Ritalin, Prozac and Our Children: Heads-Up! Parents
Ritalin and Prozac, as well as various combinations of similar stimulants and anti-depressants, are being prescribed together for an increasing number of children. According to a new study, 30% of children taking Prozac or other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are also taking Ritalin or related drugs, presumably for ADD/ADHD.
Additionally, 8% of children taking Ritalin or similar drugs were also taking an SSRI. Most SSRIs are prescribed for disorders such as depression, school phobias, bed wetting and eating disorders.
These findings are in addition to the overall trends showing a steep increase in the number of children taking either drug type from 1990 through 1998. As of 1998, 10% of children aged 6 to 14 years were on Ritalin or stimulants and 2% were on SSRIs. Among children aged 1 to 5 years 1% were on Ritalin or stimulants and 0.1% were on SSRIs.
Combined annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies and the American Academy of Pediatrics
Nutritionist Dispels 'The Ritalin Lie'
A nationally recognized Christian nutritionist believes many parents are playing "Ritalin roulette with their child's life" by buying into what he calls "the Ritalin lie." With more than five million children nationwide diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD), drug therapy has been considered the answer, according to seminar speaker Ted Broer.
But in his Siloam Press book, "Maximum Solutions for ADD, Learning Disabilities and Autism," Broer says there is more hype than truth drawn from the statistics. "Millions of American children start their day with prescription drugs that are so powerful and dangerous that they are banned from the streets by federal drug and narcotics agencies," Broer writes.
"Millions more don't receive drug therapy, but they are doomed to carry the weight of a negative psychiatric or psychological 'diagnosis' that forever labels them as damaged goods and defective persons among their peers," he adds. "Many may never recover from the long-range effects of such social stigmatizing."
In his book, Broer talks about the differences between ADD, learning disabilities and autism, offering practical ways to improve a child's ability to learn. A licensed nutritionist since 1986, Broer discusses how diet and nutrition directly affect behavior.
"It often seems more convenient for overwhelmed parents to feed their kids the high-sugar, high-fat, low nutrition fast foods that 'everyone else eats,'" Broer says, noting that children react to sugar 10 times more than adults. "It has become the American way, a trend that helped launch an epidemic of physical and behavioral problems that threaten to sink our tottering educational system."
Recognized as a leading health and nutrition expert, Broer's education includes a doctorate in science and a master's degree in business administration, as well as degrees in biology, chemistry, psychology and exercise physiology.
He is also a popular seminar speaker and regularly shared the platform with former President George Bush, former first lady Barbara Bush, radio personality Paul Harvey, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, Christian author Zig Ziglar, Secretary of State Colin Powell and TV talk show host Larry King. He has written several popular books including "Maximum Energy" and "Maximum Fat Loss."
For more information about maximum solutions for ADD, Learning Disabilities and Autism," go to: http://www.handle.org
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