19 January 2006

WHITE PUNKS ON DOPE


SOMEWHERE AROUND TEN OR FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, the world went mad—or at least kids must have. During that time, Moms and Dads—many of whom were either completely straight or stoners themselves—got the curious notion that their kids were no longer normal and needed to be drugged.

Perhaps they merely got caught up in the onslaught of hundreds of millions of dollars in drug marketing—and that’s why they gave their children away to Big Pharma. Whatever it was that started the re-drugging of our Kids, though, the drug companies were loving life.

During the 90s, a 734% increase in the use of Ritalin and other gateway drugs began—and as a society, we have rarely looked back. It became the first designer drug for a new generation of children — one that was prescribed as much by teachers as medical doctors themselves. To illustrate the height of the madness, one newspaper reported that a full third of Atlanta schoolchildren were prescribed Ritalin or a similar class of drug for supposed “hyperactivity.’

One-third!

Welcome to Prozac Nation…a place where doctors and parents often avoid the hard questions, or collude with their medical journals to maintain an incessant state of cluelessness. No pun intended, but seriously, have we lost our sanity?”

The mercuric rise in the use of antidepressants and so-called ADD/ADHD drugs among children and teens is a black mark on the Western allopathic medicine. We have a duty to our kids to explore why it is so. Knowledge on natural remedies abound, but are not widely distributed to the public through Health Canada, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or their mirror agencies worldwide.

Why is that, when studies—in the hundreds and thousands— highlight how safe and effective many alternatives are? Everything from fish and flax oils to minerals to a bevy other non-toxic remedies can be extremely helpful in treating depression, bipolar, so-called ADHD, “hyperactivity," and the like.

We need to further explore the science and discredit some of the pseudo-science being dispensed by the tricksters—and we need to arm parents and citizens everywhere with the information they need to make an informed choice about an issue of vital importance.

We need to provide answers to one of humanity's most daunting questions: when it comes to our kids, to drug or not to drug? That is the question of this Age. I will continue to pursue this with great diligence through my documentaries—and it is my hope that each of you will continue to ask the hard questions and expose these untruths as well.

The present and future health of our children — and indeed all of us — depends on our willingness to do so.

11 Comments:

Blogger Jill said...

Kevin - If you aren't already, I would urge you to look at the studies that the big drug companies and the big medical foundations - corporate and non-profit (Lilly, Robert Wood Johnson etc.)funded in the 1980s at large university med schools. I worked in Yale's Development office from 85-88 and I can tell you, I remember - VERY VIVIDLY, because I oversaw compliance with reporting requirements and kept ledgers on the grants - shaking my head in an I can't believe this kind of way re: how the drug companies were looking for/funding the research to show why x drug would be needed and then that x drug worked on y illness.

That said, however, I have a very close friend with a son who has been on Ritalin, then Stratera and now Zoloft. I've met this child. I know the parents and the families involved. And all I can say is that while I dread believing that there are no better alternatives, I'm not so quick to judge the fact that some parents grasp at what's thrust before them. If you have firsthand experience, I would think that that will help make your stance all the more credible.

Good luck with the film.

5:06 PM EST  
Blogger kevinmiller said...

Thanks for writing. I do have firsthand experience, from the context that my son’s teacher kept trying to put him on Ritalin and I (obviously) refused. My research uncovered that Omega 3 Fish oil capsules — and some of the other things I mention in the article are proven to work. Suffice it to say that the Omega 3s REALLY worked well...and went WAY beyond what I expected!

I am not trying to damn the parents who choose this option for their kids...i, too, know many parents who have chosen Ritalin, etc for their kids. I always rail against the FACT that we are not afforded the breadth of information we need to make an informed decision, however....and that’s because of medical politics and economics, pure and simple. We should ADMIT that there is no scientific basis for the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD...certainly none that I've ever found in my hundreds of hours of trying to find one. If I find something different during my research and production of the new film I will let you -- and all our readers know that.

Many thanks, again...I appreciate your comments!

Be well,

Kevin

6:58 PM EST  
Blogger Ron Copfer said...

I was just speaking to my sister about this very subject today.

In a casual conversation about her son, soon to graduate from High School. We recalled the insistence of his second grade catholic school teacher on how distracted and mentally challenged this youngster was in the classroom.

She insisted that for him to stay at that school, Ritalin would be necessary.

She recounted that it wasn't a bad idea as many of her other students were already on Ritalin. He needed calming to balance his mental distractions, she professed.

Luckily, my sister wasn't born yesterday and she promptly moved him to a local public school where counselors suggested the catholic teacher was the one who needed medication.

Considering he will soon graduate with Honors, a lettered Athlete and a 3.2 grade average, I assert that what that catholic grade school teacher really needed was a punch in the nose!

8:45 PM EST  
Blogger Adam Harvey said...

Thankfully I missed the start of the Ritalin fad since I was already 10 when the 90s started. My mother, a special education teacher, has often told me that she thinks I might have ADHD, but I've never been on any medication for it. Instead, she taught me to control my energy and focus my concentration, while also allowing me excellent outlets for my never-ending energy.

I'm a bit glad I was never on a behavior modifying drug like Ritalin, I'm a bit afraid that it would be like Huxley's Soma and make me apathetic instead of engaged. My energy buoys me up.

9:34 AM EST  
Blogger kevinmiller said...

thanks adam. what your mother did for you is wonderful because, as i'm sure you figured out long ago, 'controlling your energy and focus' is a real gift in every day life. Ah, the wisdom of a special ed teacher...you were quite blessed!

Investigate the value of fish oil capsules (Omega 3) even though you are older. They protect the heart and really appear to help cognitive function. I wish you the best and thank you for writing!

9:56 AM EST  
Blogger Daniella said...

Kevin,

I am so torn about this subject because I do think that lack of concentration exists in many people and I also believe that for so many physicians meds are the easy answers, I never saw in Switzerland where my children were initially living children on Ritalin. In schools children were expected to behave and plenty of outdoors activities allowed them an opportunity to burn energy.

I know there are chemical imbalance, at least that is what I was told but I found it remarkable that upon my return to the US, so many classmates were on meds. The majority of the children on medications showed bad behaviors at home and at schools.

I am not sure if it is the processed foods, unhealthy school buildings, too much sugar, family dysfunction, genetics or parents that do not spend enough time with their children that is the cause but I do think that before putting growing organisms on drugs, all other avenues should be explore.

Thank you for a very interesting post. Daniella

11:23 AM EST  
Blogger Adam Harvey said...

I already eat a lot of fish, it is my main source of protein and it tastes delicious, so perhaps my body knows that the Omega 3s are helping me out. I'll grab a bottle and take it with my multivitamin.

11:35 AM EST  
Anonymous human growth hormone said...

good post

3:54 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know your post focused primarily on children, but their is a flipside to your viewpoint. I am a 25 (26 in april) yr old college student finishing up my 2nd year of school, if it had not been for a doctor willing to prescribe Adderall XR I would not be where I am today. From year zero I was a lot of work for both my parents, my mom was sick when she had me and the birth process nearly killed the both of us. Even after two weeks the doctors stated I most likely would not make it another month, once this time passed they said I would probably live <6 years and be deaf & severely mentally crippled. Later this was switched to a much higher life expectancy but still deaf and mentally retarded ( I am neither). Anyway I was sick a lot and for the first 6 yrs I was in and out of the hospital. As my age increased onward up through 8-9 I was doing many things that one could easily call behavior problems, and blame them on my parents or diet. Except it would be in error to do so because I watched very little TV (as in <, 90% of my meals were something my mom made (as in cooked chicken, broccoli, eggs etc – however not in that combination). My parents did everything they could outside of medicine to try and get me to relax and not “over-react” to normal day-to-day situations. They also helped me with school A LOT, they hired a tutor tried variation activates (10min school , 10-20min something else) and lots of different vitamins and diets. This continued for years and although each amount of effort did help & I would eventually get school work done, there is no reason 10 basic algebra questions should take 2 ½ hrs to complete, someone should be told to do or not do something once, If doing a task with any amount of complexity I would inevitably get sidetracked and forget what it was I was suppose to do.
Fast forwarding a few years I was taking a computer programming class and it occurred to me that I was re-reading the same sentence\word\paragraph because I would lose concentration after about 5-10 seconds. I dunno if this has every temporarily happened to anyone here but when you are trying to learn something it is the most debilitating, embarrassing, frustrating problem, especially when you don’t know what the cause/cure for the problem is. I tried standing up to read, reading in different types of light, reading at different times, I tried a lot of different books and coupled with writing word-for-word what I was reading as I read it became the only way I was getting anything done. I had a large bookshelf with nothing but c++ books on it (I worked at a bookstore at the time and got a discount) I also slowly accumulated a large collection of note books which are just copies of the book I was reading. This was an extremely painful processes I could usually only go 5-10 minutes at a time & 30 minutes max before being exhausted, this usually resulted in a nap – after reading – Any other activities got pushed to the back the only thing providing incentive was that once I did learn the basics of a new facet of programming, it was often very easy to simply figure out the more detailed nuances which made me feel pretty damn good. Unfortunately most jobs/schools/life situations require more from you to simply grasp the basics or finish a certain task. I didn’t even get my drivers license until I was 22 simply because I got distracted too easily and had several near misses with plain in sight objects (i.e: UPS truck, FedEx truck & a dentists office). I could go on but I won’t. I understand that ADHD drugs are widely prescribed, and that a certain amount are unneeded but I will leave with this: “dope” is not the word traditionally used with stimulants as it implies sleepy\slow\drugged etc… However this is the property of stimulants that when someone with ADHD/ADD takes them that makes them so desirable. Most people equate amphetamines with intense erratic violent behaviour when it can in fact be argued that this is what is removed when a person with the types of problems aforementioned is administered it for purposes of therapy. When I first started taking Adderall I actually feel asleep. The same thing occurred when I had to switch and take methamphetamine for a couple months (money problems). As for scientific proof I would I belive Dr. Amen has been at the forefront of this sort of research and looks to be well on his way to providing some http://www.amenclinic.com/

I do still take fish oil and eat fish while both of these help they are near worthless alone (at least for me).

1:25 AM EST  
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2:33 AM EST  
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3:51 AM EST  

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