The number of children taking powerful antipsychotic drugs has nearly tripled over the last 10 to 15 years, according to recent research. The increase comes not because of an epidemic of schizophrenia or other forms of serious mental illness in children, but because doctors are increasingly prescribing the drugs to treat behavior problems, a use not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And a disproportionate number of those prescriptions are written for poor and minority children, some as young as age 2.
Doctors are prescribing antipsychotics even though thereâ€™s minimal evidence that the drugs help kids for approved uses, much less the unapproved ones, such as behavioral problems. And to make matters worse, the little research there is suggests the drugs can cause troubling side effects, including weight gain, high cholesterol, and an increased risk of type-2 diabetes.
As a child psychiatrist I have to admit I have seen horrific abuses of the use of anti psychotic medication in kids- like I heard of drs prescribing to 4 year olds and then not even monitoring. There are times whether are necessary eg kids do get psychotic- but yep it's abused.
As a mother to a teenage son and a Christian, as his mother I became convicted about the need for my son's need for medication. This year, by God's Grace, I will be weaning off his ADHD and other medication for depression. I came to conclusion my son didn't need them and that we must rely on The Lord for our trials and use medications as a last resort. I feel relieved about taking him off them. Far better we handle his learning challenges organically rather than chemically.