Every time I hear of a child (or anyone, really) given a new medication, particularly for a mental condition that the kid’s likely too young to even be diagnosed with in the first place—or the massively over-diagnosed ADHD frenzy—I feel so dejected and sad and just hopeless. Our drug industries (and the physicians in their pockets) are making major bucks by keeping us all doped up—and while I know that many people need medication, I also know in my heart that most of these people (especially the poor kids) do not.
A part of my soul just dies. You see, I was one of the many thousands of kids “diagnosed” with depression as a teen and put on medication (one of the medications to follow, in fact!) to remedy my illness. Was I really depressed? Sure, but it was because I worked full time, did all AP courses, took care of two siblings, was in two sports, and ran about a dozen school organizations. I needed a damn nap, not drugs. And plenty of other kids need something else, too--whether it's a break from too much homework, needless testing, more time with parents, more time outside, whatever. The drug they gave me had the potential side effect of suicidal thoughts, just as many others do, among many other harmful potential side effects. Um, is that really something you want to give your child?
At least the drug companies are starting to pay for some of these crimes. While many countries outlaw the advertising of drugs (seriously, self-diagnosis by a cartoon advertisement? Who thinks this crap up?), ours relies upon them heavily during primetime (anytime!) TV. Many of these ads, however, have been found to be either partly or completely false—including ads for drugs like Wellbutrin, Paxil, Zyprexa, and plenty of others.
False or misleading marketing—ahem, LYING—were cited as the reasons why the companies dealing these drugs were fined billions of dollars, but I think we need to go further. Perhaps we should imprison them; after all, we’re still heavily involved in the war on drugs while all of these companies continue drugging up our children and our brothers and sisters and parents LEGALLY—sometimes even with our permission, and sometimes ingesting drugs that could (indeed, that have been) just as harmful as, if not more harmful than, street drugs. But instead we keep paying money and drugging kids while we penalize the poor for selling pot—just as we penalize the people losing their homes and jobs while Wall Street and big banks reap in record profits. Welcome to America.