Behaviour drugs given to children as young as four


The article entitled Dumbing Down Society Part I: Foods, Beverages and Meds discussed the current trend of loading this generation’s youth with prescription drugs, namely Ritalin. Well the trend is definitely not fading and it has been observed that drugs are being prescribed to increasingly younger children, causing Ritalin dependence. Can we really give a four year-old child an “Attention Deficit Disorder” diagnosis? Which four year old DOESN’T lack attention? Should we drug them all?  Here’s an article from The Guardian on the subject.

Child taking a pill

Children as young as four are being given Ritalin-style medication for behavioural problems in breach of NHS guidelines, the Guardian has discovered, prompting the leading psychological society to call for a national review.

Family-based therapy is recommended for treating children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), with prescription drugs used only for children over six years old and as a last resort.

The figures, based on data from 479 GPs, show prescription rates were highest for children aged six to 12, doubling to just over eight per 1,000 in the five years up to 2008. Children aged 13 to 17 had the second highest rate at six per 1,000, while those aged 25 and over had less than one per 1,000.

Concern is greatest over children under six who should not be receiving drugs at all, says the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).

There are no reliable figures for how many children under six have been given Ritalin. But Professor Tim Kendall, joint director of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, who chaired the Nice guideline committee, confirmed that he had heard reliable reports of children in nursery and pre-school being prescribed medication unnecessarily, and that it was often parents who were putting pressure on GPs.

He said: “There are two reasons why parents go shopping for a diagnosis. The first is to improve their child’s performance at school, and the second is to get access to benefits. There are always GPs that will do it, but it’s wrong to give a child a diagnosis without also consulting schools and teachers.”

In one case seen by the Guardian, a five-year-old from the West Midlands was found to be receiving a double dose of methylphenidate, commonly known by the brand name Ritalin, the drug used to treat ADHD, despite his school insisting that he is “among the best-behaved children in his class”.

In notes seen by the leading educational psychologist in the case, the boy’s headteacher reports that the school does not believe he has ADHD, but that the medication is being prescribed “to help mum at home”.

In another case in the West Midlands a five-year-old was put on the drugs for three years at the request of his parents without any consultation with teachers or psychologists.

Kendall said prescriptions could continue to rise due to impending health cuts. “It’s a false economy … all the evidence says that parent training courses combined with partnership working with schools is what works, but these programmes are being cut by local councils.”

Speaking on behalf of the British Psychological Society, Peter Kinderman, chair of the division of clinical psychology, said he supported calls for a review, saying he would be concerned if children were being prescribed medication as a quick fix.

He added that mental health services were already “grossly under-resourced” and that cuts were likely to put services to children at risk.

Kinderman expressed particular worries about the cases uncovered by the Guardian. “Many psychologists are very concerned at the use of psychiatric and medical diagnoses in cases such as mild social anxiety or shyness, not only because of doubts about the validity of many of the diagnostic approaches, but because of the possible adverse effects.”

But Dinah Jayson, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at Trafford general hospital and a spokesperson for the Royal College of Psychiatrists, insisted that in some cases it could be “cruel” not to treat children of any age if all other options had been exhausted.

She said: “With every child there is a risk of doing something but there is also a risk of doing nothing. We know early [medical] intervention can help children who would otherwise be losing out.”

Professor Ian Wong, director at the Centre for Paediatric and Pharmacy Research, who led the prescriptions research, pointed out that prescription rates were still below the expected number of diagnoses for hyper-kinetic disorders.

“GPs and psychiatrists are much more aware of mental illness, and the drugs are so effective and have such a big effect that it’s tipped the balance. They [drugs] can make a real difference not just to the child but to households and classrooms where children may be causing real disruption.”

According to Nice guidelines, between 1% and 9% of young people in the UK now have some form of ADHD, depending on the criteria used. NHS figures show a rise in all methylphenidate prescriptions across all age groups by almost 60% in five years, rising from 389,200 in 2005 to 610,200 in 2009.

Side-effects include sleeplessness, appetite loss and reduced growth rates. Wong, who says the long-term effects are inconclusive, recently received a €3m (£2.6m) grant from the European commission to investigate side-effects further.

Professor Paul Cooper, a psychologist and professor of education based at Leicester University, who has completed qualitative research with adolescents on psychostimulant medication, expressed concerns about the possible effects of the drugs on personality development.

“Some young people say that it affects their personality but accept it because it gets mum and dad off their case or stops them getting into trouble,” he said. “They don’t like it, but take it for the benefit of other people.”

Medical experts in the West Midlands say over-prescription continues to be a problem. “This whole area needs public scrutiny – there has to be some kind of review,” said the educational psychologist who oversaw the cases but did not want to be named. “Handing out strong psychotropic drugs to children should be a last resort, but they’re being handed out like sweets.”

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77 Comments on "Behaviour drugs given to children as young as four"

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The funny part is, ritalin was so labelled as a drug primarily for the treatment of narcolepsy and other similar disorders. I've been prescribed this (along with methamphetamine, lolwtf – which would spark controversy where I live, despite how corrupt and hypocritical that would be in so many levels – enough of that, I apologize, I got carried away) for both the management of my narcolepsy and my alleged ADHD/ADD. I'm at least gladdened that my parents are against the use of pharmacopsychotherapy (as I myself am – which is ironic considering that I'm a pharmacy student), since I am very much aware of the dangerous effects that ritalin would induce in patients – especially those given a wrong diagnosis, especially if we assume that ADD/ADHD are not real diseases, so to speak. For one, ritalin even tends to worsen it for narcoleptics – adverse effects include headaches, irritability, among… Read more »
ADHD is a totally made up condition and no child needs to be drugged into listening to a teacher. I had to take a test for adhd they sit you in a room and make you hit spacebar everytime you see the letter x if you're not fast enough they drug you. Completly insane. Doctors are just regular people that went to school longer and read some books. Most of the time the medication they subscribe dosen't make a difference. School is boring, and most of the time unmotivational. The teacher hates their job picks favorites and they have a predetermined mind set for all the students as a whole. In 3rd grade I was scoring low and they put me in a slow learning group until one day I said "how do you spell computer" the teacher said "it's right over there on the door" I say "I can't… Read more »
k im teenager, and i read this comments about kids should go outside more, eat healthy and stuff. but they dont look at whats really happening. You can call me stupid, or im not old enough to understand. but its not safe outside like it is today, back then parents can take a nap and have there ids go play outside, and they will know their kids are safe. today you cant even hold your child hand and have a conversation with someone and then suddenly yor child disappears.True story… i go to walmart, and i feel sick when i see these HAVE YOU SEE ME or US pictues of kids who not old enough to speak proper. so i believe parents go to electronics and stuff to know that their kids are safe at home or something and still entertain. so either way, its not a safe place. +… Read more »
The kids who are particulary at risk are kids who have nobody to advocate for them because they are often put on medication, which only offers a placebo effect. Makes me sad to see kids on these things, and I have seen kids as young as 5 diagnosed with ADHD. It's amazing to think these so called "professionals" still go along with the big pharma companies and the jesuit order's medical inquisition on us. The answer is nutritional supplements and positive psychology but for some reason or another they keep pushing their bullcrap on people. We know the governments have even posted many studies and warnings about drugs like this, but they are just repackaged and forced to us under a different label. Out of all the kids I've seen on medication for mental illness or ADHD 95% of the time it hasn't helped and had even created serious problems.… Read more »

more specifically, kids in the government care system are the most at risk of being forced on drugs at a young age. As well if your in a psyche ward you can be forced to take even worse drugs which can cause suicide and has in many cases. They still go against science, when we know these minerals and vitamins solve all sort of problems, it’s a fact and the truth

This is a load of crap! There is NO REASON for parents to ALLOW their CHILD to consume these drugs…and these being children that can make some choices for themselves, the teens. But children under 4? Really? This is nothing but straight up crooked interests. Kids have energy, the want to run, and play, and get out all that energy. That's why they can't sit still. I remember in elementary school, I couldn't give a s**t about what they were teaching me. It was all bullshit in the end anyways. The school systems are supposed to be in place to AID in raising children, not to take over them. It's not supposed to be like day care, where you drop your kids off and have them wait until you return. It should be a place where they come to learn to socialize with other children, and adults, understand their roles… Read more »

Yes guys you've been messed around with drugs. I hardly even get a paracetamol which is allegedly the lightest of all. No meds for kids should be applied. Take them out for fresh air and exercise instead of sitting in front of watching telly (being couch potatoes), playing computer games or wii. They sleep better and they feel happier with the exercise. I tried it with my kids and it works wonders. Just an hour a day will do the trick. If the weather is poor, take them to a play area groop whatever.

This reminds me of an amazing spoken word poem I heard.

If you have the time, please WATCH THIS VIDEO:


Let me share a little anecdote with all of you before I say my peace on this matter. I was diagnosed at the age of 9 years olf with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder after a bad accident crossing the street once. They diagnosed me at UCLA after spending two months in the hospital there with broken bones and chunks of flesh missing from my body. I was already by that time on Prozac, Rispridal, and Elavil because my abusive mother voiced a vague suspicion that I was be suicidal. After the diagnosis, I was put on everything from Adderal to Concerta. Ultimately, I ended up on a cocktail of Rispridal, Prozac, Ritalin, and Concerta. The Rispridal was to weaken my body, the Prozac to numb my emotions, the Ritalin to focus my attention, and the Concerta to shut out absolutely everything else. I was like a lobotomy patient. Even after… Read more »

dude no way you can have autism and write out paragraphs like that…you seem perfectly normal they messed you up for no reason and thats just horrible!

You were on Concerta and Ritalin at the same time? Those are both stimulants. That's illegal.

After my old man bit the dust when I was 12 and I ended up in the system, they pulled me off the Ritalin, but it didn't help because I was only on one little round tablet of that, and on a much higher dosage of Concerta. Something like fifty or sixty milligrams. I don't remember, but it was considered a large dose. I got off all of them without much noticeable withdrawal, except for Concerta. That was so f*****g painful, but I'm glad I did. I don't need to be taking big doses prescription meth to function in society. But that's illegal, huh? It's funny, my father said he got some of the best shrinks he could find around LA. These people at Vista Del Mar, who toyed around with my chemical regime until everybody saw the right balance. I remember my father once told me that these pills… Read more »

Sweetheart, it sounds like you should sue the crap out of somebody for malpractice. I’m rooting for you.

I agree with you one hundred percent

My wifes 4 yr old son is very hyperactive and continues to get worse and we worry he might have ADHD but we dont want to medicate him especially at this age. Lots of people tell us he will grow out of it but I dont see it happening and it seems to get worse with age. He is naturally hyper without any help but eating candy makes it worse so Ive had to be real strict in allowing how much sugar or caffeine he gets….her dad seems to think ts ok for him to drink soda and has been giving it to him since before i met them and he was 2 when i met her. I seemed to be the only one who noticed when he drank soda he would turn into a monster….he runs around screaming for no reason and nothing will calm him down. He doesn't… Read more »
You sound like a very dutiful caring father, & kudos to you… Your lil one sounds exactly like how my middle nephew was growing up & lemme tell you, I'm so relieved my brother & sister in law opted to NOT medicate their child, cus now he's in his teens & he's thee most caring affectionate & smartest kid I know. & I honestly believe that if they had medicated him, he'd be nothing like the lil dude he is today. I have a lil experience in MH, had to do a rotation back in nursing school, & I know @ least 75% of the little kids I dealt with in no way needed to be on the meds they were given. Don't get me wrong, I know there are the extreme cases where medication is the ONLY option for these kids and it does help to an extent, but… Read more »
Have you considered that the 4 yr old is just a hyperactive, mischievous little cheeky boy who is testing the boundaries? Children are all different ,quite, loud, hyper, docile, imaginative, creative, extrovert, introvert etc with different learning stages….. life is not a text book. My four year old sounds much like your girlfriends ( a lot of hard work), but with a lot of time and effort into discipline and setting boundaries, eventually he will calm down. I remember seeing a child of my friends (before becoming a parent myself) who was 3yrs at the time and thinking she was wild and out of control, 3 years later shes such a polite young girl and completely different. I think after 7 you'll know for sure if this is a troubling medical condition or not. It took me weeks of tantrums lasting hours on end ( 6hrs down to 5min) to… Read more »

I was put on Ritalin… it changes your personality completely..I went from a loud, outspoken independent person to a quiet, nervous wreck,anxious person.

Ritalin is poison.

'nuff said

Ewwwww, I'm really, really, really in shock & awe of all these comments on feminism… WTF? Do you wanna seriously go back to the "Leave It To Beaver" "Ozzie. & Harriet" mentality? We've come a long way in helping many ppl gain their god given rights and there are actually ppl in 2011 that still think this way?!?!? You "ladies" can go back to baking & waiting w/the martini for your hubby to come thru the door….. Ewwwww

No one is denying anyone's God-given right. We are questioning the long-term effects of the whole feminist movement. Sure, women's right to vote and make equal pay is great! But to look down on another woman who chooses to forgo the 'traditional' career and stay home is equally as damning as denying a woman the right to vote.

I'm with you Hmmm, I don't care what lifestyle someone else chooses if it works for them, but I'm glad I'm not forced by society into a wife/mommy role with no other hope of personal development, and made to be financially dependent on a man. My parents took the traditional roles, because that is how their generation was socialized, but my father died at 42 years of age, and because my mother had not worked in many years, she was unable to provide adequately for her kids, and we ended up destitute by the time I left home. I've honestly never really recovered from that, it's no way to get started in life. The 'traditional' lifestyle only works if absolutely nothing goes wrong – if the husband doesn't cheat, or decide he doesn't want to provide anymore, or drink, or lose his job, or doesn't get sick or die. I… Read more »
Thanks Fluerdamour, basically what you said is part of what I meant w/my original post…. Sorry 2 hear about ur situation, and have not personally been there, but have family that have, and it is a tough situation to recover from. @AD, I in no way was damning anyones decision to not forgo the career path, I guess what really got me going was the comment above that basically called the feminist movement a buncha crap that was started by Lesbians… I mean wtf? That sole comment alone is a buncha hooey! Whether a women wants to work or be a stay at home mom is a decision to made for the whole family & whatever works for said family! Like I said I was in no way "damning" anyone's decision. I just hate coming on here & reading such rude, crass & in my opinion, stupid hurtful uneducated comments… Read more »

This is so interesting! I was watching Desperate Housewives Season 1 and Lynette goes through the same thing! The part of the article which talked about the mum of the well behaved kid that had been prescribed Ritalin reminded me of that! Lynette starts taking her sons' medication to help her keep on top of things as she refused to drug them.

This is a sick, sick world.

Here's the problem. A world where children cannot run free outside as they were meant to. A world where kids have no parents. A world where they come home from school to face empty homes. A world where the TV or the internet is their only hope for social interaction. A world without love. Solution? Drugs. Drugs to make you feel better. Drugs to keep you "zoned out" from the world around you. Drugs to satiate the natural desire for human contact. Drugs to keep you working and a "productive" member of society.

We can overcome this with the power of Jesus Christ anything is possible. To save the people and Love is what he wants us to do. We have the power to over throw the enemy! As a whole being educated can take the ILLUMINATI DOWN! Add me on Facebook if you are with me!

Tyresha Davis!/profile.php?id
Love you all!

It's no wonder children in the UK are already taking behavioral drugs by age 4. If you read this article

It's about a 3 year old alcoholic treated at a hospital. 3 Years Old!!! If parents are already supplying minors alcohol at this age, then it's almost a lost cause to be concerned about perscription drugs. One can only pray in a case like this.

In England they eat pre-packaged meals, sugary snacks full of HFCS, have soft drinks instead of water and take anti-depressants for the sake of it. And you wonder why the kids behave the way they do. If you drink fruit shoot and ribena which by the way are full of aspartame from the age of 1 what do you expect. And way too many vaccines. By the age of 5 they have 35+ vaccines including MMR, many of them just 1 shot. Go figure why the kids behave like lunatics and there is so much obesity. I used to work in schools in the UK for years and the quality of food in the school cantines is low. The kids seem to watch too much TV (they tend to own their own) and play computer games. Schools in deprived areas seem to have more problems.

My son has Autism, and I'll be damned if I let a Doctor shove a pill down his throat for it. There are other ways to treat things instead of masking the symptoms with medication. It is a convenient and quick fix to give your child a pill for it, but I would rather work with my son and understand him and let him know he is loved just the way he is. By working hard with him, progress is being made, he is healthier, and he is better off for it in life later on. Too many parents don't want to take the time to work with their children and just let them eat sugary and processed foods 24/7. My friend's son was diagnosed ADHD and she cut out all of the junk foods and limited his TV exposure. Two weeks into it, he is a different kid. Work… Read more »

The doctor doesn't "shove the pill" down the child's throat. The parent does that.

Regardless of who does it, no one should medicate children. Asinine. Nutrition and good parenting are ALL children need.

If a kid really does have a problem, that is one thing, but there are too many people quick to try to medicate away childhood development. How can the brain make the experiential synapses necessary to reach its organic maturity if it's being chmically tampered with from early childhood? It can't. Which may be the point. Sedated is not the same as well behaved.

my granddaughter was started on drugs at 4 years old….and they still don't know what she suppose have…ADD/ADHD/Autuism??? I think it just makes it easier for the parents to "do their own thing" and not have to deal with the child

Help, I feed my child too many processed foods and dyes! She needs Ritalin! She is only 4, so double dose her!

the US always acts is if they care for our people and children. Yet they do this. It seems they cannot practice what they preach. God bless us all.

West Midlands is in England, but don't be surprised when this is practiced in the US.

It's the garbage food that kids are eating, along with all the stupid TV watching and computer game playing. Kids should be running around outside like little monkeys until it's dark outside! That's how it was when I was a kid, back in the 60s. After school, you came home, had a snack and you were outside playing until dark, when dad called you back in to eat dinner & do homework. Plus, we were allowed to pick 1 hour of TV a week to watch, but since there were only 3 channels, there wasn't much to choose from. Now, how are kids supposed to burn off energy? Sitting on their bums in front of a TV? Being babysat by a TV because mom now has to work along with dad to pay the bills, so she's not up to following kids around? (Thank you, feminists, for teaching a whole… Read more »

Feminisme is a lesbian filosofy. Anyway, nice comment.

Actually I recently watched a documentary on Feminism's Roots in Marxist Communism, it was quite shocking…..I will try to find it. In the meantime, here is an article touching on that very thing. Many of the proponents of the feminist movement here in the states were card carrying communist activist.

Even though you may anger some women on this thread. but as a mom, I so agree with your statement.

I agree. I'm a stay home mom and it's not "usual" these days. I get people telling me that I'm lazy because I don't "work" … it get's me mad… But I always get good comments on my kids behavior and how wise they are. I believe it shows when kids are being raised by their parents and not the babysitters or TV. I think it's a big part of the problem with our youth, also. They are lost, they have nobody to relate to … mom and dad are stressed, unavailable … so they numb/dumb the kids with "material" …

Next time someone calls you lazy for giving your children the greatest gift a mother can, remind them that their toils are just as meaningless no matter what monetary amount they want to put on it.

I myself am a mom with a career, because I thought that would be the best thing for my family. As it turns out, no. It would've been 100% better for my family to live poorer and have me be a homemaker and stay-at-home mom than the choice I made. Now we're so roped to a mortgage in a bad economy where I can't sell the house, basically ever, with money going out hand-over-fist that I can never get out from under it. If only I'd chosen a different lifestyle! The worst thing is, my career brings me no happiness or pleasure; only pain and frustration. The only positive thing that's happened as a result of making good money is that now that I am a Christian, I have lots of money to tithe and give to the needy. So as an incredibly hardworking mom, who tries to pick up… Read more »

I work and go school. I refuse to even have a tv in my house.I do not let my daughterwatch. my view I have plenty of books on my phone and psper backs art supplies and board gams so why even have it. have plus why pay for if you are not going to use it. I gett knocked for being tough on certain with the sitters but either abide by how I wish to raisr her or I will take her somewhere else. I may not able to control othrrd. but I can control myself.

Don't blame the women – most families can't get by on one salary anymore. And don't gloss over how many unhappy mothers and by extension families there used to be back in the 'good old days' when women were not allowed full self-expression. It doesn't do much good to have Mom around if she's lying in bed crippled with depression.

THANK YOU!! My husband and I have often discussed how culture/feminism has made it quite difficult (socially and financially) for the average household to have the mom (or even dad as the case may be) stay home. We have two kids, I stay at home, and we are beginning to homeschool them. There is a growing body of support, but it is very difficult and can be quite emotional and lonely.

We let the kids (6 and 4) watch select videos (30 min.) maybe once a week, but we have witnessed a huge difference in them after they watch full-length movies or more than one short video. They became cranky, whiny, disobedient, and seem tired.

We have also known quite a few parents who do not put their (little) kids to bed until 11pm or later…and they deal with illnesses and cranky kids and wonder why.

umm for some women and girls having a life independant of domestic confines is happiness. maybe some dads/boys need to stay the f**k home and be a parent


Just for clarification, that "Amen" was for how the feminist movement has led women away from being stay-at-home mothers. I am currently pregnant with our first child and we have decided that I will be a stay-at-home mom! Many ask us if we can afford it. To be honest, according to our culture's standards, no, we cannot afford it. But more importantly, can my kids afford not to have me at home? For me the answer is easy! I have a responsibility and I will do it even if it requires that my husband and I must totally change our lifestyle!

my wife just had a baby in january and already has a son who is almost 4 and she recently went back to work as a caregiver. They are giving her lots of hours and I only work part time as a janitor at night so I stay home with our kids in the day and she suggested I get a second job. I told her only way id work more is if she stays at home. And if she gets more hours I might quit cuz i will never let somebody else watch my newborn kid and take away from his actual parents being there for him thats just crazy. We make enough to get by and the Lord will provide all that we need. I have no problem in staying home if she wants to work long hours but no way can we both work that much and… Read more »

I sometimes hear the elderly complain about the kids these days. And they blame the infant formula saying, "Cow's milk is for cows. Feed it to humans and the humans act like animals. " I think there's some wisdom to that.

Being given drugs because they're too boisterous and energetic? Sorry, but aren't kids supposed to be like that? And what the hell… shyness? Really? I don't understand why these 'parents' don't just learn how to keep control of their kids instead of looking for a quick fix just so they can have a half's hour peace to watch Eastenders.

Why don't the parents tell the schools and doctors NO?

Heard of the case where a child was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital? If not, here ya go:

As you'll read, they took the boy WITHOUT HER KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT. So you see, it doesn't matter much if the parent says yes or no. The system is set up to allow abuses against the children.

It's ultimately up to the parents as to whether or not their kids will receive any drugs. In the words of Nancy Reagan, "Just say NO!!"