Consumer Reports has an article here questioning the dramatic increase of powerful anti-psychotic drugs in children.
The number of children taking powerful antipsychotic drugs has nearly tripled over the last 10 to 15 years, according to recent research. The increase comes not because of an epidemic of schizophrenia or other forms of serious mental illness in children, but because doctors are increasingly prescribing the drugs to treat behavior problems, a use not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And a disproportionate number of those prescriptions are written for poor and minority children, some as young as age 2. Doctors are prescribing antipsychotics even though there’s minimal evidence that the drugs help kids for approved uses, much less the unapproved ones, such as behavioral problems.
Our culture increasingly depends on powerful drugs to medicate behavioral symptoms into oblivion. Refusing to recognize possible non-physical causes for abnormal behavior (i.e., poor discipline in the home, spiritual influences, lack of physical exercise, unhealthy diets, etc.), society simply increasingly resorts to powerful drugs to subdue the symptoms which then often induce catatonic, zombie-like states. Worse yet, sometimes the kids (and adults) react violently under the influence of these powerful drugs.
Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, executive director of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness and author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? - Our Serotonin Nightmare is an expert consultant in cases like the Columbine massacre in which anti-depressant medications are involved. Tracy says the Columbine killers' brains were awash in serotonin, the chemical which causes violence and aggression and triggers a sleep-walking disorder in which a person literally acts out their worst nightmare. Shortly before the Columbine shooting, Eric Harris had been rejected by Marine Corps recruiters because he was under a doctor's care and had been prescribed an anti-depressant medication. Harris was taking Luvox, an anti-depressant commonly used to treat patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Luvox is in a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Other SSRIs include Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft. An estimated 10 million Americans take anti-depressant medications.
I believe the majority of kids whose parents consult psychiatrists end up on powerful drugs (true for the vast majority of the cases I've personally been aware of.) The most dangerous of these are major tranquilizers, also known as neuroleptic (nerve-seizing) drugs or anti-psychotics. Of the more than two dozen in this class, introduced in the mid 1950s, the most commonly used are Haldol (haloperidol), Compazine (prochlorperazine), Thorazine (chlorpromazine), Navane (thiothixene), Prolixin (fluphenazine), Mellaril (thioridazine), and Trilafon (perphenazine). Their purpose is to create "maximum behavioral disruption"--a goal clearly reflected in 1950 tests conducted with rats on Thorazine. Through chemicals, psychiatrists sought to sabotage thought processes and thereby deny the person control of his own body.
At the time the major tranquilizers were introduced, the lobotomy was touted highly and widely used by psychiatrists. With the procedure, the shredded brain was damaged forever, generating objections from family and friends of the patient. The major tranquilizers were able to create a zombie state, identical to that seen after a lobotomy, in a person whose brain remained intact. For this reason, Thorazine became known as a "chemical lobotomy."
"[On Thorazine] my thoughts spun and never got too far. My hands were rubber and I could hardly hold a fork," said one patient who had been put on the drug by a psychiatrist. "After six weeks . . . I felt like my mind had been put through a meat grinder. No longer could I think clearly; no longer could I speak articulately; no longer could I act confidently."
Another stated that, after a week on Haldol, "I was unable to speak. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't say anything out loud and spoke only with the greatest difficulty.... It was as if my whole body was succumbing to a lethal poison."
A Harvard Medical School study of 55 Boston-area rest homes published in the Jan. 26, 1989, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine reported that 55% of the 1,201 nursing home residents it surveyed took at least one psychiatric drug with 39% being given anti-psychotics.
These are not prescribed to "treat" any condition. They are administered solely to turn the patient into a zombie incapable of complaining or presenting problems to staff Concerning their use on the elderly, Jerome Avorn, director of the program for the Analysis of Clinical Strategies at Harvard, pointed out, "Drugs do work. They do quiet them down. So does a lead pipe to the head." Larry Hodge, administrator at the Life Care Center in Tennessee, described the impact on the elderly of these drugs: "Too often they were so zonked out during their meals that their heads were in the mashed potatoes."
Wilda Henry told The Arizona Republic that her 83-year-old mother became "a vegetable" five weeks after taking Haldol. This powerful mind-altering chemical, which the Soviet Union used for years to control dissidents, left her mother babbling, drooling, shaking, and unable to control her bowel functions.
Anise Debose of Washington, D.C., said her 76-year-old father entered a nursing home active, laughing, and talking. Four days later, after taking Mellaril and four other drugs, "He was restrained to a chair as rigid as a board when I saw him. His head was thrown back and his mouth was limply hanging down. Both eyes were closed. The impression all of us had was that he was dead."
We're creating drug-induced insanity.
These chemicals, capable of throwing the minds of users into chaos, have a long and well-documented history of creating insanity in persons who take them. In 1956, two years after the introduction of Thorazine, researchers reported that the drug caused psychosis, hallucinations, and increased anxiety. They speculated that this drug-induced insanity arose from the chemically straitjacketing effect of the drug.
In 1961, researchers reported the case of a 27-year-old man who was given Thorazine, after which he "complained of 'feeling like an empty shell, floating around in the air,'" and said that he heard voices coming "from two small men standing on his chest." The researchers concluded that Thorazine was the cause of the man's "toxic psychosis."
Yet another paper, published in The American Journal of Psychiatry in 1964, found that major tranquilizers can "produce an acute psychotic reaction in an individual not previously psychotic." A 1975 paper described a negative effect called akathisia, a drug-induced inability to sit still comfortably.
Researcher Theodore Van Putten reported that nearly half of the 110 persons in the study had experienced akathisia. "[One woman] started to bang her head against the wall three days after an injection of [a major tranquilizer]. Her only utterance was: 'I just want to get rid of this whole body."' A woman who had been given these drugs for five days experienced "an upsurge in hallucinations, screaming, even more bizarre thinking, aggressive and also self-destructive outbursts, and agitated pacing or dancing." A third woman stated that, while on the tranquilizer, she felt hostile and hated everybody, and heard voices taunting her. Others complained of an "abject fear or terror" that was difficult for them to explain.
Such drug-induced symptoms are far worse than any underlying problems a person might have. Even more damning is the evidence that the damage caused by these drugs can be permanent.
Many types of psychiatric drugs, including the major tranquilizers, can cause lasting, grotesquely disfiguring nerve damage known as tardive dyskinesia or tardive dystonia. The muscles of the face and body contort and spasm involuntarily, drawing the face into hideous scowls and grimaces and twisting the body into bizarre contortions. These horrifying effects occur in more than 20% of persons "treated" with major tranquilizers and currently affect 400,000-1,000,000 Americans.
Psychiatrists theorize that these drugs damage the muscle-control portion of the brain in a way that makes it permanently "supersensitive" to messages passing down nerve pathways into the brain. The result is that this portion of the brain becomes permanently deranged. While the precise location of this brain damage is not known with certainty, there is no question that it exists. It is clearly visible in the faces of its tragic victims.
In the same way that major tranquilizers can throw the muscle-control portion of the brain into chaos, they also can make the thought-control area of the brain supersensitive, driving the person permanently insane. A 1980 study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry described 10 patients who suffered from this condition, which has been labeled "supersensitivity psychosis."
In the first stage, the individual becomes psychotic for a few days immediately after he or she stops taking the drugs. In the second, the insanity that emerges upon withdrawal from the psychiatric drug is persistent and may be irreversible. In the third stage, the psychosis is evident even while the patient is taking the psychiatric drugs. The study notes that, when this stage is reached, "in most cases" the person is doomed to be insane for life. This condition has created thousands of tortured victims, permanently destroyed, cast out of mental institutions to forage in garbage cans while wrestling with inner terrors implanted in their minds by psychiatric drugs.
There also is persuasive evidence that these psychiatric drugs can cause people to become violent. A Canadian research team that studied the effects of psychiatric drugs on prisoners found that "violent, aggressive incidents occurred significantly more frequently in inmates who were on psychotropic [psychiatric or mind-altering] medication than when these inmates were not...." Inmates on major tranquilizers were shown to be more than twice as violent as they were when not taking psychiatric drugs. The researchers attributed the marked increase in violence to akathisia.
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that, four days after a patient started taking Haldol, "he became uncontrollably agitated, could not sit still, and paced for several hours." After complaining of "a jumpy feeling inside, and violent urges to assault anyone near him," the man attacked and tried to kill his dog. The researcher noted the irony that the chemical could cause violence, "a behavior the drug was meant to alleviate."
Published reports from researchers at Harvard Medical School, Yale University, Columbia University, the State University of New York, and the Veterans Administration have presented persuasive evidence that Prozac causes intense, violent, suicidal preoccupation. A study at the University of South Carolina had to be terminated abruptly when five subjects developed intense, violent, suicidal, and homicidal thoughts.
The Greek word “pharmakia” literally signifies the use of medicine, drugs, and spells. It appears five times in the New Testament: in Gal 5:20, Rev 9:21, 18:23, 21:8, and 22:15. “Pharmakia” is usually translated in English Bible translations as either “witchcraft” or “sorceries”. It's noteworthy that the English word “pharmacy” derives from the Greek word “pharmakia”. Of course modern pharmaceutical drugs can provide wonderful relief and even much-needed cures. But drugs - both legal and illegal - are also one of the enemy's most potent weapons for destroying lives. Steadily refusing to even try time-tested methods for handling behavioral problems such as discipline, exercise, diet-modification, productive work or spiritual warfare, the church plays into the enemy's hands by dishing out powerful mind-altering drugs like candy, creating insanity. While there may be cases where the use of such powerful medication is beneficial, it should always be the last resort after alternative therapies have been tried and failed - not the first option.