The pharmaceutical companies have broadened their horizon. It is not enough that they have 30% of middle and upper income white women addicted to antidepressants and that 20% of adults take some form of psychiatric medication. They now want to hook as many children as possible on psychiatric medication as well.
Big Pharma has one goal: Make profits no matter what it takes. This can only be accomplished by convincing lay people and physicians that the solution to health problems is drugs. Common sense tells you that this view cannot be true. Nobody is sick because they have low levels of pharmaceutical drugs in their bodies. In fact people that are taking multiple prescribed drugs suffer from a host of side effects which can be simply annoying, sometimes debilitating and even life threatening. Unfortunately the overwhelming majority of Americans and physicians have swallowed the pharmaceutical companies’ drug bait, hook, line and sinker.
Americans make up just 5% of the world’s population, yet they consume over 40% of the drugs that are produced. Do you think that the billions and billions of dollars that the drug companies spend on television and other advertising have influenced this outcome? When your children went off to high school, you probably told them “Just say ‘No!’ to drugs!” Yet when you watch television, the drugs companies are selling you on the proposition to “Just say ‘Yes!’ to drugs.”
Only two countries, New Zealand and the United States allow drug commercials on television. The FDA approved drug commercials in the U.S. in 1999. Pharmaceutical companies spend nearly $5 billion annually on direct to consumer advertising on television. The average American watches nearly 16 hours of drug commercials every year. That works out to 1920 drug commercials every year. Over 20 years that will amount to 320 hours (8 – 40 work weeks) watching 38,400 drug commercials. Americans are being brainwashed into believing that drugs are the panacea for all problems, physical and emotional.
Were you aware that the federal and state governments are working in concert with the pharmaceutical companies to promote the use of psychiatric drugs in children? Pharmaceutical drug companies have developed so-called mental health care screenings for children. When a child is screened at school and found to have symptoms of a mental disorder, then the child is referred to a psychiatrist and given psychiatric drugs. These drugs are amphetamines for the treatment of so-called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs for other symptoms.
Guess who devises these mental health screening tests and promotes their use? The drug companies and their in-house psychiatrists do. Guess who funds these school screening programs? Of course, it’s the drug companies.
Nearly 9 million children in America are taking prescribed psychiatric medication and the drug companies are laughing all the way to the bank. Antidepressants have been demonstrated to provide no more long term benefits than do placebos. The difference is that placebos will not cause you or your children to have suicidal or homicidal ideas and actions like the antidepressants do. By the way, antidepressants are prohibited in England and the U.K. for children 18 and under.
Antidepressants can create a host of symptoms in children and adults: depression, crying spells, fatigue, insomnia, suicidal ideas, homicidal thoughts, anxiety, panic attacks, jitteriness and trembling, irritability, impulsive actions, agitation, confusion, manic behavior, hallucinations, nightmares, detachment and loss of feelings. These symptoms develop after the antidepressant treatment is initiated. Of course this leads the psychiatrist or local doctor to add other psychiatric medications to the regimen. The patient often becomes a basket case, unable to function. Antidepressants are addictive. They mimic the action of cocaine. The above symptoms are magnified when the antidepressants are discontinued abruptly. No one should stop antidepressants or any psychiatric drug without the guidance from a physician. A patient must be weaned off them very slowly, over several months.
Most of the drugs which are prescribed to treat ADD, like Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta, are amphetamines and stimulate the central nervous system in the same manner as cocaine. These drugs are very addictive and can be associated with severe side effects: rapid heart rate, hypertension, dizziness, aggression, restlessness, facial tics, anxiety, confusion, sweating, insomnia, loss of appetite, to name a few. The amphetamines used for ADD for children are the gateway to cocaine as the children mature.
The drug companies are flush with cash and contribute to the politicians of both parties to gain their protection. What has developed is a legalized drug cartel.
The basis upon which most of the 9 million American children have been labeled as having “mental problems” has been the presence of certain subjective behaviors and/or the results of subjective mental health screening tests. There is no objective test to determine if someone as “mental problems.”
When individuals are plagued by problems in life, psychiatrists will often diagnose them as having a psychiatric illness. If individuals demonstrate bad behavior, then the psychiatrists will label them as having a mental disease. These individuals are forever stigmatized as having a “mental disorder” which adversely affects how others view them and how they view themselves.
The diagnosing of mental disorders is not a hard science like diagnosing heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, degenerative arthritis or cancer. In a real physical illness there are blood pressure measurements, blood tests, CT Scans, X-rays or heart catheterizations that can objectively diagnose the underlying problem.
Psychiatric diagnoses are purely subjective. There are no objective tests to determine if a person has a mental disorder. Often times physical health problems, particularly hypothyroidism and hormonal declines and imbalances, can cause emotional problems that physicians often treat with psychiatric drugs.
The reason pharmaceutical companies want to expand the psychiatric drug market to children is because children are more compliant in taking the drugs than adults. Their parents will make sure of that. When adults take these psychiatric drugs they often have such bad side effects that they will discontinue them. Expanding psychiatric marketing to children provides the drug companies with an increased revenue stream.
Psychiatric drugs cost the patient between $3 and $14 per day depending upon the brand name. In 2008 sales in the U.S of psychiatric drugs was $40.3 billion. The breakdown was $9.6 billion for antidepressants, $11.3 for antiseizure drugs that were often given off label for psychiatric use, $4.8 billion for ADD drugs and $14.6 billion for antipsychotic drugs. $40.3 billion for psychiatric drugs is not chump change. Over $9 billion of this was spent on psychiatric drugs for children.
Using the state school systems, the federal and state governments, under the guise of preventative health, screen children for mental health issues, asking them questions that would determine whether or not they need mental health services and psychiatric medication.
Here is a sampling of their questions:
- Have you often felt very nervous or uncomfortable when you have been with a group of children or young people, say, in the cafeteria or at a party?
- Has there been a time when nothing was fun for you and you weren’t interested in anything?
- Has there been a time when you had less energy than usual?
- Has there been a time when you felt you couldn’t do anything well or that you weren’t good-looking or as smart as other people?
It seems that most children, and adults too, would answer yes to all these questions. Who hasn’t felt that way at one time or another? These are normal feelings. These ridiculous, leading questions are being used as a guideline for determining if a child has mental health issues and if they should be prescribed psychiatric drugs.
Even in the psychiatric community there are substantial differences in opinion as to what actually defines mental health and mental illness. With children it is even more complex since they are developing quite rapidly and do not stay the same long enough to make a stable measurement.
The psychiatric drugs are often promoted by drug companies to physicians to be given for off-label use to children. Drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for specific medical indications. While doctors may prescribe a drug for an off-label use, drug companies are prohibited by law from promoting off-label use to physicians. Yet, they do this all the time and when caught they simply settle with the federal and state governments for hundreds of millions and billions of dollars. The pharmaceutical companies consider this the cost of doing business.
In his book, The Emperor’s New Drugs, Exploding the Antidepressant Myth, Irving Kirsch, Ph.D. documents that antidepressants are no more effective than placebo sugar pills. Dr. Kirsch is a professor at Harvard Medical School and appeared on the February 18, 2012 edition of “60 Minutes” to discuss his blockbuster book. His interview can be viewed at: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Zihdr36WVi4.
Sadly, there has been a substantial increase in the prescriptions of psychiatric drugs to children and teenagers. The antidepressants carry the black box warning for those under 24 years of age that they cause an increased risk of suicidal ideas and actions.
Christians believe in the doctrine of Original Sin. The bible teaches that we are all sinners who need redemption. Children and teenagers need the guidance of their parents who should instill them with Christian values and provide them with appropriate structure and discipline. Children need the affection, affirmation, approval, companionship and love of their parents, not psychiatric drugs.
The American fast food diet, which is loaded with stimulants, sugar, dyes and chemicals can adversely affect the brain chemistry and cause children and adults to misbehave or function poorly.
Birth control pills are drugs that counterfeit natural occurring hormones. In teenage girls, and in any woman, birth control pills can cause a host of emotional problems which are often then treated with antidepressants. This only compounds the problem.
Constitutionally, it is not the responsibility of the public schools and the state and federal governments to conduct mental health screenings on children. These screening programs, which have been promoted by the pharmaceutical companies, have caused parents to be coerced to allow their children to be prescribed psychiatric drugs.
What You Can Do:
- Tell Congress to eliminate funding for mental health screening.
- Tell your school board members that you do not want the schools to have mental health screening.
- Tell your state legislators to oppose all funding for mental health screening in schools.
- Be on the alert to block any mental health tests from being integrated with academic standards.
- Work for legislation that prohibits children from being required to take a mental health screening test.
- Clean up your family’s eating program. Eat healthy. Eat to live.
- Spend time with your children. Read to them from classic books that teach them morals and right living.
- Most behavior problems are best remedied by love and affection, interest in what your children are interested in, physical work, structure, and discipline. Drugs can mask the real problems.
Steven F. Hotze, M.D., is the founder and CEO of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, Physician’s Preference and Hotze Pharmacy. Dr. Hotze is the author of the book, Hormones, Health, and Happiness. In it he describes his journey from using pharmaceutical drugs to actively listening to his patients and treating the root cause of their symptoms through natural approaches. “For an acute illness, such as strep throat or a sinus infection, the drug approach may be appropriate. However, few patients with chronic ailments ever really get well by taking drugs. How can they? Chronic illness and disease are not caused by deficiencies of prescription drugs.”