Betreff: ADD/ADHD...use of drugs soars fourfould in 10 years...11 06
Datum: Sun, 12 Nov 2006 12:22:59 EST


Use of drugs to treat hyperactive children soars fourfold in ten years

By KIRSTY WALKER, Political Correspondent Last updated at 23:07pm on 10th November 2006 

Hyperactivity: 32,000 children are being treated at a cost of 5million a year


Prescriptions for so-called 'chemical cosh' drugs to treat hyperactive children have risen fourfold since 1997, official figures reveal.

The trend has alarmed experts because Ritalin-type drugs have been linked to sudden deaths in the U.S. and Britain and its use has been under review in this country.

Department of Health figures show GPs wrote a record 384,000 prescriptions for Ritalin and related drugs last year - nearly 7,400 a week.

The total of annual prescriptions has for the first time overtaken the number of youngsters thought to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Around 32,000 children are being treated at a cost of 5million a year. But the National Institute for Clinical Excellence says as many as 366,000 - or 5 per cent - of youngsters under 18 have the disorder.

This will fuel fears that Ritalin is being used as an easy option to sedate healthy children rather than tackling the cause of their hyperactivity through diet and other means.

Concerns about the use of such drugs have mounted in recent years, amid evidence that they cause heart problems, dizziness and insomnia.

They have been blamed for nine deaths in the UK and more than 50 in America in one year. Dozens of youngsters have had serious heart problems.

But a recent study found fish oil is better at treating hyperactivity. Experts say six capsules a day can vastly improve children's behaviour without the side-effects of the drugs.  [Joanne C. Mueller comment 11-11-06  -   Fish oil (Omega 3 fatty acid) is being recommended by Internists also for lowering cholesterol.  "Inflammation" is responsible for most coronary artery disease and heart attacks.  "Inflammation" is also what occurs due to the stress that results from chronic, prolonged EMF/EMR (electromagnetic field/electromagnetic radiation) exposure when sleeping in close proximity to electric meters, electric appliances and devices such as electric clocks, small fans, touchlamps, high intensity lamps, power supply boxes for cordless phones and electronic games and more.] 

Liberal Democrat spokesman for children Annette Brooke said: 'Parents will be eager that questions surrounding the safety of drugs like Ritalin are answered as soon as possible.

'The Government owes it to the thousands of concerned parents to be honest about the side-effects of these behaviour-altering drugs.'    [Joanne C. Mueller comment 11-11-06  -  Governments in the U.S., the UK and elsewhere owe it to all people to inform the public that they have known for many years (American Cancer Society sent me an article from "USA Today" back in 1994 recommending moving electrical items away from beds) about the need to practice "prudent avoidance" in regard to EMF/EMR bedside exposures.]

More and more children are being prescribed drugs like Ritalin, but we must make sure parents are aware of all the available treatments.  [Joanne C. Mueller comment 11-11-06  -  A  "high priority treatment" may yield substantial improvement --  moving all electrical items away from close proximity to child's bed and making sure also that there are no electric or gas meters (or appliances especially with clocks) on wall opposite the bed.  Metal headboards also may be contributing to the overall problems.]

'More GPs should be offering nutritional counselling and behavioural therapy before considering prescribing drugs to these young children.'     [Joanne C. Mueller 11-11-06 -- Good ideas but I have to think that in this day and age with such alarming increases in every health problem, perhaps it is time for all GP's, Pediatricians, Internists, Neurologists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Chiropracters, Immunologists, Oncologists, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners -- all health professionals to not only acquaint themselves with EMF/EMR issues by reviewing the scientific literature that exists in abundance via the internet, including on PubMed, but to also look into becoming educated in regard to the overwhelming crisis by checking out educational classes available via and clicking on CERSA.  There are many books on this subject -- one of the recent ones is by Dr. Gerald Goldberg -- "Would You Put Your Head in a Microwave?" ]

Dr Sami Tamimi, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, said: 'This is a concerning trend which I call the McDonaldisation of childhood mental health.   [Joanne C. Mueller 11-11-06  -  While all efforts are very much appreciated in regard to "saving the children," I would have to say the situation is more one of the Hitlerization of childhood mental health!!!!]

'It is the search for an easy cure that fits in with our fast lifestyles and gives us a quick answer. This has resulted in an increase in the medicalisation of childhood problems.

'The long-term administration of these drugs can cause damage to the heart. There has been an increase in strokes, heart attacks and sudden deaths linked to these drugs.

'There is a worrying gap in our knowledge about what happens when they are given over a long period of time.   [Joanne C. Mueller comment 11-11--06  --  There should be "a worrying gap...!!!   When these children take already very questionable medication AND they are subjected to sleeping close to electrical items and some telephone equipment at night when their bodies are attempting to restore cellular function, etc. but can not due to interference with their natural production of melatonin and other vital functions, the children are nothing more than "guinea pigs" -- "experimentation because their parents lack the knowledge necessary to make such decisions -- vital EMF/EMR information is being withheld from the public -- therefor, such decisions are being made without knowledge and informed consent!!!"  This is a very serious, reprehensible situation.  "The innocent have no voice!!!" ]

'There are already concerns about the psychological effects, but we do not know what will happen to people who have been taking these drugs for 20 or 30 years.

'These drugs have chemical elements which are the equivalent of speed and cocaine. It is time the medical profession held up its hands and said we have got this wrong.'

Swiss firm Novartis, maker of Ritalin - or methylphenidate - says the drug has a long record of being a safe and effective medication.

Health Minister Andy Burnham said discussions are taking place in Europe about whether formal studies are needed into the drug's safety.  [Joanne C. Mueller comment 11-11-06 -- UNLESS announcements are made re dangers of bedside electrical appliances/devices, ANY STUDY will yield only misleading and inconclusive results thereby allowing for continuance of the disgusting practice of prescribing such dangerous medications.  Even Vitamin C can oxidize and become a free radical when one is exposed to radiation.  This is well known amongst those who work with radiation in regard to cancer treatments.]

He said: 'Since methylphenidate was authorised in the UK, representations regarding its safety have been received from MPs, patients and healthcare professionals.

'Some of these have specifically questioned the need for further research into its long-term safety.

'It is recognised that there is limited information about the longterm efficacy and safety of methylphenidate. Stimulants such as methylphenidate are known potentially to affect weight gain and growth.'

Ritalin is one of at least three drugs recommended by the NHS for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in young people for whom other treatments have failed - despite doctors' fears about side-effects.

But there have been reports of cardiovascular disorders, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, drowsiness, dizziness, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, nausea and early waking. At least nine deaths have been reported to the UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency since it became available in the early Nineties.

It belongs to a class of drugs called methylphenidates - in the same pharmaceutical family as cocaine and amphetamines.

The stimulant fires up parts of the brain involved in concentration, attention and activity. But it also decreases restlessness, leaving ADHD sufferers calmer and moderating their moods. It is not known how it has these opposite effects on the brain.

But it can also raise blood pressure, which is thought to be responsible for triggering heart problems in some users.

U.S. research found Ritalin may cause lasting changes to the brain. Rats given it as infants felt less pleasure and were more prone to despair as adults.


[Underlining emphasis added by Joanne C. Mueller 11-11-06]