Prescribing Mood Drugs For The Symptoms Of Childhood Poverty

New York Times on the growing trend of doping up poor kids suffering from academic and social issues, since it’s apparent we’re not going to improve their surroundings:

When Dr. Michael Anderson hears about his low-income patients struggling in elementary school, he usually gives them a taste of some powerful medicine: Adderall. Although A.D.H.D is the diagnosis Dr. Anderson makes, he calls the disorder “made up” and “an excuse” to prescribe the pills to treat what he considers the children’s true ill — poor academic performance in inadequate schools.

“I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.”

Dr. Anderson is one of the more outspoken proponents of an idea that is gaining interest among some physicians. They are prescribing stimulants to struggling students in schools starved of extra money — not to treat A.D.H.D., necessarily, but to boost their academic performance.

“We as a society have been unwilling to invest in very effective nonpharmaceutical interventions for these children and their families,” said Dr. Ramesh Raghavan, a child mental-health services researcher at Washington University in St. Louis and an expert in prescription drug use among low-income children. “We are effectively forcing local community psychiatrists to use the only tool at their disposal, which is psychotropic medications.”

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  • alizardx

    Not less expensive, just easier to get funded since $ goes to Big Pharma. And treating amphetamine addiction means more profit for Big Health and the anti-drug industry.

    “Adderall – Generic Name: Amphetamine, Dextroamphetamine Mixed Salts” – and speed didn’t magically become safe / good for kids because it comes from Big Pharma instead of underground drug lab.

  • alizardx

    Not less expensive, just easier to get funded since $ goes to Big Pharma. And treating amphetamine addiction means more profit for Big Health and the anti-drug industry.

    “Adderall – Generic Name: Amphetamine, Dextroamphetamine Mixed Salts” – and speed didn’t magically become safe / good for kids because it comes from Big Pharma instead of underground drug lab.

  • Apathesis

    This is child abuse.  Parents and the doctors who drug their young children should be imprisoned.

  • Apathesis

    This is child abuse.  Parents and the doctors who drug their young children should be imprisoned.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    spare the drug
    spoil the child

    smart drugs are good
    only drugs that help you figure out your being buggered by The Man are bad

    it’s not just poverty that causes the problem
    it’s the 15th century schooling methods too

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    spare the drug
    spoil the child

    smart drugs are good
    only drugs that help you figure out your being buggered by The Man are bad

    it’s not just poverty that causes the problem
    it’s the 15th century schooling methods too

  • godozo

    I remember hearing somewhere that they found out that people who took Ritalin as kids had a tendency towards learned helplessness that didn’t exist in normal children. Makes me wonder whether at some level (not necessarily the doctor’s level, but somewhere higher up the food chain) they’re experimenting with ways of making people who’ll accept whatever pain and abuse they receive as their lot in life?

  • godozo

    I remember hearing somewhere that they found out that people who took Ritalin as kids had a tendency towards learned helplessness that didn’t exist in normal children. Makes me wonder whether at some level (not necessarily the doctor’s level, but somewhere higher up the food chain) they’re experimenting with ways of making people who’ll accept whatever pain and abuse they receive as their lot in life?

    • Frambles

      Sort of like the TSA

    • Frambles

      Sort of like the TSA

    • Frambles

      Sort of like the TSA

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