Hide this

American Kids are the Most Medicated in the World

October 16, 2008 | 31,972 views
Share This Article Share

child, medication, drugsAmerican children are about three times more likely to be prescribed psychotropic medication than children in Europe. The differences may be a result of differing regulatory practices, along with cultural beliefs about the role of medication in emotional and behavioral problems.

A team of researchers from the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands investigated prescription levels in the three countries. Antidepressant and stimulant use was three or more times greater in the U.S. than in the Netherlands and Germany, while antipsychotic prevalence was 1.5 to 2.2 times greater.

The researchers pointed to different diagnostic classification systems, government cost restrictions in Europe, the larger number of child psychiatrists per capita in the U.S. and the use of two or more different psychotropic drugs in a single year in U.S. children as possible explanations. Direct-to-consumer drug advertising, which is common in the U.S., was also considered to be a likely reason for the difference.

Effortless Healing – One Step at a Time – NOW AVAILABLE!

My newest book, Effortless Healing is now available! I've organized this book into a guide that will help you avoid the many pitfalls of the conventional approach to health. Rather than relying on expensive and potentially dangerous drugs, I will help you effortlessly make small shifts in what you eat and how you live to achieve your health goals. I promise, Effortless Healing isn't a book that will overwhelm you. On top of that, ordering the book today entitles you to 3 exclusive bonuses:


A sneak peek of my new book! You won’t need to wait for the book to arrive to get started. Begin reading my new book right away with your free sneak preview!


My most popular video interviews, all in one place. I’ve compiled 18 of my BEST expert interviews for you to watch and listen to at your leisure, and in the comfort of your own home or office.


Receive 15% off your next Mercola.com order. Depending on your order, your savings from this one bonus alone could more than cover the cost of your book!

All My Profits from This Book Will Be Donated

That's right. When you order a copy of my new book Effortless Healing, you'll be making a much-deserved donation to the key organizations that work quietly and efficiently behind the scenes to make the world a healthier place for you, your family, and your community.

Among them, you'll be benefiting and supporting the actions of:

  • National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) – A non-profit organization that seeks to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defending your right of informed choice.
  • Organic Consumers Association (OCA) – A grassroots public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability, and addressing food safety, GMOs, the industrial agricultural complex, children's health, and more. The ONLY U.S. organization focused exclusively on the interests that you and I share!
  • Consumers for Dental Choice – Children, the unborn, and employees in the dental field are particularly vulnerable to mercury. But so is everyone with a mouthful of amalgam fillings (which are 50% mercury) at risk. Consumers for Dental Choice is working to phase out amalgam use and to promote access to mercury-free alternatives.
  • Fluoride Action Network (FAN) – An international coalition aimed at ending water fluoridation and alerting you to fluoride's environmental and health risks. FAN keeps you informed about fluoride toxicity, and monitors government actions that may expose you to fluoride.

Are you ready to get started? The timing has never been better. Order your copy of Effortless Healing today, collect your free gifts, and let your journey begin!


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Every year more than 200 million prescriptions are written for children and teenagers in the United States, according to California’s Board of Pharmacy. That works out to more than three prescriptions per child, every year!

Meanwhile, in any two-week period in the United States, 13 million children take a prescription medication. Of them, over 6 million are taking them for chronic diseases, and the top five of these diseases that children take medications for are asthma, epilepsy, attention deficit disorders, arthritis and diabetes.

The amount of drugs being given to U.S. children is outrageous, and the extent of the problem becomes clear when you compare the statistics with other countries. U.S. children are getting three times more prescriptions for antidepressants and stimulants, and up to double the amount of antipsychotic drugs than kids from Germany and the Netherlands.

Isn’t it ironic that children are urged not to take recreational drugs, then are readily supplied with a steady stream of FDA-approved prescription medications, some of them mind-altering? It is presumed that these prescribed drugs are somehow safer than the illegal variety, when in reality recreational drugs are less likely to kill you than prescribed drugs!

Of course I’m not promoting recreational drug use, only trying to point out the insanity. America‘s "war on drugs" is directed at the wrong enemy -- kids are taking prescription drugs at alarming rates, and for the sake of their very future, this needs to stop.

U.S. Culture Encourages Drugged-Up Children

From a very young age, sometimes even before they leave the hospital at birth, kids are given medicine. Antibiotics for colds and ear infections (even though they don’t work for this purpose), pills for indigestion, fever, headaches, the flu, and in some cases even for simply acting out.

Kids are taught that in order to “feel better” they need to go to the doctor and get a prescription. Or they need to go to the corner drugstore and get some type of liquid gel-cap to “cure” them. To make matters worse, kids are exposed to TV commercials, some with animated characters and talking animals, pedaling drugs to their parents and sometimes directly to teens.

So widely accepted is the practice of drugging our children that state-mandated, forced medication has become a growing trend.

In one case, without the presence of a single doctor, a court decided to put a 6-year-old child with mild autism on five powerful anti-psychotic drugs, even though none of the drugs had been approved by the FDA for use in children, and despite the mother’s adamant wishes not to do so.

Believe it or not, your child can actually be “diagnosed” with mental health “maladies” such as mathematics disorder, caffeine disorder, malingering, telephone scatialogia, and disorder of written expression. And if they can be diagnosed, you can bet that they can also be given a drug to “fix” the problem.

You Name an Ailment, There’s a Drug to “Cure” It

Among the most disheartening of all of this are the vast numbers of psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs being given to children. The number of prescriptions for psychotropic drugs for children has more than doubled between 1995 and 2000. And psychotropic drugs like Prozac, Paxil, Ritalin, Zyprexa and Depakote, by definition, alter your mind, your emotions and your behavior.

These drugs, many of which are not even approved for kids, act on your central nervous system, reduce your mobility and lead to a dizzying array of side effects ranging from depression and anger to sleep disturbances and behavior problems.

These powerful drugs are even being prescribed for toddlers as young as 2, whose brains and bodies are not fully developed. Combine these drugs into hefty doses of two, three or more different meds, and the side effects are anybody’s guess.

There may even be a chance that as these kids get older, the mind-altering drugs could lead to violent “hostility events” like those that occurred at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School.

Aside from mind-altering medications, young kids are also being prescribed a laundry list of other almost-always-unnecessary and typically dangerous drugs like:

The saddest part is, none of these drugs ever address the cause of the problem. Most all of these ailments are easily overcome by leading a healthy lifestyle. It’s too bad that doctors won’t tell you that before pulling out their prescription pads, because a lot of unnecessary suffering could be prevented.

Thank you! Your purchases help us support these charities and organizations.

Food Democracy Now
Mercury Free Dentistry
Fluoride Action Network
National Vaccine Information Center
Institute for Responsible Technology
Organic Consumers Association
Center for Nutrtion Advocacy
Cornucopia Institute
Vitamin D Council
GrassrootsHealth - Vitamin D*action
Alliance for Natural Health USA
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation
The Rabies Challenge Fund
Cropped Catis Mexico