Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Maryland's children: overmedicated and overdiagnosed

Maryland’s children: overmedicated and over diagnosed

Tens of thousands of Maryland children are being forced to take psychotropic and mood enhancing drugs for diagnoses that border on the edge of medical malpractice. Falsely labeled with titles such as ADD, ADHD, Autism and its various equivalents, physicians are shoveling these drugs to children at alarming rates. Misdiagnosis, over diagnosis, diagnoses of convenience and other more egregious reasons to provide children with these poisons are commonplace within the confines of Maryland and beyond. From the elite institutions to the corner family physician each has played a role in destroying the minds of these kids. Psychiatrists, family physicians, internists and an entire spectrum of other physicians do not give a second thought to providing these medications, never considering the short or long term consequences to those most vulnerable. Those who are supposedly experts in these psychiatric modes rapidly admit they do not know the causes of the symptoms derived from these ailments. Justification for dispensing of these drugs varies with behavior problems at the top of the list. Parents, educators, social workers, juvenile counselors, judges and sundry others claim there is marked improvement is grades, attitude and social compliance with daily aspects of living when children are maintained on these neurological therapies never exploring other reasons for these behaviors. Children who are disinterested in school, keep to themselves, are introverted, are so called special kids and other creative labels by the psych-pharmaceutical industry have had therapies concocted to save these kids from their own worst behaviors. Many children are being maintained on three or more of these drugs. Kids on medical assistance and or living in foster homes are pumped full of these mind altering medications with a higher frequency than those not represented in these two groups. Even more alarming Autism rates are at incredible levels in Maryland compared to the rest of America and even the World. Statistics on the World stage indicate an incidence of 1 to 2 cases per thousand, in Maryland 1 per 80 is the most recent numbers fresh from our friends in the government. Perhaps Maryland has slipped into a quantum corridor existing outside the rest of humanity or maybe our physicians are better at misdiagnosing than the rest of the world. Drugs entrenched in the bloodstreams of our kids that are legally overprescribed have familiar names: Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, Dexedrine and other amphetamine derivatives combined with their psychotropic counterparts the emphatic changes on children’s behavior is dramatic. Normal variants of youthful behavior have been redefined by a society that bathes in drugs, legal or otherwise. Media has reported that the panel that defines and refines psychiatric diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders has a profound involvement with pharmaceutical corporations. Claims that nearly 100% of the 170 member group is attached in some manner to this industry are unconfirmed, yet intriguing. Maryland’s Board of Pharmacy has not weighed in on this subject. Worse, the Maryland Board of Physicians has remained distant and detached on this subject. They have promulgated no rules, regulatory structure or entertained studying this significant problem affecting tens of thousands of children. Instead they chase physicians for paper compliance issues or fabricate standards of care to sanction and even revoke medical licenses. This is a tragedy in the making and should be addressed immediately. Perhaps the Maryland State Legislature should act, because their own administrative authorities have failed to take the lead, especially since the state is paying to poison these children who have been left behind. Mark Davis MD, President of Healthnets Review Services. platomd@gmail.com

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