10,000 Toddlers on Drugs for Non-disorder A.D.H.D.

ADHDLifeMentalHealthNEW YORK TIMES — More than 10,000 American toddlers 2 or 3 years old are being medicated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder outside established pediatric guidelines, according to data presented on Friday by an official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report, which found that toddlers covered by Medicaid are particularly prone to be put on medication such as Ritalin and Adderall, is among the first efforts to gauge the diagnosis of A.D.H.D. in children below age 4. Doctors at the Georgia Mental Health Forum at the Carter Center in Atlanta, where the data was presented, as well as several outside experts strongly criticized the use of medication in so many children that young.

The American Academy of Pediatrics standard practice guidelines for A.D.H.D. do not even address the diagnosis in children 3 and younger — let alone the use of such stimulant medications, because their safety and effectiveness have barely been explored in that age group. “It’s absolutely shocking, and it shouldn’t be happening,” said Anita Zervigon-Hakes, a children’s mental health consultant to the Carter Center. “People are just feeling around in the dark. We obviously don’t have our act together for little children.”

Read more here.

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Perhaps the fact that 10,000 American toddlers are being treated for A.D.H.D. is not surprising, considering that according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a whopping 5.9 million children 17 or under receive a diagnosis at some point in their lives.

But what is particularly disturbing is that this new data suggests that even the youngest Americans are being prescribed pills that can lead to addiction and liver toxification later in life.

And for what? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, signs and symptoms of A.D.H.D. include having trouble focusing, being easily distracted, and unable to follow instructions. If doctors are prescribing toddlers pills for having trouble sitting still during dinner and playing with anything in sight, aren’t they actually medicating toddlers for simply being… toddlers?

Well, if you ask psychotherapist and investigative journalist Thom Hartmann, the A.D.H.D. epidemic is far more alarming than even this story suggests. In fact, Thom’s research led him to conclude that the origin of the condition might be evolutionary and a result of adaptive behavior rather than the stigmatized disease society tells us.

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Journalist Thom Hartmann dispels the myths about A.D.H.D. and explains why it might be an evolutionary trait and not a disorder on Breaking the Set:

Why A.D.H.D. is Not a Disorder | Interview with Thom Hartmann

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Compiled and written by Abby Martin and Anya Parampil, photo by flickr user Life Mental Health

Kansas Bill Calls For HIV-Positive Quarantine

JailFlickrCaseySerinMEDIA ROOTS — Safety and security, or steps toward segregation? If passed, a proposed bill in Kansas would pave the way for discrimination and dehumanisation through vague language calling for quarantine of people with “infectious diseases,” part and parcel of regressive measures tending toward soft fascism. 

MR

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GAY STAR NEWS — A proposed bill in Kansas is calling for people with HIV or AIDS to be quarantined.

Lawmakers are close to passing a new law discriminating against those who have HIV or AIDS, forcing them to be isolated or have their movements restricted.

Kansas House Bill 2183, which has passed in the Kansas Senate, will update the state’s public health statute by allowing quarantine of Kansans with ‘infectious diseases.’

Senator Marci Francisco attempted to restore an amendment providing an exclusion for people living with HIV/AIDS, saying the disease is not spread through casual contact and the bill could permit discrimination.

Cody Patton, Executive Director of sexual health charity Positive Directions, said: ‘We live in a very conservative state and I’m afraid there are still many people, especially in rural Kansas, that have inadequate education and understanding concerning HIV/AIDS.

‘My fear would not be the state uses the law as some way to move all people living with HIV/AIDS into an isolated community, but that this law could allow some county employee to use this law to justify their religious beliefs over their professional responsibilities and discriminate against people with HIV/AIDS.’

Read more about Kansas bill calls for HIV positive people to be quarantined.

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Documentary – Garbage Warrior

MEDIA ROOTS – The documentary Garbage Warrior follows Mike Reynolds, a pioneering architect with a heart of (recycled) gold.  Recognizing humanity’s collective stampede towards self-destruction, Mike works tirelessly to provide families in New Mexico with self-sufficient, sustainable housing.  His designs contrast starkly with the bland, conformist and unsustainable residential architecture present throughout the U.S. today by combining natural materials with local products to create residential masterpieces.  Each house provides its own electrical power, water, and sewage processing.  Furthermore, the construction process produces minimal waste, thrives on experimentation and is entirely flexible to the unique needs of each family.

Instead of embracing or rewarding Mike’s selfless vision to empower society, his local government throws roadblocks in his path.  Mike’s frustration dealing with government red tape raises an important question: when hindered by the U.S. government, do we break the rules, enjoy the benefits associated with such liberty, and hope the government doesn’t notice?  Or, do we accept regulatory oversight, allowing our liberty to be infringed upon, and waste time living with official approval?  These questions not only face eco-pioneers and locals striving to be sustainable, but also to the civil liberties violations associated with Washington’s War on Drugs, surveillance state, and general encroachment upon the Fourth Amendment.

Urgent societal issues of global resources come to the forefront in this documentary.  Eventually, our planet’s inhabitants will have to confront the dilemmas associated with peak oil, water scarcity, and climate change.  Our willful ignorance of these topics will only continue to render this planet uninhabitable for future generations.  If we all follow Mike’s lead, we’d be able to take care of take care of ourselves, our communities, and revive our only planet.

These issues should appeal to Republicans insistent on self-sufficiency and limited government, and Democrats insistent on environmental responsibility.  The distrust of the U.S. government, which is shared by members of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street alike, is further impetus for taking care of our communities and ourselves.  Also, the empowerment associated with sustainable practices is addictive–self-reliance revives forgotten crafts and encourages innovative design.  As Mike advises us, we shouldn’t let society’s rulebook stop us from achieving self-sufficiency and from taking care of one another. 

 

Documentary – Garbage Warrior


Christian Sorensen for Media Roots

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Photo by Flickr User Lewis and Clark Community College

 

 

Forced Vaccinations: Can Parents Question it?

MEDIA ROOTS –  In California, Assembly Bill 2109 is generating more controversy over some parents’ decision to opt-out from certain vaccines for their children. According to the National Vaccine Information Center, an advocacy organization that promotes parental choice over government mandate, AB2109 is a direct threat to parental sovereignty because it would require additional doctor’s visits and required paperwork for those parents opting-out from particular vaccinations for their children.

Over the weekend, actor and comedian Rob Schneider met with News10 out of Sacramento to discuss why he’s against the legislation. Schneider, along with fellow celebrity Jenny McCarthy who co-founded the autism support network Generation Rescue, believe a link between vaccinations and autism exists which is why they would have their children opt-out. However, multiple scientific studies have been conducted to dispel the link. Regardless, Schneider adamantly testifies that parents should become more knowledgeable about the issue by reading The Vaccine Guide by Randall Neustaedter before making their own decision.

Controversy over the use of vaccines has existed since the first vaccine was used in the 18th century to prevent the outbreak of small pox. Today, there is no doubt that the vaccine industry is big business. While the pharmaceutical industry spends nearly $200 million per year lobbying the federal government, commercials for vaccines now grace TV screens in certain parts of the United States.

Oskar Mosco

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Actor and comedian Rob Schneider discusses his view of AB2109 in California.

 

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Photo provided by Flickr user AJC1.

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The Rush To Prohibit Less Addictive Pain Killers

 

MEDIA ROOTS
 — Known mostly in parts of south east Asia and Thailand, kratom is somewhat of a cultural intoxicant similar to the use of coca leaves (from which cocaine is derived) by the Bolivians and the use of khat or betel nut used by Arabic cultures.  The difference among these ‘cultural intoxicants’ is that kratom has effects similar to big pharma’s slew of ‘pain killer’ drugs.  The term ‘pain killer’ here is a slight misnomer since drugs like Vicodin, OxyContin, codeine and morphine ‘kill’ pain by flooding the brain with pleasure, thus, distracting you from the physical pain you may be experiencing.

This may be hard to believe in today’s society, but pharmaceutical companies used to manufacture heroin.  Before it was illegal, heroin was sold by Bayer as a way to ween oneself off of morphine addiction.  Morphine itself was prescribed as a cough syrup.  A much less potent opiate cough syrup common today is a mixture of codeine and promethazine (a sedative), referred to by rap culture as ‘purple drank.’

Presently, pharmaceutical companies rake in big money from sales of highly addictive narcotic ‘pain killers,’ such as OxyContin.  OxyContin, in and of itself, is equally as addictive as pure heroin (since heroin sold on the streets is usually not pure, especially that sold on the west coast; by all accounts, OxyContin is actually a more addictive drug than most street heroin).  Pharmaceutical companies have even gone so far as synthesizing new opiate drugs that are far more potent and addictive than even heroin, OxyContin, or morphine.  They come in highly concentrated forms like Fentanyl or Dilaudid.  Unbelievably, Fentanyl, a drug ten times more potent than heroin, can be prescribed in the form of lickable lollipop candy, as well as patches to put on the arm for a long-term timed-release ‘pain killing‘ effect.

It seems pharmaceutical companies would rather have a society addicted on their expensive pain pills than see someone medicate using a legal, less addictive and, in some cases, equally as effective, natural pain killer, such as kratom.  Now that kratom has ‘taken off’ via internet sales and it is still legal in most areas of the world, the US government, under Obama, is trying to crack down and make it unobtainable by the public.

Robbie Martin

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THE STRANGER Kratom was first documented as an opiate substitute—a kind of herbal methadone—in Asia in the early 1800s. It’s often used by people who want an alternative to opiates, either because they’re trying to break an addiction or because they want some way to manage chronic pain without opiate-based drugs.

Every few months, a new intoxicant that isn’t technically covered by US drug-prohibition laws pops up on the market and policymakers, acting on very little information, freak out over it. Unfortunately for kratom, it has appeared in the immediate wake of the “bath salts” hysteria. (The hysteria was not entirely unjustified, as the active ingredient of “bath salts,” a chemical called MDPV, was held responsible for long-term psychiatric damage and several deaths.) Kratom is already in the early stages of the same cycle.

That cycle goes like this: Clever entrepreneurs find an intoxicant not covered under current law and begin selling it. People get excited about it and chatter online. Some user winds up in the emergency room—for reasons that may or may not be serious—and says its name to a doctor who’s never heard of it. The doctor calls the poison control center, and the public-health bureaucracy scrambles to figure out what this exotic new drug is. Someone talks to a reporter, and soon newspapers and TV stations are all over it, breathlessly warning parents about a “dangerous new high” threatening their children. Lawmakers see a chance to score some points by being tough on drugs and ban it. The drug fades away. A clever new entrepreneur finds a new drug, and the whack-a-mole cycle begins again.

Enter kratom, stage right.

Read more about The Rush To Prohibit Kratom.

© 2012 The Stranger

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Abalg

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