Vancouver, Canada (PressExposure) June 21, 2013 -- The Citizens Commission on Human Rights International announces its support of the Vatican for looking into the harmful effects of psychiatric drugs on children.
In June the Vatican held a conference, "The Child as a Person and as a Patient: Therapeutic Approaches Compared," in order to bring professionals together to discuss the harmful consequences of overusing prescription drugs for treating mental and emotional disorders in children, as well as how a similar trend is hurting pregnant mothers. The conference organizers hope to prove that "psychosocial options" are better than "psychotropic care," and will focus on two main drug groups, antidepressants and antipsychotics.
One of the conference organizers, Dr. Barry Duncan, a clinical psychologist and director of the Heart and Soul of Change Project, has called for "religious orders, Catholic schools, hospitals, medical associations, media and parishes to become informed and help children and families discover alternatives to psychiatric medications, as well as help them have real input when discussing the risks and benefits of such medications."
Duncan is intimately aware of the toll psychiatric drugs are taking on children in the U.S. "Prescriptions for psychiatric drugs have increased by 274 percent globally in over 50 countries since 2003," he says in the article, "Vatican conference to reveal harm of prescription drugs for children," by the Catholic News Agency from June 1, 2013. Duncan's hope is that with the "pharmaceutical industries spending millions and millions of dollars on misinformation, we want to counteract that with this conference."
CCHR supports the Vatican's concern about the over-drugging of children with the following facts:
About one in 70 preschoolers are taking antipsychotic drugs in the U.S. alone, according to a January 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, titled, "Trends in Antipsychotic Drug Use by Very Young, Privately Insured Children." Eleven percent of the U.S. population over the age of twelve is taking antidepressants, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Data Brief from October 2011 titled, "Antidepressant Use in Persons Aged 12 and Over: United States, 2005-2008."â¢
Concurrently, Canadian researchers are warning of an alarming and "exponential" rise in prescribing antipsychotic drugs to children. Prescriptions for some of the most powerful psychiatric drugs on the market -- socalled "second-generation" antipsychotics, or SGAs -- to youth aged 18 and under increased 18-fold in British Columbia alone between 1996 and 2011, a new study finds, with some of the highest increases in prescriptions to boys as young as six.
Children are being put on the potent drugs for a wide range of diagnoses not approved by Health Canada, the researchers say, and not only psychiatrists, but also family doctors and pediatricians are increasingly prescribing the pills.
The phenomenon "is of great concern" given emerging evidence showing that the drugs can cause rapid weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes and other serious side-effects that make children vulnerable to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke when they're older, the research team reports in the June edition of the Canadian Journal of psychiatry.
The study is based on data from the B.C. Health ministry. Researchers looked at rates of prescribing both older, "first generation" antipsychotics, and the newer SGAs.
Overall, the total number of children under 18 who received an antipsychotic prescription increased to 5,791 in 2011 from 1,583 in 1996 -- a nearly fourfold jump.
Brian Beaumont, President of the British Columbia chapter of CCHR said "The outrageous increase in child drugging lies squarely on the shoulders of the psychiatric industry itself. The 'disorders' in their diagnostic manual are invented by psychiatrists and placed there for the sole purpose of increasing the numbers of diagnosis that can be made, thereby enormously increasing their income base (unearned cash) and the income of their natural allies, the drug companies. The whole process is done intentionally for the pure and simple purpose of labeling and drugging more and more children for more and more profit. No other reason. It equates to child abuse The ADHD 'diagnosis' (label) has been one of the biggest money makers in psychiatry's whole history of invented disorders and is a 100 percent fraud."
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