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On December 12, 2009 the New York Times reported on page one “Poor Children Likelier to Get Antipsychotics.”  Kudos to Duff Wilson and the New York Times for making this issue page one news. 

In June 2009 I wrote “Drugging Children for Profit.”   Anyone who had read as many medical records of personal injuries cannot be taken aback by the huge numbers of children being dosed with behavior altering drugs. That has grinded on me for years and I am very pleased the New York Times has made this a front page national issue.

A girl who cannot read a book in one sitting is given a drug to help her focus. An enthusiastic boy who blurts out answers before the teacher finishes asking the question requires medication to correct the problem.

These behaviors and many others that were once joyous parts of being young have become the mental disorder called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and its even stronger cousin Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Because of these newly invented “conditions”, pharmaceutical companies are able to reap huge profits by medicating children with powerful psychotropic drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall.

While ADD and ADHD are everywhere today, they’re actually very new.

In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) decided that ADD is a “mental disorder”.  This designation came without hard scientific evidence, and it was done by show of hands at a committee meeting.

The ADD label is an example of one person having a bad idea and everybody else following along.

Now, the prevalence of the ADD label is so great that 10 to 12 percent of all boys between the ages of 6 and 14 in the United States have been marked as having ADD.  At one school in San Diego, 65 percent of the fifth graders had an ADD diagnosis and were taking an expensive medication.  How can that be?

Until 1980, children with energy and minds that wander were normal. Then somebody saw these behaviors as a potential profit center. The result is that we now have a generation raised on Ritalin and Adderall and suffering the consequences.

The harm that can be caused by drugging children is designed to enhance the bottom lines of the companies that push these highly profitable poisons.  With help from their willing accomplices in research centers and university faculties, drug companies are making fortunes as they treat children as nothing more than opportunities for increased income.


Richard Alexander