Psychiatric Drugs On Rise Among Young Children
More American children are being prescribed antipsychotic drugs and at younger ages, but it’s unclear if the rise in prescriptions correlates to an increase in mental health needs.
Across the country, over half a million kids now take psychiatric medications, though hardly any of these drugs are approved for use in children. One recent study found that prescriptions for antipsychotics doubled among young children between 2000 and 2007, though just 40 percent of kids in the study had a full mental health work-up.
It’s uncertain what the long-term consequences will be of an increasing number of youngsters popping pills, but for some children medication is proving to be little more than a quick fix.
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In one case, a Louisiana boy was prescribed numerous drugs starting at just 18 months. By the time he was 3, the boy had been diagnosed with everything from autism to bipolar disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. But today, at age 6, he takes just one drug and it turns out he never had any of those conditions. Instead, doctors now say his behaviors were due to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, language delay and family circumstances, reports The New York Times. To read more click here.