Antipsychotics for Childhood
“Behavioral Problems” Skyrocket


Researchers from Columbia University and other New York institutions found a dramatically increasing use of antipsychotics to treat ADHD and other behavioral problems in children and adolescence. “Only a small proportion of antipsychotic treatment of children (6 percent) and adolescents (13 percent) is for FDA-approved clinical indications,” says the lead researcher. The results, showing a seven-fold increase of antipsychotic use in children and a five-fold increase in adolescents, were published online yesterday in Archives of General Psychiatry.

Article → Olfson, M., Blanco, C., et al; “National Trends in the Office-Based Treatment of Children, Adolescents, and Adults With Antipsychotics.”

Archives of General Psychiatry. Published online August 06, 2012. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2012.647
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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


    • And any parent who gives permission should be ashamed. This is rampantt among the poor. Pressure is put on them to choose the drugs and they are threatened by officials that their children will be taken away from them if they don’t comply. Other parents agree to the drugging of their kids to be able to keep what small benefits they get from the government. I overheard a conversation while riding the city bus one day in which a mother was talking about how her two year old daughter was “bi-polar” and had to have the “meds” that the psychiatrist told her she must agree to give to her child. I wanted to jump up and scream that two year olds are not bi-polar but didn’t want to get thrown off the bus at that point.

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