54 – Review of the use of psychotropic drugs with children
Congress considers that a national review into the use of psychotropic drugs, such as Ritalin, on school-aged children in the UK is urgently needed. This is in agreement with the views publicly expressed by individual educational psychologists, the British Psychological Society and the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP).
Congress has significant concerns that the neurological impact of psychotropic drugs on the developing brains of children has not been fully researched. The potential damage that such drugs could cause needs further investigation.
Congress is further concerned about children being treated with psychotropic drugs ahead of new diagnostic criteria, DSM5, in 2013. These criteria will result in more inclusive definitions of mental health and could consequently lead to even more children and young people being referred for treatment by these medications.
Congress therefore calls on the government to establish an urgent review into the national intervention practices for children and young people considered to have issues with mental health, prior to the introduction of DSM5. Congress further calls for this review to consider seriously the potential long-term damage caused by psychotropic drugs compared with other therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy.