychiatric medications for “off-label” use. This practice can lead to the occurrence of many serious consequences if it is not closely monitored.
Regarding the use of psychiatric medication in children and adolescents a study was conducted at Colombia University Irving Medical Center, led by Ryan Sultan, MD, a child psychiatrist and researcher at CUIMC. A team of researchers compared prescribing rates with prevalence rates for common psychiatric disorders in children. The leader of the study expressed great concern when he saw the results of this study that have been released in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.
We should do our best to protect our children as they are too young to tell us about their current mental condition. Adults can make their own decisions regarding their physical condition and therapy, and can determine what is really good for their health and well-being.
In the case of children there is no such opportunity, they depend on the things what their parents and doctors will decide.
The commonly given drugs for anti-anxiety, antidepressant and antipsychotic conditions may cause stroke, heart attack, diabetes, psychosis, suicidal ideation, mania and sudden death. The use of psychiatric medication changes brain chemistry in children and can cause irreversible damage. The use of such medication should be the last option and before their administration all the natural and safer options need to be tried out. Parents should teach their children about the ups and downs in life and together find the strategies that will best suit them. They can try some physical activity, breathing exercises, yoga, or art therapy. Our children deserve better treatment as they are our future citizens.