Articles by Natural Health Author Barbara Minton
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Will Your Child’s Life Be Stolen by Big Pharma?
by Barbara Minton
(The Best Years in Life) The FDA has just approved the first orally disintegrating amphetamine drug for children having difficulty maintaining attention in the tedium of America’s schools. The new drug, known as Adzenys XR-ODT (ODT stands for oral disintegrating tablet), will be labeled for use in children as young as six years of age, and is flavored to taste like orange candy. In this form it will be extremely easy to take, just by popping it into the mouth and letting it dissolve – no water needed and no pills to get down. Kids will like it and maybe even beg for more!
Amphetamines, also known as speed, are stimulant drugs that are highly addictive. In fact, amphetamines are classified as Schedule 2 controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), meaning they may lead to severe psychological and physical dependence, and have a high probability of abuse.
Amphetamine derivatives are the drugs most commonly sold on the streets, under such names as ice, crystal, and ecstasy. Yet schools that insist parents put their child on one of the amphetamine drugs also hypocritically proclaim their school is a drug-free zone.
Amphetamine drugs lose their effectiveness over time, so the dosage must be frequently increased in order to produce the same effect. There is nothing to counteract this spiraling effect, suggesting that the drug companies making amphetamines are counting on lifetime membership in the amphetamine club for those who take them.
Common side effects for Adzenys XR-ODT so far include loss of appetite, insomnia, abdominal pain, mood swings, vomiting, nervousness, nausea, fever, weight loss, dry mouth, anxiety, agitation, dizziness, diarrhea, fast heart rate, weakness, and urinary tract infections.
Long-term effects of amphetamines include failure to develop steroid hormones, sterility, Tourette’s syndrome, tics, seizures, psychotic episodes, tremors, high blood pressure, irregular heart beat, cerebral hemorrhage, enlarged right heart ventricle, blood vessel wall inflammation, heart attack, sudden death, stunted growth, and brain shrinkage.
Some children taking amphetamines have experienced frightening hallucinations during which they see snakes or bugs crawling over them. Others have reported feeling as though they are running into an object when nothing is really there.
Do these conditions seem like they would help a child do better at school? Obviously the medicine is much worse than the symptoms it is meant to treat.
Parents whose children have been put on one of the amphetamine drugs report they were never told of the dangers or side effects they should expect. Although the brochures for these drugs specify that they are not to be prescribed until a heart study is performed on the patient, most children receive no such thing prior to being drugged by their pediatricians. Parents are told only that the drug will help their child do better at school (although that is rarely the case). Once these parents become fully informed, many of them make the decision to take their child off the medicine.
Although the FDA is onboard with drugging children as young as age 6, the CDC is not. It has come out saying that too many children are being diagnosed with ADHD, and they have called for the use of more behavior management techniques. Right now, 75% of all children with the ADHD diagnosis are put on amphetamines.
In 2014, 63 million prescriptions for ADHD drugs were written. That number is expected to expand exponentially in the next three years. It doesn’t look like we will stop pushing speed on our kids anytime soon.
Amphetamines disenfranchise children
Insisting that children be placed on amphetamine drugs teaches psychological dependence on this form of problem solving at a time when they should be learning the real skills they need to become an adults in the world. Reliance on amphetamines undermines self-confidence and the ability to study and perform without drugs. Children who lose faith in their own abilities soon lose their individually and the ability to think and advocate for themselves. They are destined as adults to be unable to participate in or defend their democracy.
Although the CDC’s call for the use of more behavior management techniques instead of drugging kids is a small step in the right direction, it does not address the real problem, which is that the model in use today for American schools has remained virtually unchanged since the 1800s. Meanwhile, everything else has undergone radical change in the interim. It almost seems that there is a conspiracy to keep kids in the dark ages.
Writing a prescription for Adzenys XR-ODT or any of the other ADHD drugs sends a powerful message to children that something is radically wrong with them because they are unable to tolerate the boredom, regimentation and irrelevancy that pervade contemporary education. It teaches them that the real problem is not the failure of schools to become relevant for the 21st century; the real problem is them.
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