On the use of psychotropic drugs for ADD/ADHD

Short Cut to Nirvana

The problem of giving psychoactive drugs to millions of American children is rarely discussed in mainstream media. However, over the last three decades, there has been a continuing scholarly debate about the wisdom of putting millions of American schoolchildren on a lifetime prescription of psychoactive drugs to control behaviors and improve grades. Now, the federal government is bringing up the issue of dangerous side effects from those drugs. New warning labels have been required for some. Medical practitioners often make quick, subjective diagnoses of the Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD). To treat this, they offer a daily dose of Ritalin or a similar drug.

Parents, untrained in the sciences and often not properly informed about the possible long-term dangers of a drug controlled lifestyle, choose to go along with the drug solution for their children. The Center for Disease Control estimates that at least half of the parents choose the pharmacological option. This means that the percentage of American schoolchildren on a daily dose of psychoactive drugs has reached a critical level, one that is nearly ten times the percentage of any other industrialized nation.

This documentary seeks to inform an underserved population – nearly 10 million U.S. parents who are swamped with the popular literature from the pharmaceutical industry’s paid physician spokespeople and industry sponsored parent groups. America's Chemical Angels follows four families who are giving psychotropic substances to their children. Their experiences are very different and sometimes contradictory. One of the families has to cope with loss of their child while the other praises the daughter’s significantly improved academic performance and organizational skills. Experts ranging from neuroindustry analysts and psychiatrists to ADHD researchers and educators openly talk about these drug problems that the mainstream media often ignores. Meanwhile millions of growing children continue to use these mind altering substances while in school…

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