Anti-psychotic drugs are being prescribed to children — sometimes very young children — with attention deficit disorder, behavior disorders and autism. Nobody knows the long-term effects. From the St. Pete Times:
The ever-increasing number of kids who come through the doors of pediatrician Esther Gonzalez’s office lead chaotic lives. There’s more divorce and more drug use, more domestic violence and physical and sexual abuse. Working parents are overwhelmed.
“Some parents are so stressed out, they come in seeking a pill,” Gonzalez said. It is easy to medicate kids; “it is very hard to change environment.”
At her practice in Crystal River, she starts with a thorough screening. A child might need occupational, physical or speech therapy. Sometimes, it takes psychiatric drugs.
Despite her concerns about prescribing such medications, Gonzalez has no doubt they have saved many a child from juvenile detention.
Not prescribing drugs to a child who needs them, she said, “it’s like seeing someone dying and not giving them CPR.”
It’s easy for people who’ve raised easy children to believe better parenting is the answer. In some cases, that’s true. But there are kids who are very disturbed at very young ages. What do you do when your six-year-old goes wild with a steak knife?