Saturday, January 5, 2008

"The Medicated Child" on FRONTLINE

Frontline is a show I enjoy as an info resource, especially in today's sound byte world because it attempts to stick to the facts and presents more or less evenhanded portrayals of whatever topic it takes on. It's been called "...the last best hope for broadcast documentaries." Coming up on Tuesday, January 8th at 9 pm on PBS they are going to examine the issue of the increase in psychiatric medications being prescribed for children. Their excerpt follows:
Ten years ago, stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall were the drugs of choice to treat behavioral issues in children. Today, children as young as four years old are being prescribed more powerful anti-psychotic medications that are much less understood. The drugs can cause serious side effects and virtually nothing is known about their long-term impact.
The increase in the use of anti-psychotics is directly tied to the rising incidence of one particular diagnosis — bipolar disorder. Experts estimate that the number of kids with the diagnosis is now over a million and rising.

As the debate over medicating children continues to grow, FRONTLINE producer Marcela Gaviria confronts psychiatrists, researchers, and big pharma about the risks and benefits of prescription drugs for troubled children in "The Medicated Child."
Local listings for your area can be found on this page.
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