Children, Adolescents & Psychotropic Medication Essays

1681 Words 7 Pages
Psychotropic medications, also referred to as psychiatric or psychotherapeutic medications, are used to treat psychiatric disorders, such as: depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They have been used for many years and oftentimes come with dangerous side effects. The side effects that often occur in children taking these medications can include: fainting, blurred vision, vomiting, extreme weight gain, and even death ("Seroquel information,” n.d.). The use of psychotropic medication to treat mental disorders in children and adolescents is highly controversial because of ethical viewpoints (i.e. parents “drugging” their children to calm them down) and potentially …show more content…
If left untreated, however, “kids (can) become alienated from family and peers, flunk out of school, commit crimes, (and) maybe even land in prison.” (Littell, n.d.) One of the greatest concerns of psychotropic drug use in children and adolescents is that this type of medication is overprescribed. According to a report by the Food and Drug Administration, as of September 2009, “more than 500,000 children and adolescents in America are now taking antipsychotic drugs.” (Wilson, 2010) 500,000 is definitely a large number, but considering the fact that approximately one in ten children in the United States suffer from various mental illnesses, this number is actually quite low. The main reason people believe this medication is overprescribed is because many parents are simply looking for an easy way to quell their child’s hyperactivity. “’Families sometimes feel the need for a quick fix,’ Dr. Gleason said. ‘That’s often the prescription pad. But I’m concerned that when a child sees someone who prescribes but doesn’t do therapy, they’re closing the door that can make longer-lasting change.’” (Wilson, 2010) Another concern regarding psychotropic drug use in children is the ethical