About one in five children on Medicaid who are being given long-acting stimulants for ADHD are also being given antipsychotics, often for unapproved conditions, according to a study in Psychiatric Services.
The researchers examined Medicaid data from four states for children and adolescents between the ages of six and 17 years between 2003 and 2007.
Among 61,793 children who began treatment with long-acting stimulants (LAS) for ADHD, 11,866 or 19.2% were also being prescribed a second-generation antipsychotic concurrently for at least 14 days, and on average for 130 days.
“Comorbid psychiatric conditions, including disorders that are not approved indications for second-generation antipsychotic use, were associated with concurrent use of LAS and second-generation antipsychotics,” wrote the researchers.
Kamble, Pravin, Hua Chen, Michael L. Johnson, Vinod Bhatara, and Rajender R. Aparasu. “Concurrent Use of Stimulants and Second-Generation Antipsychotics Among Children With ADHD Enrolled in Medicaid.” Psychiatric Services 66, no. 4 (December 15, 2014): 404–10. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201300391. (Abstract)
Antipsychotics work by blocking dopamine where as stimulants work by raising it. One cancels out the other. This is proof that the goal here is to sell more product. The doctors writing these scripts should be investigated for fraud.
What happens is that because these stimulants are amphetamines, the kids who take them wind up getting strung out. They become restless and irritable just as someone who snorts cocaine every day would. The neuroleptics are then brought in as sedatives in a rationalized atrocity of denying that amphetamines work the same in children “with add” and those without. The assumption being that the kids aren’t “strung out”, but rather that they had an “underlying bipolar disorder” that is now emerging. It’s the reason why you hear claims from them that “ADD/ADHD” is often “misdiagnosed in children with bipolar disorder” or that the two go hand-in-hand. It has pretty much been established in child psychiatry that a third of children diagnosed with “ADD/ADHD” will turn out to have “bipolar disorder” with bought-and-paid-for charlatans like Joseph Beiderman declaring that hyperactivity and irritability in children are the equivalent to mania in adults.
Excellent point, Jeffrey! The duplicitous circular reasoning behind this morphing of ADHD to the bogus “pediatric bipolar disorder” is disgusting and maddening.
I agree, the iatrogenic pyramid scheme the psychiatric industry has been participating in is appalling – especially, given the almost unfathomable number of children being misdiagnosed (according to the DSM-IV-TR) as bipolar, due to the adverse effects of both the ADHD drugs and antidepressants.
Precisely. I have seen this many, many times in my work with foster children, where stimulants cause increased aggression and this is “treated” by antipsychotics instead of reducing or eliminating the symptoms. You’d think that basic scientific reasoning would speak against this practice, which is about as logical as roping a rock climber and pulling him/her both up and down at the same time. But apparently scientific logic does not apply, and we are operating either from blind religious adherence without any scientific understanding at all, or from blatant profit-making evil motivations. Either way, anyone prescribing this combo should be called on the carpet, but it is common enough that they can get away with it by calling it “regular and accepted practice,” even when it is totally irrational. Pisses me off big time!
It’s that “Vyvance” , that crap put out as “new and improved” when the Adderal patent ran out.
The only thing long acting or “extended” about Vyvance is the strung out anxiety can’t eat crash that goes on for hours after a peak that is too high because that “pro drug” delivery system is flawed.
It’s the new Vyvance crash that’s causing these kids to ‘need’ antipsychotics.
What parents need to do is adjust for adult body weight and take the child’s dose themselves because its the ONLY way to understand what these drugs do and how they “work”.
Vyvance “new and improved” , wow the power of marketing.
It’s really hard to believe that child drugging has not been put in the trash bin of history yet.
Up and down on pills all day, day after day as kids. It’s just SO wrong.
Nah, Vyvance may be worse but this has been going on for years, ever since “juvenile bipolar” was invented, oh, oops, I mean DISCOVERED by the estimable Dr. Biedermann, who interestingly worked a lot with “ADHD” kids before he made his “discovery.” It happens with any amphetamine-type stimulant, though Vyvance may make it even more likely. It sounds nasty to me!
I am not in the USA and so do not know how Medicaid works. My impression is that it is some kind of government funding for healthcare and aimed at those who do not have private healthcare packages, which usually come with employment. If I am right then this could be interpreted as mass drugging of the poor, uppity trouble makers and therefore an extension of the original purpose of psychiatry, ie a way of locking up people who are disruptive and who stop factories working at full pelt but who do not fall foul of the criminal law.
You’re exactly right. Well said.
Very good observation, John.
In the U.S. almost all children who would be taken to a psychiatrist are “referred” there by the school. Something like Teacher > School psychologist/counselor > principal. Coercion is not only common, but routine. Parents are told that if they don’t comply that they will charge them with child abuse via medical neglect and child protective services will take their children away. It’s what happened to me as a child and I’ve heard countless other stories about it. Considering that most of society is at least skeptical and concerned about psych drugs and children, it was surely the only way for child psychiatry to get on board the psychopharm gravy train.
Another link to the medical study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25828983