Publication Date: February 27, 2012 | ISBN-10: 0313396833 | ISBN-13: 978-0313396830
$42.40 in Amazon.com – Gwen Olsen contributes Chapter 4 to this anthology entitled “The Marketing of Madness and Psychotropic Drugs to Children”
Since 2001, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of antipsychotics to treat children for an ever-expanding list of symptoms. The prescription rate for toddlers, preschoolers, and middle-class children has doubled, while the prescribing rate for low-income children covered by Medicaid has quadrupled. In a majority of cases, these drugs are neither FDA-approved nor justified by research for the children’s conditions.
This book examines the reasons behind the explosion of antipsychotic drug prescriptions for children, spotlighting the historical and cultural factors as well as the role of the pharmaceutical industry in this trend; and discusses the ethical and legal responsibilities and ramifications for non-MDs—psychologists in particular—who work with children treated with antipsychotics.
Contributors explain how the pharmaceutical industry has inserted itself into every step of medical education, rendering objectivity in the scientific understanding, use, and approvals of such drugs impossible. The text describes the relentless marketing behind the drug sales, even going as far as to provide coloring and picture books for children related to the drug at issue. Valuable information about legal recourse that families and therapists can take when their children or patients have been harmed by antipsychotic drugs and alternative approaches to working with children with emotional and behavioral challenges is also provided.
“Drugging Our Children: How Profiteers are Pushing Antipsychotics on Our Youngest, and what we can do to stop it,” edited by Sharna Olfman and Brent Dean Robbins is a compliation of essays by some of the biggest names in the struggle to expose drug industry greed and psychiatric quackery. I thought I was jaded; that I’d heard everything, but some of its revelations about Big Pharma’s dishonesty in marketing the wickedly toxic class of drugs known as “atypical” antipsychotics left me speechless. In the very first chapter, science writer Robert Whitaker tells how drug makers have used children with autism (who cannot commuicate!)in drug trials that relied on the patients themselves to report adverse effects, then had the gall to say “few side effects were reported.”
A few of this book’s highlights:
Former drug sales rep Gwen Olsen (who quit her job because her conscience wouldn’t allow her to continue) exposes the process by which kids first get fed stimulants for so-called ADHD, or antidepressants, or both, then suffer perfectly predictable breakdowns from drug toxicity, which lead them to being branded “bipolar,” thus trapping them into a downward spiral of more drugs, more stigmatization, and radically shortened lives. That at least a few dozen of the worst actors in this evil scam haven’t already been prosecuted for manslaughter is a sickening indictment of American “justice.”
Activist attorney Jim Gottstein’s essay on laws regarding parent and patient rights is surprising in the scope of those rights as they exist on paper, but not at all surprising in how courts, schools and child welfare agencies routinely ignore them.
The book’s final section- essays by several therapists on how professionals can bring change from within the mental health and child welfare systems, is full of data on effective non-drug interventions, but one has to wonder how realistic it is to hope that a system so corrupted by billions of dollars and decades of brainwashing by pharmaceutical dope dealers will ever allow change that challenges their bottom line.
I don’t see how change is ever going to come short of massive public outrage and ironclad legislation against the sort of abuses “Drugging our Children” exposes. To that end, I believe this book- meticulously researched and stunning in its impact- should be in the hands of every member of the US Congress.
JOHN W. ARNDT