Popular Posts

Total Downloads Worldwide

Thursday 29 September 2011


Fake medicine trade: UK crackdown on drug importers
29 September 11 14:38
Police arrest a man during a raid on an alleged drug-retailing operation in Brighton
By Tom Symonds
Home Affairs correspondent

Investigators are cracking down on the multi-million pound trade in fake and unlicensed medicines, as concerns grow over potential health risks. BBC News joined investigators on one of their raids.

More people are diagnosing their medical problems and buying medicines online - boosting the growing trade in fake and illegitimate drugs supplied without a prescription.

Enforcement agencies warned that those taking the drugs are risking their health, as they launched an international operation to tackle the problem.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulation Agency (MHRA) says more than a million doses of medicines worth approximately £2m have been seized from the UK's postal service and ports during its latest crackdown.

An additional 100,000 doses were discovered in raids by police and investigators - with a value of at least £200,000.


Valium and Viagra - described by the MHRA as lifestyle drugs - are the most commonly sold.

But the agency warns that the counterfeiters are starting to offer drugs for cancer, heart conditions, epilepsy, asthma and depression.

BBC News joined a dozen MHRA officers as they moved in on an alleged drug-retailing operation in Brighton.

Although the MHRA has discovered a pharmaceutical drugs factory in London, the drugs it seizes are usually manufactured in China or India, so in this raid they are looking for evidence of imported "product".

The investigation begins with intelligence gathered from monitoring a website advertising Kamagra - an Indian version of Viagra not licensed for sale in Britain.

Accompanied by police officers, the team raids an address on a housing estate and arrests one man.

Senior enforcement investigator Danny Lee-Frost says: "No-one involved in those websites is medically qualified. None of the products are licensed or tested.

"They are selling them to you as a drug dealer would, they are not interested in your health, they are interested in taking your money. And the money is big."

The house is searched, documents and computers seized, several safes sliced open with angle-grinders and more than £1,000 in cash discovered - but no drugs.

The investigators switch their focus to paperwork in the house which suggests the owner has been paying rent on a further two storage spaces. A team heads off to the first to investigate.

It turns out to be a room in a small office building. Again nothing is found. But upstairs, one of the MHRA's investigators discovers a box, half-full of pills.

They are Valium tablets - quite possibly counterfeit, according to Mr Lee-Frost.

It is a small but useful find for the investigators, meaning the man they arrested can potentially be prosecuted. Pleased with their work so far, they drive over to the other address.

A rundown house in a residential area, it has bars on the windows and a bolted door. Using keys seized earlier, the investigators open the door.

Inside a grubby front room is a pile of boxes containing green tablets in sheets of blister packs.

The pills are Kamagra, according to Mr Lee-Frost. This version of Viagra is popular in India but illegal to sell in the UK - and certainly illegal to supply without a prescription.

The drug is easily distinguishable from legitimate Viagra, which is normally blue. It has been sent from Pakistan.

Just how safe are prescription drugs obtained off the internet?

    Depressed? Click on Prozac. Overweight? Order a course of Xenical. Hyper well Ritalin is just a Hyperlink away! It's easy - and legal - to buy prescription drugs online. But that doesn't mean it's safe.

Maxine Frith reports

They are the multimillion pound products that cure serious illnesses and prevent thousands of deaths a year. But now some of the world's bestselling prescription drugs are not simply being taken by the sick but are also increasingly being used as "lifestyle medications".

The easy availability of virtually every kind of drug over the internet has meant that many people are now simply bypassing their doctor and self-prescribing medicines which they hope will improve their looks, job performance or prowess in the bedroom rather than treat a specific disease or condition.

Drugs designed to treat heart disease among the middle-aged are being used as slimming aids by young women; attention-deficit pills for children are taken by adults to concentrate in the boardroom; and even powerful injections for Aids patients are snapped up by people wanting an instant face-lift.

Doctors are becoming increasingly concerned at the ease with which patients can obtain such drugs via websites without any real checks on their medical history or claims to need the medication.

Patients who are refused an anti-depressant such as Prozac from their GP can simply buy supplies online. This is not illegal if the online company has a prescribing doctor on board. Whether that doctor takes a full medical history is hard to check up on.

Young women with eating disorders can, at the click of a button, obtain access to weight-loss products such as Xenical that are only meant for the morbidly obese.

There is an even darker side to the "lifestyle drugs" industry. Many of the drugs sold online are fakes that at best will not have any effect and at worst could kill.

The counterfeit drugs industry is worth an estimated £20bn a year. The Government's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) seizes more than £3m worth of stolen or faked Viagra every year.

In 2003, 24-year-old Liam Brackell killed himself after becoming addicted to a plethora of powerful prescription drugs that he bought off the internet. He had begun by buying Prozac online to counter the effects of his recreational use of ecstasy. By the time of his death, he had tried 23 different drugs. It was later found that what he thought were codeine tablets - a common painkiller - were counterfeits that had been cut with morphine.

Another problem is that pharmaceutical companies are desperate to find the holy grail of the drugs world - a product that can be sold to as many people as possible for as long as possible. So "lifestyle" drugs that don't just treat one condition but have other, beneficial side effects are being aggressively marketed by the industry.


Chemical name: Fluoxetine hydrochloride.

What it costs: A pack of 30 tablets will set you back about £20 from online pharmacies.

Uses: More than 3.5 million people in Britain take antidepressants, with Prozac among the most widely prescribed of its type. It is one of a class of drugs called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), which are highly effective in treating depression as well as having low toxicity levels compared to older antidepressants.

Abuses: Prozac is also one of the most popular drugs sold on the internet. But there are concerns that the websites are creating a dependency on Prozac and allow people to increase their dosage without seeing a doctor or trying "talking therapies" instead of chemical cures. There have also been reports of clubgoers "self-medicating" with Prozac to counter the come down from taking ecstasy. In 2003, 81 deaths were attributed to overdoses of SSRIs and there have been reports of the drugs causing some people to commit suicide.

Xenical, ROCHE

Chemical name: Orlistat.

What it costs: About £65 for 85 capsules on the internet.

Uses: Marketed as a potential panacea for the obesity epidemic afflicting much of the Western world, Xenical works in a different way from most weight-loss pills, which simply suppress appetite. Instead, Xenical blocks the activity of enzymes called lipases that break down the fat molecules in food. The drug excretes the fat out of the body. It is highly effective but can have unpleasant side effects such as loss of bowel control.

Abuses: Some doctors are concerned that people may be taking Xenical on its own, rather than in conjunction with switching to a healthy diet. It is recommended only for obese people who have tried other weight-loss programmes, but its availability online has raised fears that sufferers of eating disorders may have easy access to it. It is only available on prescription in the UK, although it is on offer at Boots for people who sign up to the high street chemist's own weight-loss programme.

Valium, ROCHE

Chemical name: Diazepam. First manufactured by Roche, it is now no longer protected by patent, but produced in generic form by other companies.

What it costs: About £50 for 30 tablets online.

Uses: Dubbed "mother's little helper" when it began to be widely prescribed to women with anxiety or depression in the 1960s, Valium was once one of the world's best-selling drugs. Roche stopped making the drug in 2002 after its patent expired, but it is still produced in unbranded, generic forms by other pharmaceutical companies and is widely available on the internet. The little blue pills are in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines. Concerns about their addictive properties and the emergence of the new class of SSRI antidepressants led to a fall in popularity of Valium in the 1990s.

Abuses: Recently, doctors have begun reporting a rise in the number of young women using the drug to sleep after taking cocaine or amphetamines. They are buying it online or obtaining it through the same dealers selling them illegal drugs. The Priory Hospital in Roehampton estimates that up to one in 10 patients at its addiction centre is now hooked on Valium.



Chemical name: Methylphenidate.

What it costs: About £20 for 60 tablets.

Uses: Ritalin has proved to be a highly successful but controversial treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) among children. But there are concerns that the drug is being used as a "chemical cosh" and prescribed to too many children. More than 30,000 youngsters are taking the drug in Britain.

Abuses: It has a chemical formula similar to cocaine and because it is an appetite suppressant, young girls and teenagers have been known to take it to keep slim. There have been reports of children selling their supplies to others in the playground, while students and businessmen take it to improve their attention and concentration in exams and the boardroom. Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration ordered that Ritalin and other similar drugs should carry "black box" warnings about an increased risk of heart attacks and sudden death.

Provigil, CEPHALON
Chemical name: Modafinil.

What it costs: About £90 for 30 tablets online.

Uses: Provigil is marketed as a treatment for narcolepsy, a condition that causes excessive sleepiness and can make it impossible for people to stay awake. It has also been useful for multiple sclerosis patients who are often affected by extreme fatigue.

Abuses: Strict regulations on prescribing Provigil in the UK were eased two years ago. Unlike amphetamines that were previously used to treat sleep problems, and caused jittery side effects, Provigil works by targeting the neurones involved in wakefulness. But it is also increasingly being used as a lifestyle drug by people who do not have sleep problems. Suggestions that it could also help boost weight loss and mood have made it even more popular. Clubbers are using it to keep partying through the night, while businessman are buying it to help them through long days in the office, and students are taking it to keep revising. Doctors have warned that the drug can be psychologically addictive and can induce headaches and nausea.


Ritalin for children is “quick fix” and should be reviewed, demand educational psychologists, CLICK ON LINK BELOW FOR MORE:


By Angela Hussain
June 15, 2011

Ritalin and other psychotropic medication for children are a “quick fix” and the government should urgently review their use, psychologists have urged.

The Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) fears there is insufficient data on the effects such drugs have on child development. Further research is urgently needed, it says.

The AEP’s demand is despite the fact that a European Medicines Agency (EMA) investigation into methylphenidate drugs, which include psychotropics Ritalin, Concerta, Equasym, Medikinet and Rubifen – had previously stated that the benefits of such drugs outweigh any negative effects for children diagnosed with ADHD and other conduct disorders..

Plus, UK doctors have been advised by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence not to prescribe methylphenidate as a first-line treatment for children diagnosed with ADHD.

But the AEP – which represents UK educational psychologists – fears there will be an increase of methylphenidate prescribing because the number of official psychological disorders for children is set to increase.

The American Psychiatric Association is working on its 2013 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSMV) in which additional psychological disorders for children are due to be added. These include Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Preschool Children, Temper Dysregulation Disorder with Dysphoria, Callous and Unemotional Specifier for Conduct Disorder, Non-Suicidal Self Injury, and Non-Suicidal Self Injury Not Otherwise Specified.

“These could lead to more young people being referred for treatment with these [psychotropic] medications,” said Kate Fallon, AEP’s general secretary.

She said: “There is a danger that we rely on the ‘quick fix’ for children with conditions such as ADHD, which frequently means the prescription of medication such as Ritalin instead of a number of other possible interventions.”

Medicine regulators in European member states had in 2007 requested EMA’s mediation because of concerns over cardiovascular and cerebrovascular effects of methylphenidate – such as heart rate and blood pressure increases and heart attack.

A review was carried out by the EMA’s committee for medicinal products for human use. It was based on reported side effects and all studies on methylphenidate since the fifties.

The committee also investigated any link between methylphenidate and psychiatric problems, reduced growth and sexual maturation.

An urgent restriction to methylphenidate prescribing was not needed, the committee concluded.


Wednesday 28 September 2011


Psychotropic Medications Overused Among Foster Children
By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor

Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on August 4, 2008

medicationNew research finds that psychotropic medications are frequently used to treat youth in foster care. The pattern is disturbing because effectiveness and safety of the pharmaceuticals has not been established.

Psychotropic medication act on the central nervous system to alter emotion or behavior temporarily.

In a study of Texas children with Medicaid coverage, the latest in a series of analyses of state Medicaid records, foster care youth received at least three times more psychotropic drugs than comparable children in poor families.

But there is no clear treatment advantage to the foster children, according to Julie Zito PhD, professor of pharmacy and psychiatry at the says a University of Maryland, Baltimore researcher.

Of 32,135 Texas foster care children enrolled in Medicaid from September 2003 to August 2004, 12,189 (38 percent) were dispensed one or more psychotropic medications. Among those receiving psychotropic medications, 41.3 percent of a random sample of 472 youths received three or more psychotropic drugs daily.

The medicated children were most likely to be Caucasian males, and 10 to 14 years of age. This sizable proportion of youth receiving drug combinations poses questions about appropriateness, benefits and risks, says Zito.

The Texas study also indicated that decisions to give some children three or more psychotropic drugs may be largely based on behavioral and emotional symptoms rather than conclusive diagnosis of a specific mental condition.

“These data do not provide sufficient information to address questions of severity and impairment that might explain such complex drug regimens,” Zito suggests.

Emphasizing symptoms can lead to the diagnosis of more than one mental disorder in a patient, leading to greater use of combinations of drugs, said the study, which was published earlier this year in the journal Pediatrics.

Zito says, “There are serious behavioral and emotional problems with many foster children and we want to make sure they are medicated appropriately. These are our troubled children.”

Many foster children experience multiple family placements and such disruption poses real challenges for the developing child, caregivers, and treating clinicians.

She says the extensive use of such drugs in foster care youth is an indication of a trend of expanding use “in U.S. youth across the country. This [increase in psychotropic drug use] represents a sea change in the practice of child mental health treatment since 1990. Such trends in community treatment deserve further investigation. Let’s learn more about the medications being taken by children, the reasons for use, who benefits and who doesn’t.”

More than 75 percent of the psychotropic medication use for children is off-label, a practice of prescribing drugs for a purpose other than the approved use on its label.

“So we are generalizing our [knowledge] from adults to children without knowing enough about pharmacokinetics, dosing, or long-term safety in the pediatric population,” said Zito.

Zito has been leading studies of children’s use of medication in the Medicaid population for more than a decade, with funding for the past five years from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

To enhance the work, the Maryland School of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical Research Computing (PRC) center has established state-of-the-science computing resources to analyze very large data sets.

As one of a new breed researchers called pharmacoepidemiologists, Zito studies community populations for the use and safety of medications already on the market. She says her work may be thought of as phase IV drug analysis, a logical continuation of the common three-phase clinical trials that a drug maker needs to complete before seeking federal approval to market the drug.

“This is a ‘post-marketing’ view of how a drug is doing,” she says.

Source: University of Maryland

Tuesday 27 September 2011


“Thomas S. Szasz has steadfastly defended the values of humanism and personal autonomy against all who would constrain human freedom with shackles formed out of conceptual confusion, error, and willful deception.”

— Dr. Richard E. Vatz, Professor, Towson State University,
Lee S. Weinberg, Professor, University of Pittsburgh

WHAT PSYCHOTROPICS REALLY DO click on TITLE  OR LINK BELOW to watch this video about the side effects of psychotropic drugs for children.




Though psychotropic drugs are being sold as “safe and effective” by psychiatrists and drug companies, we are seeing an alarming increase in consumer reported adverse side effects for children.e.g. flattening of mood,poor sleep,agitation and sudden death.

In children, we see obesity, heart disease and diabetes. In pregnant women, a near tripling of the risk of severe birth defects. And for senior citizens, a drastic shortening of life span.

Perhaps most serious of all is the significant risk of violent behavior, including suicide. Once on an antidepressant, the suicide rate jumps from 11 for every 100,000 people to 718—over 65 times more.

And there is ample evidence that if the short‑term side effects of psychotropics don’t get you, the long-term effects will have an impact.

The very real probability of significant long- and short-term side effects should give anyone considering taking psychotropic drugs or a prescribing professional cause for great pause.

But what about those already taking them, who no matter how hard they try, cannot get off these addictive drugs?

Sunday 25 September 2011


Community psychology
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Community psychology deals with the relationships of the individual to communities and the wider society. Community psychologists seek to understand the quality of life of individuals, communities, and society. Their aim is to enhance quality of life through collaborative research and action.[1]

Community psychology makes use of various perspectives within and outside of psychology to address issues of communities, the relationships within them, and people's attitudes about them. Through collaborative research and action, community psychologists (practitioners and researchers) seek to understand and to enhance quality of life for individuals, communities, and society. Rappaport (1977) discusses the perspective of community psychology as an ecological perspective with the person–environment fit being the focus of study and action instead of attempting to change the person or the environment when an individual is seen as having a problem.[2]

Closely related disciplines include ecological psychology, environmental psychology, cross-cultural psychology, social psychology, political science, public health, sociology, social work, and community development.[3]

Community psychology grew out of the community mental health movement, but evolved dramatically as early practitioners incorporated their understandings of political structures and other community contexts into perspectives on client services.[4]


    1 Society for Community Research and Action
    2 History of community psychology in the US
        2.1 Swampscott Conference
    3 Theories, concepts and values in community psychology
        3.1 Ecological levels of analysis
        3.2 First-order and second-order change
        3.3 Empowerment
        3.4 Social justice
        3.5 Diversity
        3.6 Individual wellness
        3.7 Citizen participation
        3.8 Collaboration and community strengths
        3.9 Psychological sense of community
        3.10 Empirical grounding
    4 Education
        4.1 Education connection
    5 See also
    6 Peer-reviewed journals
    7 Notes
    8 References
    9 External links

Society for Community Research and Action

Division 27 of the American Psychological Association is the community psychology division of the APA, called the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA). The Society's mission is as follows:

    The Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA) is an international organization devoted to advancing theory, research, and social action. Its members are committed to promoting health and empowerment and to preventing problems in communities, groups, and individuals. SCRA serves many different disciplines that focus on community research and action.[5]

The SCRA website has resources for teaching and learning community psychology, information on events in the field and related to research and action, how to become involved and additional information on the field, members and undergraduate and graduate programs in community psychology.

 History of community psychology in the US

In the 1950s and 1960s, many factors contributed to the beginning of community psychology in the US. Some of these factors include:

    A shift away from socially conservative, individual-focused practices in health care and psychology into a progressive period concerned with issues of public health, prevention and social change after World War II[1]
    The perceived need of larger-scale mental illness treatment for veterans[2]
    Psychologists questioning the value of psychotherapy alone in treating large numbers of people with mental illness[2]
    The development of community mental health centers and deinstitutionalization of people with mental illnesses into their communities[1]

 Swampscott Conference

In 1965, several psychologists met to discuss the future of community mental health as well as discuss the issue of only being involved with problems of mental health instead of the community as a whole. The Swampscott Conference is considered the birthplace of community psychology. A published report on the conference calls for community psychologists to be political activists, agents of social change and "participant-conceptualizers."[1]

 Theories, concepts and values in community psychology
  Ecological levels of analysis

James Kelly (1966; Trickett, 1984) developed an ecological analogy used to understand the ways in which settings and individuals are interrelated. Unlike the ecological framework developed by Bronfenbrenner (1979), the focus of Kelly's framework was not so much on how different levels of the environment may impact on the individual, but on understanding how human communities function. Specifically, Kelly suggests that there are 4 important principles that govern people in settings:

    adaptation: i.e. that what individuals do is adaptive given the demands of the surrounding context
    succession: every setting has a history that created current structures, norms, attitudes, and policies, and any intervention in the setting must appreciate this history and understand why the current system exists in the form that it does
    cycling of resources: each settings has resources that need to be identified and possibilities for new resources to be developed; a resource perspective emphasizes a focus on strengths of individuals, groups, and institutions within the setting and interventions are more likely to succeed if they build on such existing strengths, rather than introduce new external mechanisms for change
    interdependence: settings are systems, and any change to one aspect of the setting will have consequences for other aspects of the setting, so any intervention needs to anticipate its impact across the entire setting, and be prepared for unintended consequences.

 First-order and second-order change

Because community psychologists often work on social issues, they are often working toward positive social change. Watzlawick, et al. (1974) differentiated between first-order and second-order change and how second-order change is often the focus of community psychology.[6]

    first-order change: changing the individuals in a setting to attempt to fix a problem
    second-order change: Attending to systems and structures involved with the problem to adjust the person–environment fit

As an example of how these methods differ, consider homelessness. A first-order change to "fix" homelessness would be to offer shelter to one or many homeless people. A second-order change would be to address issues in policy regarding affordable housing.


One of the goals of community psychology involves empowerment of individuals and communities that have been marginalized by society.

One definition for the term is "an intentional, ongoing process centered in the local community, involving mutual respect, critical reflection, caring, and group participation, through which people lacking an equal share of resources gain greater access to and control over those resources" (Cornell Empowerment Group).[7]

Rappaport's (1984) definition includes: "Empowerment is viewed as a process: the mechanism by which people, organizations, and communities gain mastery over their lives."[8]

While empowerment has had an important place in community psychology research and literature, some have criticized its use. Riger (1993), for example, points to the paradoxical nature of empowerment being a masculine, individualistic construct being used in community research.[9]

Social justice

A core value of community psychology is seeking social justice through research and action. Community psychologists are often advocates for equality and policies that allow for the wellbeing of all people, particularly marginalized populations.[1]


Another value of community psychology involves embracing diversity. Rappaport includes diversity as a defining aspect of the field, calling research to be done for the benefit of diverse populations in gaining equality and justice. This value is seen through much of the research done with communities regardless of ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, disability status, socioeconomic status, gender and age.[2]

 Individual wellness

Individual wellness is the physical and psychological wellbeing of all people. Research in community psychology focuses on methods to increase individual wellness, particularly through prevention and second-order change.[1]

 Citizen participation

Citizen participation refers to the ability of individuals to have a voice in decision-making, defining and addressing problems, and the dissemination of information gathered on them.[1] This is the basis for the usage of participatory action research in community psychology, where community members are often involved in the research process by sharing their unique knowledge and experience with the research team and working as co-researchers.

Collaboration and community strengths

Collaboration with community members to construct research and action projects makes community psychology an exceptionally applied field. By allowing communities to use their knowledge to contribute to projects in a collaborative, fair and equal manner, the process of research can itself be empowering to citizens. This requires an ongoing relationship between the researcher and the community from before the research begins to after the research is over.[1]
[edit] Psychological sense of community

Psychological sense of community (or simply "sense of community"), was introduced in 1974 by Seymour Sarason.[10] In 1986 a major step was taken by David McMillan[11] and David Chavis[12] with the publication of their "Theory of Sense of Community" and "Sense of Community Index." Originally designed primarily in reference to neighborhoods, the Sense of Community Index (SCI) can be adapted to study other communities as well, including the workplace, schools, religious communities, communities of interest, etc.

Empirical grounding

Community psychology grounds all advocacy and social justice action in empiricism. This empirical grounding is what separates community psychology from a social movement or grassroots organization. Methods from psychology have been adapted for use in the field that acknowledge value-driven, subjective research involving community members. The methods used in community psychology are therefore tailored to each individual research question. Quantitative as well as qualitative methods and other innovative methods are embraced.[1]

    For information about Education in Community Psychology

Many programs related to community psychology are housed in psychology departments, while others are interdisciplinary. Students earning a community psychology degree complete courses that focus on: history and concepts of the field, human diversity and cultural competence, public health, community research methods and statistics, collaborative work in communities, organizational and community development and consultation, prevention and intervention, program evaluation, and grantwriting. Research is a large component of both the PhD and masters degrees, as community psychologists base interventions on theory and research and use action-oriented research to promote positive change. Further, students will generally find niches under faculty mentors at their institutions related to local programs, organizations, grants, special populations, or social issues of interest—granting students the chance to have practice doing the work of a community psychologist, under the supervision of a faculty member.[13]

    A complete list of academic programs in: Community Psychology.com


Political psychology- journal / textbook above.
From Wikipedia,

Political psychology is an interdisciplinary academic field dedicated to the relationship between psychology and political science, with a focus on the role of human thought, emotion, and behavior in politics.[1]

What is Political Psychology?(Stanford University Centre for Political 

Political psychology is a thriving field of social scientific inquiry, with roots in political science and psychology and connections to a range of other social sciences, including sociology, economics, communication, business, education, and many other fields. Political psychologists attempt to understand the psychological underpinnings, roots, and consequences of political behavior.

Some of this work enhances understanding of political phenomena by applying basic theories of cognitive processes and social relations that were originally developed outside of the domain of politics.

Other political psychology involves the development of completely new theory to provide psychological accounts of political phenomena.

Political psychology thus illuminates the dynamics of important real-world phenomena in ways that yield practically valuable information and also that enhance the development of basic theories of cognitive processes and social relations.

And all of this work helps us understand why political events unfold as they do.
SIPP 2011

One area of political psychology relevant to the issue of the overprescription of psychotropic drugs for children is the politico-psychological aspects of globalization.This would include the business models and practices of the multinational pharmaceutical companies.

 History of political psychology(Wikipedia)

The cross-fertilization between political science and psychology has risen to a modestly active level since its beginnings in the 1940s, though both fields have traditionally had a wider magnitude of collaboration with other disciplines, such as history with political science, and sociology with psychology.[3]
[edit] Inherent bad faith model in international relations and political psychology

The "inherent bad faith model" of information processing is a theory in political psychology that was first put forth by Ole Holsti to explain the relationship between John Foster Dulles’ beliefs and his model of information processing.[4] It is the most widely studied model of one's opponent.[5] A state is presumed to be implacably hostile, and contra-indicators of this are ignored. They are dismissed as propaganda ploys or signs of weakness. Examples are John Foster Dulles’ position regarding the Soviet Union, or Israel’s initial position on the Palestinian Liberation Organization.[6]


Sapiro, Virginia (2001). "INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY". Retrieved 19 May 2006.

or :


The Missing Risk/Benefit Analyses For DSM5
"First, do no harm."
Published on April 13, 2010 by Allen J. Frances, M.D. in DSM5 in Distress


   DSM5 first went wrong because of excessive ambition; then stayed wrong because of its disorganized methods and its lack of caution. Its excessive and elusive ambition was to aim at a "paradigm shift".  Work groups were instructed to think creatively, that everything was on the table. Accordingly, and not surprisingly, they came up with numerous pet suggestions that had in common a wide expansion of the diagnostic system - stretching the ever elastic concept of mental disorder. Their combined suggestions would redefine tens of millions of people who previously were considered normal and hundreds of thousands who were previously considered criminal or delinquent.   Then came the disorganized DSM5 method. The work groups were meant to find empirical support for their suggestions in reviews of the literature and in data reanalyses. But they were given no guidance on the methods to be used and there was no quality control or editing of their efforts. Again not surprisingly, the different work groups varied widely in the methods, thoroughness, quality,and clarity of their reviews (and the resulting rationales for the proposals offered). The anarchy was worsened by the absence of any agreed upon criteria for the threshold that had to be met before changes could be made. These were not developed until just before the first DSM5 draft was due to be posted - they should have been available as a guide and as a governor even before any work on DSM5 had begun.Related Articles    The Glaring Weakness In A Conservative Approach To Diagnosis: It Grandfathers In Weak Links    DSM 5 Promotes Sixty Percent Jump In Rates Of Alcohol Use Disorders    How To Solve The Problem Of Questionable Diagnoses Grandfathered Into DSM    DSM5 Plans To Loosen Criteria For Adult ADD    Revising the Bible of PsychiatryFind a TherapistSearch for a mental health professional near you.

   Then we get to the lack of caution. However diverse in other ways, the rationales for DSM5 changes  all have two things in common:
1) an uncritical and "cheer leading" presentation of the data and arguments that would support the proposal; and,
2) a failure to give an adequate risk/benefit analysis of the shortcomings and dangers that might shoot it down.
This fatal flaw would have been self correcting had the work group suggestions and reviews been subjected to an open and searching interchange with the field at large. But the secrecy of the DSM5 process kept them under wraps and prevented a timely  correction of the worst errors and omissions.     
Each of the work group rationales provides a statement only of the benefits expected from the proposal. These have in common that "patients" presenting with a set of symptoms not currently covered by the diagnostic system will be identified, presumably so that they can be provided with a suitable treatment they would otherwise not get.  Uniformly, the scientific evidence supporting each suggestion is undeveloped,  weak, and unconvincing.  Most remarkable though is the fact that  none of these suggested new disorders has a proven effective treatment.  In sum, even the "benefit" side of the equation for each of the new proposals provides little support for its inclusion.      A balanced risk/benefit assessment would then go on to present a full appraisal of the risks of each proposal, not just its presumed benefits. This has not been done for any of the proposals  and must be done now.

 The types of risks that should be considered include:

1) What is the rate of false positive diagnosis in the studies performed to date?  This will set a lower limit, since existing studies will have been performed by the most skilled diagnosticians working with a group of highly selected, relatively easy to diagnose patients.

2)Is the diagnosis likely to be made frequently in primary care practice? If so, the false positive rate will undoubtedly be much higher because the  clinicians will have less time and expertise and the  "patients" will be at the boundary with normal where accurate diagnosis is most difficult.

3)Are there outside forces likely to turn this proposal into a fad diagnosis that can cause a false "epidemic"? Such outside forces are numerous and extremely powerfull.  They have in the past included: drug companies, requirements for special school services; advocacy groups;  the media; celebrity contagion (the Tiger Woods effect); and the needs of the correctional system. Although it is never possible to  quantify the risk of triggering an "epidemic", it is irresponsible  not to consider this risk, especially since our field has recently experienced four recent fads (eg childhood bipolar, attention deficit, autism, and paraphilia NOS). There is an ever present threat that well meaning and seemingly simple changes can have widespread unintended consequences.  

4)Is there a treatment for the proposed disorder that has proven its efficacy? If not, given all the risks, what is the remaining benefit?

5)What are the risks of treatment? The way the world works, it must be assumed that the treatment will usually be a medication  (whenever one is  available , however unproven its benefits). What are the side effects, complications, and costs of the medication. How long will be the likely duration of treatment? What is the risk/benefit for true positives? What are the unopposed risks, costs, and complications for the false positives?

6)What are the potential forensic problems and the effects on insurance and disability?

7)What will be the impact on the new "patient's" experience of stigma and on his sense of personal control and responsibility?

8)Will adding this diagnosis trivialize the concept of mental disorder? It was for this reason alone  that we excluded  caffeine dependence in DSM IV (although it certainly sometimes exists as a clinical problem).      None of the new proposals has received anything resembling a complete "risk/benefit analysis". To date they have received only a "benefit" analysis which in each case has turned up no more than a modest and largely unproven upside. The deep downsides should now have the full evaluation they deserve. I am convinced that any objective  balancing of the risks and benefits of these proposals would result in  their being scrapped now. They are far too premature and risky to warrant field testing.   The potential negative impact  of diagnostic decisions is best illustrated by the  recent alarming escalation in the use of antipsychotic medication for children and teenagers. On the basis of a very poorly established indication, kids are receiving medicine that has a very well established ability to cause large and rapid weight - with consequent risks of diabetes, other medical complications, and potentially reduced life expectancy. 

This would seem to impose on us  a very powerful and imperative "DO NO HARM' when considering  the two most potentially dangerous of the DSM5 suggestions-
"Temper Dysregulation" and  "Psychosis Risk Syndrome".
But more generally,  every DSM5 suggestion needs the thorough going  risk review outlined  above.  As a profession, we cannot walk away from the fact that our decisions, however well intended,  can create enormous unexpected problems once they enter wide general usage.


Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder - Support Strategies for Schools

Strategies for Teachers in Schools
Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1

• A key person in school to collate information and communicate with
family and other agencies.
• Practical support strategies written in positive language for all staff
working with the pupil.
• A realistic system of recording the pupil’s behaviour which is clear and
• A system for communicating with the parents/carers and supporting
their work at home with the pupil.
• A clear protocol in school for administering prescribed medication and
monitoring its effects.
• A consensus about the specific patterns of behaviour for which the
child needs support and guidance.
• Caring for the carer. Teaching a pupil with ADHD is demanding, being
both physically and emotionally draining. Ensure that there is support
for the teacher and/or teaching assistant.
All of the above needs to be recorded and incorporated into the school’s
existing Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2001). This is a staged
process of support for children with special educational needs.
The learning environment for the child with difficulties with attention.
• Organisational factors and the learning environment.
• Use routines so that the day becomes predictable.
• Use visual cues and a visual timetable.
• Use small components (chunks) of learning.
Learning activities:
How do you check on whether the child is flitting from one thing to another?
Help the nursery child stay at one play activity and extend range of play with
active adult support. Present work in short chunks.

- 4 -
Where is the best place? ‘It would be really good to have you sitting here
because you can do such good listening/ answer a special question - - ‘
Consider where the child actually manages to listen best. It may be at a table,
or on a chair rather than on the floor.
Minimize waiting time. Queues and lining up are difficult times. Ensure the
child knows where s/he should be and has a regular place in the line. Turn
taking is hard too so ensure the child has a visual reminder.
Targets and strategies to help in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1
The Foundation Stage
We want children to be able to take advantage of the learning opportunities
so we want them to:
• Listen.
• Pay attention.
• Focus on a task.
• Work with others.
What might we expect of children of four, five, six, seven and eight? The
Foundation Stage Profile lists what a child should do:
• Show an interest through observation or participation.
• Show a high level of involvement in self chosen activity.
• Talk through an activity.
• Listen and respond.
Some examples for younger children, (Foundation stage 1-3)
• To ask for my tidy up jobs and then do them.
• To play with (adult first, then child supported by adult) – water play,
sand play, construction and role play for 5 minutes.
• To tell Y (friend) about my game.
• To sit in group time for 5 minutes, watching the teacher (may need
adult support – teaching assistant or teacher) and listening.
• To tell teaching assistant about someone else’s news after group time
or something in group time.
• To answer a question in group time.
• To tell the adult about the story.
• To ask an adult what she’s been doing and then tell another ( Mum,
Dad, TA, Nan).

- 5 -
Key Stage 1
In the case of an eight year old we would want much the same but for longer
periods, and with a greater focus on:
• Listening and responding.
• On independent work.
• On taking greater account of others.
• To start to self monitor.
So the long term outcomes to aim for would be:-
• To listen and respond in formal teaching situations (literacy and
• To describe how s/he has done something.
• To work independently at an activity.
• To take responsibility for parts of own learning/activity.
How can these be translated into small achievable but meaningful targets?
Examples for older children:-
• To be able to say what my group has to do in the literacy/numeracy
activity session.
• To be able to tell someone what the first part of the lesson was about
(e.g. book in literacy, adding/ number line in numeracy).
• To be able to listen quietly and answer questions for part of the whole
class teaching time (5 minutes, 10 minutes).
• To finish a task, working with a friend on an activity for 10 minutes.
Encouraging the child to develop some self monitoring strategies: (good
practice for all children)
Help them to develop self-monitoring questions by using similar questions in
different situations. ‘How am I getting on?’ ‘What have I heard?’ ‘What have I
answered?’ ‘What have I understood?’ ‘Not understood?’ ‘What have I
finished?’ ‘Can I put a star on my target card for good listening? For good
working? For finishing?’
General strategies to encourage listening and responding:-
• Give the child time to think and answer. Don’t rush them.
• Try to be positioned on the same level as them – on the floor or at a
• Eye contact or joint/ shared gaze.
• Cue them in - use their name, possibly a light touch on the arm.
• Be simple – short sentences and words. One bit of information or one

- 6 -
• Use visual cues –pictures of nursery activities and the routines – play
outside, drinks, lunch. Use objects especially for news, or talking about
trips/activities. Puppets are useful and repetition of favourite stories.
Check to see if they have understood.
• Be pleased when the child wants to tell you something or has shown
good listening.
• Hand round something for the talker (a key, shell, something special)
so that when you have the object you talk.
General strategies to help behaviour
Targets, Rules and Reminders
Targets should be achievable and the child needs to understand what they
are and to have visual and verbal reminders. Rewards should be consistent
and praise used frequently.
Keep rules really short and simple and based on class rules. Children are
likely to forget them so prompts are useful. A visual reminder of the target on
the desk, star or tick chart, the marble jar or whatever you like to use to
remind the children about what you expect
Positive support and encouraging relationships
Comment on how good s/he is. Start the session with a positive comment and
say why you’re pleased. Encourage positive peer group relationships.
Provide a friend or small group to work with – useful to vary the friend/group.
Positive reinforcement at regular intervals from the teacher and TA.
‘How have you done so far this morning’? ‘Show me what you’ve been doing’.
Parental support in reinforcing what you’re doing. ‘What did you like about the
story’?’ Who did you play with today’?’ What games did you play’?

Other strategies
Positive management in praising the behaviour you want to promote and try
to ignore low level negative or irritating behaviour
Remember it will take time to try and change something which is part of the
child’s behaviour pattern – 6 weeks or longer usually.
Traffic light systems: child has the card next to them while working – green is
OK, amber I might need help, red – I’m losing it.
Star charts: award a star for each time they achieve a target, or for each short
successful session. 5 stars could be exchanged for a sun and so many suns
get a reward. Remember that if the system is a daily one and the child has
had a bad first session they will see there is little point in continuing – so
make sure there’s a way for them to earn back rewards in the next session.

- 7 -
Child/star of the day: everybody has a turn and it helps class identity and the
feeling that all are valued in the class. Usually has some special privileges or
jobs; you could consider a circle of positive behaviour during the day when
everyone says something positive about the child.

Friday 23 September 2011


For Parents who are pressured to diagnose and drug their children for ADD or ADHD. Story behind our Sons death caused from ADHD drug, Ritalin.Death from Ritalin
The Truth Behind ADHD :


    National Alliance against Mandated Mental Health
Screening and Psychiatric Drugging of Children

Between 1990 and 2000 there were 186 deaths from methylphenidate reported to the FDA MedWatch program, a voluntary reporting scheme, the numbers of which represent no more than 10 to 20% of the actual incidence.

Our 14-year-old Son Died from Ritalin Use - 20-03-2000

April 15, 2001 this website was created in hopes of providing parents and guardians with information about the truth behind ADHD and the drugs used to treat children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.

We built this website because we didn't want other children to die or suffer side effects because of their parents lack of knowledge.

We did all we could to convince state and federal government about the methods used in the miss-diagnosing of thousands of children with in ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD Attention hyperactivity disorder of ADHD and psychotropic drugging of children with Ritalin and other drugs.

Since the death of our 14-year-old son Matthew caused from the use of Ritalin prescribed for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) our family has been informing others world wide via the internet about ADHD and the dangers of psychotropic drugs in memory of our son and countless other children that have died over the years as a direct result of using psychotropic drugs.

We wish to expose the health risks, dangers, deaths and suicides that are a direct result of administering Ritalin and other psychiatric drugs to children.

We hope our story and information will in some way benefit your family and prevent our tragedy from being your families' reality and nightmare.

Our fourteen year old son Matthew suddenly died on March 21, 2000. The cause of death was determined to be from the long-term (age 7-14) use of Methylphenidate, a drug commonly known as Ritalin.

According to Dr. Ljuba Dragovic, the Chief Pathologist of Oakland County, Michigan, upon autopsy, Matthew's heart showed clear signs of small vessel damage caused from the use of Methylphenidate (Ritalin).

*The certificate of death reads: "Death caused from Long Term Use of Methylphenidate, Ritalin."

I was told by one of the medical examiners that a full-grown man's heart weighs about 350 grams and that Matthew's heart's weight was about 402 grams. Dr. Dragovic said this type of heart damage is smoldering and not easily detected with the standard test done for prescription refills. The standard test usually consists of blood work, listening to the heart, and questions about school behaviors, sleeping and eating habits.

*What is important to note here is that Matthew did not have any pre-existing heart condition or defect.

Matthew's story started in a small town within Berkley, Michigan. While in first grade Matthew was evaluated by the school, who believed he had ADHD. The school social worker kept calling us in for meetings. One morning at one of these meetings while waiting for the others to arrive, Monica told us that if we refused to take Matthew to the doctor and get him on Ritalin, child protective services could charge us for neglecting his educational and emotional needs. My wife and I were intimidated and scared. We believed that there was a very real possibility of losing our children if we did not comply with the schools threats.

Monica further explained ADHD to us, stating that it was a real brain disorder. She also went on to tell us that the Methylphenidate (Ritalin) was a very mild medication and would stimulate the brain stem and help Matthew focus.

We gave into the schools pressure and took our son to a pediatrician that they recommended. His name was Dr. John Dorsey of Birmingham, Michigan. While visiting Dr. Dorsey with the schools recommendation for Methylphenidate (Ritalin) in hand, I noted that he seemed frustrated with the school. He asked us to remind the school that he was not a pharmacy.

I can only conclude from his comment that we were not the first parents sent to him by this school. Dr. John Dorsey officially diagnosed Matthew with ADHD. The test used for the diagnosis was a five minute pencil twirling trick, resulting in Matthew being diagnosed with ADHD.

*It is important to note that the schools insistence and role in our son's drugging was documented in a letter written by Monica to the pediatrician stating: "We would have hoped you would have started Matthew on a trial of medication by now".

At no time were my wife and I ever told significant facts regarding the issue of ADHD and the drugs used to "treat it". These significant facts withheld from us inevitably would have changed the road that we were headed down by ultimately altering the decisions we would have made.

We were not told that The Drug Enforcement Administration had classified Methylphenidate (Ritalin) as a Schedule II drug, comparable to Cocaine.

We were not told that Methylphenidate is also one of the top ten abused prescription drugs.

At no time were we informed of the unscientific nature of the disorder.

We were not told that there was widespread controversy among the medical establishment in regards to the validity of the disorder.

Furthermore, we were not provided with information involving the dangers of using Methylphenidate (Ritalin) as "treatment" for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. One of these dangers includes the fact that Methylphenidate, Ritalin causes constriction of veins and arteries, causing the heart to work overtime and inevitably leading to damage to the organ itself.

We were not made aware of the large number of children's deaths, that have been linked with these types of drugs used as "treatment".

While Matthew was taking Methylphenidate (Ritalin), at no time, were we informed of any test: echo-cardiogram, MRI. These types of tests could have detected the damage done to his heart. These test are not considered "standard" in monitoring "treatment" of ADHD they are usually never administered to children. Sadly death is inevitable without the possibility of detection.

*I want to ask every parent to ask themselves these important questions:

How different would your decisions be if information was withheld from you? How different would your decisions be if you receive only distorted data?

I, myself, know that our families and Matthews outcome would have been quite different had we received all information. If I had known certain facts I would have acted differently and my son would be alive today. This I am sure of.

Informed Consent", which states in part A person's agreement to allow something to happen (such as surgery) that is based on a full disclosure of the facts needed to make the decision intelligently; i.e. knowledge of risks involved, alternatives etc" and "the probable risks against the probable benefits"

The violation of parent's rights is when they are not told of the unscientific nature of so-called disorders such as ADHD or the risks of the treatments involving drugs like Ritalin, and they certainly are not told of alternatives to their child's behavior such as undiagnosed allergies or food sensitivities, which could manifest with the symptoms of what psychiatry calls ADHD.

*Here are some facts that are being withheld from parents that could possibly alter their life decisions and outcomes.

Did you know that schools receive additional money from state and federal government for every child labeled and drugged? This clearly demonstrates a possible "financial incentive" for schools to label and drug children. It also backs up the alarming rise/increase in the labeling and drugging that has taken place in the last decade within our schools.

Did you know that parents receiving welfare money from the government can get additional funds for every child that they have labeled and drugged? In this way, many lower socio-economic parents (many times single mothers) are reeled into the drugging by these financial incentives waved in front of them in hard times, making lifestyle changes possible.

Did you know that by labeling your child with ADHD, you are actually labeling them with a mental illness listed in the DSM-IV, the unscientific billing bible for psychiatry?

Did you know that a child taking a psycho-tropic, psycho-stimulant drugs like Ritalin after the age of 12 is ineligible for military service?

Did you know that the subjective checklists that are being used as criteria for diagnosis are very similar to the checklists used to determine Gifted and Talented Children? These two checklists are almost identical.

The Drug Enforcement Administration clearly states in their report on Methylphenidate: "However, contrary to popular belief, stimulants like methylphenidate will affect normal children and adults in the same manner that they affect ADHD children. Behavioral or attentional improvements with methylphenidate treatment therefore is not diagnostic of ADHD." (p.11) This statement thoroughly contradicts what is being told to many parents by the many "professionals" that have a vested stake in the diagnosis itself.

The DEA further states that: "Of particular concern is that most of the ADHD literature prepared for public consumption by CHADD and other groups and available to parents, does not address the abuse potential or actual abuse of methylphenidate. Instead, methylphenidate (usually referred to as Ritalin by these groups) is routinely portrayed as a benign, mild substance that is not associated with abuse or serious side effects. In reality, however, there is an abundance of scientific literature which indicates that methylphenidate shares the same abuse potential as other Schedule II stimulants." (p.4)

Did you know that groups like CHADD and others available to parents are being supported financially by pharmaceutical companies? This is a red flag and demonstrates a conflict of interest in the role that these groups have regarding our children's health and well-being.

Did you know that there are studies such as the Berkeley Study that contends that Ritalin and other stimulants further raise the risk of drug abuse? From the Wall Street Journal, Monday, May 17, 1999 by Marilyn Chase: "Nadine Lambert, a professor of education, followed almost 500 children for 26 years. She argues that exposure to Ritalin makes the brain more susceptible to the addictive power of cocaine and doubles the risk of abuse."

This study seems to never make it into the hands of parents because it doesn't support the theories of those using the diagnosis to profit off of our children. What does seem to make it into many parents' hands is research indicating that if children go "untreated", which corresponds with "unmedicated" they will "self-medicate" or end up as juvenile delinquents. Sadly many of these parents are not aware that many of this biased and unproven research (one such is the Beiderman study) infiltrating our schools are actually being distributed by pharmaceutical companies, such as Novartis. This in itself is another red flag and conflict of interest surrounding our children's health.

I leave you with this question: How many more 11 year old Stephanie Hall's, 14 year old Matthew Smith's and 10 year old Shaina Dunkle's need to die before we realize what is happening and speak out and act to put an end to it?

One toy might be recalled if 1 or 2 children die from it. How many children have to die from these drugs before we realize and put an end to this horror. Why should hundreds or thousands have to die before we are outraged and act?

Is the profit of so many, worth more than our children's safety and lives? Sadly the deaths of these children have remained unexposed and suppressed for so long because there is a tremendous amount of money and profit at stake for so many. My son's voice will not be one of those suppressed and quieted.

*Below is a copy of a letter sent to the doctor by our sons school social worker and psychologist asking the doctor for our six-year-old to be put on Ritalin.


IEP will be on December 6. We have recognized his learning difficulties. We'll likely give him maximum time in a resource room (3 hours/day).

Our concern is that his psychological testing has shown strong average intelligence. Sub-scores are weakest in the areas of attention and memory (which our psychologist believes are indications of ADHD)

He has had a long history of impulsive over-activity. We (social worker-psychologist witnessed this in Matt's pre-school at Miss Molly's, That's why we certified him eligible for PPI - pre- primary-impaired. He had his PPI year, then kindergarten year and now 1st grade.

Many environmental changes have been tried to help Matt concentrate and focus, yet he is still at a beginning kindergarten readiness. We believe his high level of distraction is even more of a handicap than his learning deficits.

We had hoped by September you and Matt's parents would have begun a trial of medication so that we could assess whether his learning would have benefited by increased focus and concentration.

Would you consider simultaneously having Matt begin his 3 hours in a resource room with a prescribed medical therapy? Parents indicate they would feel comfortable with this decision if you do.

We are so concerned that Matt has begun to see himself as "bad" and doing "bad things" I, as the school social worker, will continue to work with Matt on self-esteem and social skills.

Matthew supposedly needed this drug Ritalin because of a subjective diagnosis called ADHD until it silenced him forever on March 21, 2000, even sadder I have learned that thousands of children have died as a direct result of using psychotropic medications over the years.

*Matthew's Voice in Death Will be Heard by All 9/1/1985 - 3/21/2000

In closing we would hope this website about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder, "ADHD" or Attention Deficit Disorder "ADD". and just how lethal these psychotropic can be. Sincerely, "The Smith family

Thursday 22 September 2011


LINK ABOVE to Psychcentral:

Medications Prescribed for Children
with Depression, Anxiety, or ADHD

One in ten of America’s children has an emotional disturbance such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression or anxiety, that can cause unhappiness for the child and problems at home, at play, and at school. Many of these children will be taken by their parents to their family physician or pediatrician, or, in many cases, a specialist in child mental health. The child will be carefully evaluated and may begin some type of therapy. There are many treatment options available. Choosing the right treatment for your child is very important. Each child is different. At times, psychotherapies, behavioral strategies, and family support may be very effective. In some cases, medications are needed to help the child become more able to cope with everyday activities in others talking therapies or physical therapies like relaxation training or exercise are the best place to start to calm them down or channel their excess energy.

If you are planning to have a doctor see your child, you should share a record of any of your child’s medical problems, any medications your child is taking, including over-the-counter medications or vitamin and herbal supplements, and any allergic reactions your child has suffered. If a medication is prescribed for your child, there are certain questions you should ask. It will be helpful to take notes as it is easy to forget exactly what the doctor says.

    What is the name of the medication and how will it help my child? Is the medicine available in both brand-name and generic versions, and is it all right to use the less
    expensive (generic) medication? What is the name of the generic version? Is it all right to switch among brands, or between brand-name and generic forms?

    What is the proper dosage for my child? Is the dose likely to change as he or she grows?Has their age and weight been taken into account?

    What if my child has a problem with the pill or capsule? Is it available in a chewable tablet or liquid form?

    How many times a day must the medicine be given? Should it be taken with meals, or on an empty stomach? Should the school give the medication during the day, is that fair to ask?

    How long must my child take this medication? If it is discontinued, should it be done all at once or slowly?What is the maximum period a child should be on that drug?

    Will my child be monitored while on this medication and, if so, by whom? For some psychostimulants it is important to monitor their weight every six months to ensure no rapid weight loss.

    Should my child have any laboratory tests before taking this medication? Will it be necessary to have blood levels checked or have other laboratory tests during the time my child is taking this medication?

    Should my child avoid certain foods, other medications, or activities while using this medication?

    Are there possible side effects? If I notice a side effect—such as unusual sleepiness,nightmares, agitation, fatigue, hand tremors—should I notify the doctor at once?

    What if my child misses a dose? Spits it up?

    How well established and accepted is the use of this medication in children or adolescents? What are the long term effects?

You may think of other questions. Don’t be afraid to ask. When you have the prescription filled, be sure the pharmacist gives you a flyer describing the medication, how it should be taken, and any possible side effects it may have. The label on the medication will have lots of information. Read the label carefully before giving the medication to your child. The label will give the name of the pharmacy, its telephone number, the name of the medication, the dosage, and when it should be taken. It will also tell you how many times the medication can be refilled.

If you want to learn more about your child’s medication, you will find helpful books at your public library, or the reference librarian can show you how to look up the medication in the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR). While a great deal of information about mental disorders and their treatment in children is available on the Internet, care is required to distinguish fact from opinion.
What Does "Off-label" Mean?

Based on clinical experience and medication knowledge, a physician may prescribe to young children a medication that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in adults or older children. This use of the medication is called "off-label." Most medications prescribed for child mental disorders, including many of the newer medications that are proving helpful, are prescribed off-label because only a few of them have been systematically studied for safety and efficacy in children. Medications that have not undergone such testing are dispensed with the statement that "safety and efficacy have not been established in pediatric patients." The FDA has been urging that products be appropriately studied in children and has offered incentives to drug manufacturers to carry out such testing. The National Institutes of Health and the FDA are examining the issue of medication research in children and are developing new research approaches.

Help Your Child Take Medication Safely

    Be sure the doctor knows all medications—including over-the-counter medications and herbal and vitamin supplements—that your child takes.

    Read the label before opening the bottle. Make sure you are giving the proper dosage. If the medication is liquid, use a special measure—a cup, a teaspoon, a medicine dropper, or a syringe. Often a measure comes with the medicine. If not, ask your pharmacist which measure is most suitable to use with the medication your child is taking.

    Always use child-resistant caps and store all medications in a safe place.

    Never decide to increase or decrease the dosage or stop the medication without consulting the doctor.

    Don’t give medication prescribed for one child to another child, even if it appears to be the same problem.

    Keep a chart and mark it each time the child takes the medication. It is easy to forget.


A Guide to Children’s Medications. American Academy of Pediatrics.
Website: http://www.aap.org/family/medications.htm

Facts for Families, a series of informative fact sheets that include information on medications for children, health insurance, how to seek help, etc. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Website: http://www.aacap.org/publications/factsfam/index.htm

How to Give Medicine to Children. Food and Drug Administration.
Website: http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/196_kid.html