Antipsychotics for Poor Kids Soar, Mostly for Behavior Problems


Cross-sectional analysis by the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University of 456,315 youths enrolled in Medicaid between 1997 and 2006 finds that the use of antipsychotics skyrocketed up to 12x, “and reflects”, according to the authors, “increased medication use for behavioral problems.” The results appeared in Psychiatric Services this month.

Abstract →

Zito, M., Burcu, M., Ibe, A., et al; Antipsychotic Use by Medicaid-Insured Youths: Impact of Eligibility and Psychiatric Diagnosis Across a Decade. Psychiatric Services 64(3); Online March 1, 2013

Of further interest:
Antipsychotic Use Skyrockets in America’s Poorest Children (Medscape Today)

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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].


  1. Entire generations are being turned into permanent patients in the system. We are losing those individuals who think out of the box, those who come up with new and innovative ideas, creations, and inventions. Anyone who doesn’t conform gets zapped with the toxic drugs, even if their parents fight the system.

    This is also a concerted effort to decimate and control the African American community and is used in conjunction with the supposed “war against drugs.” In the ’60’s and early ’70’s the number of young, African American men incarcerated in mental hospitals rose significantly and they were labeled as schizophrenic and then drugged to the gills.

    The government, drug companies, and psychiatry have slithered into bed with one another and all of this is the end result.

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