A new report by the CDC revealed that 7.5 percent of schoolchildren are now on some sort of prescription medicine for behavior or emotional difficulties. Other findings included:
1. Psychiatric medications are more commonly prescribed to children on Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program than children with private or no health insurance.
2. They are also more commonly prescribed to kids whose families live in poverty.
3. Just over half of the children in the study were reported by parents to have been helped “a lot” by the medications.
While common prescriptions such as Ritalin and Adderall do help many children, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that they are often incorrectly prescribed to kids who have been misdiagnosed with ADHD and may actually have a different condition (or no condition at all).
Additionally, these medications can have harmful side effects, the long term implications of which the medical community does not yet fully understand.
What's your take on our nation's increased use of psychiatric medications on kids? Is it a useful tool for helping our children succeed, or is it a dangerous band-aid that actually makes the situation worse?