Athenian’s diary the other day struck a nerve with me.  (Her perfect breasts.)  Not the subject of the diary, but that the obvious bad guy in the discussion was overlooked – the pharmaceutical industry.   Bear with me here, since this is my first diary.

I have a very difficult 7yr old.  Actually, a very smart, extremely active child that when engaged is a wonderful person to be around.  With the classroom enrollment approaching 25 kids the teachers however feel unable to manage her.  She gets bored and finds things to do.  So in effect we got the speech in first grade, from the experts (teachers) that perhaps she needed to be put on medication.  Exact words here.  My husband told them to take it themselves, and we walked out.  Afterwards I decided to talk to other parents and find out more, and I counted 4 kids my daughter knows that were put on Ritalin between the ages of 4 and 6, and are still on the drug.  Three of them were put on the drug by their pediatrician, and only one saw a psychologist.

So I decided to look into this drug (and others like it) some more and came up with some rather shocking findings.  One of the first things I found was that is not recommended for kids under 6, since it alters the brain chemistry and the brain does the most growing between 0 and 6 – however it keeps on growing throughout the teenage years.  Secondly it is a class 2 narcotic????   It is in the same class as, and affects the same areas of your brain as cocaine, speed etc, and in the same class as opiates.  In other words, not only is it damaging, it is also addictive.  Here is perhaps a better definition: (Please forgive the unprofessional look).

Julian Whitaker M.D. –  “Ritalin: Legally Sanctioned “Speed”  Ritalin is the number one prescription drug for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This drug has such tremendous potential for abuse that it is classified as a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Ritalin is an amphetamine (in street jargon, “speed”) with a lengthy list of side effects, including nervousness, insomnia, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dizziness, palpitations, headaches, irregular heart rhythms, and psychic dependence — in short, addiction.  In fact, Ritalin’s appeal to drug users and its potential for abuse are so high that US House Judiciary Chair Henry Hyde (R-IL) recently filed a request with the General Accounting Office (GAO) to conduct an investigation of Ritalin abuse in public schools. In addition, class action lawsuits have been filed in Texas, California and New Jersey charging Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, maker of Ritalin, with conspiracy to create the psychiatric disorder known as ADHD in order to fuel the market for their product.”

Now why, with just this basic information, would you give this to children?   The side effects alone are enough to put me off.   Furthermore, the manufacturer claims that these kids are less likely to abuse drugs in their teenage year – forgive the obvious here – this is while they are still high on legal drugs.  The other side however claims that there is an increase in drug abuse among young adults, when they are less likely to be on the weaker prescription given to them under the supervision of their parents.  A controlled experiment in Canada several years back, and I’m still trying to find the source so I won’t quote percentages here, gave one set of kids a placebo and concluded that there was no change in them.  The other set received Ritalin, and the doctors found that they experienced additional diagnoses and additional medication at an alarming percentile.  That is to say several were furthermore diagnosed with depression and given Prozac, while others were diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and so on.

The US leads the world in drugging children.  Now I have to ask why?  What makes children here “sicker” than in other parts of the world – or are we being sold an easy way to quiet our kids?

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