Dec 18, 2018, News.com: Spike in number of Australian children put on antipsychotic drugs https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/spike-in-number-of-australian-children-put-on-antipsychotic-drugs/news-story/4a4e4f373d3a98bdd5e8cfc66669e028 New figures have revealed a worrying trend among Aussie children, which leaves them exposed to damaging side effects. Doctors are putting more than 1000 additional Australian children per year on sedating antipsychotic drugs that can cause obesity, diabetes, brain impairments and movement disorders, “very concerning” federal government figures show. Australia’s peak healthcare safety body has revealed it is investigating “inappropriate” prescribing to children of the controversial medications, warning they “can cause long-term harm, even at low doses”. Federal health department data provided to news.com.au show the number of children aged 17 or under prescribed antipsychotics increased by 24 per cent between 2013-14 and 2017-18, far outstripping the age group’s 5 per cent population growth. The prescribing hike means an estimated 24,700 Australian children were given the drugs in 2017-18, according to analysis of the data and numbers from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care by news.com.au. Experts are concerned the high-risk drugs, traditionally reserved for severe psychosis, are being used to manage common childhood behavioural problems, particularly “disruptive behaviour” presentations they say should be addressed with non-medication therapies or less-risky pills. Stress, insomnia, anxiety, depression, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and mild to moderate autism are also among the unapproved or inappropriate uses, senior clinicians and studies suggest. … University of Queensland senior lecturer in psychiatry Peter Parry, who co-authored the warning paper, said most children on antipsychotics were “basically having their disruptive behaviour sedated” at the “risk of serious side effects”. Antipsychotics had a place for children with a true psychotic illness, severe autism or “sometimes in rare cases of obsessive compulsive disorder … with pause for thought about the risk/benefit ratio”, but the cost was too high when used with other kids to manage their disruptive or aggressive behaviour….
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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