Friday, August 22, 2008

Another Story About Over-Medicated kids

On Sunday, the Dallas Morning News ran an investigative story about the use of psychiatric drugs in foster children in Texas. My initial reaction to the story, and my considered reaction--after I'd read it closely and thought about it for a few days--were both the same. Here is another story that supplies loads of ammunition to those among us who think we are wildly over-diagnosing and over-medicating our children. As I point out in a detailed critique for the Columbia Journalism Review, most authorities think the opposite is true: Too many sick kids are not getting treatment. See my Columbia Journalism story.

The simplest way I can break it down is this: Set aside the small number of mentally ill kids who were correctly diagnosed and are being treated properly. That leaves two groups of children:

--Those who are being impropertly diagnosed or over-medicated;
--And those who desperately need treatment and are not getting it.

Both of these groups need our help. Sadly, the first gets far more attention than the second.

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