Teen Antidepressant Drug Use Booms

It's a good thing the FDA finally stiffened warning labels on antidepressants: Psychotropic drug prescriptions written for teens between 1994-2001 rose an amazing 250 percent, according to a new report.

This boom in psychotropic prescriptions for teens, especially after 1999, coincided with a time in which federal regulators foolishly allowed the mega-drug companies to advertise directly to consumers and gave them freer rein to promote off-label drug use. Even worse, few of these drugs -- used to treat depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other mood disorders -- were approved for kids under age 18.

More disturbing facts about teen psychotropic drug use, by the numbers:

  • As many as 26 percent of the office visits in which a psychotropic drug was prescribed had nothing to do with a mental health diagnosis.
  • During the seven-year study, about a third of the office visits by teens involved a diagnosis of ADHD.
  • Ten percent of all office visits by teenage boys were associated with prescribing a psychotropic drug.

Unfortunately, serious conditions like depression or ADHD aren't cured by throwing dangerous and potentially toxic drugs at them. Here's some safer, more natural treatments, none in which include a drug:

Science Daily January 4, 2006

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