Kiddie Drug 'Madness'

Simon's mother, Rachel, did not mince words. Over the telephone in our first conversation she told me point blank that she was wanted Simon on medication. "Would you medicate a two year old?" she asked me point blank.

For the past twenty years I've evaluated and treated children with behavioral and school problems. I'd like to think that when I use medication in a child I've considered many other strategies before reaching for the rx pad. Over the past five years, I've seen the age at which parents and doctors consider psychiatric medications considerably shrink. Some parents and preschools are hoping I consider using Ritalin in children as young as four. But Simon was only 29 months old.

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Kids on Drugs> Health & Body> March 9, 2000

A behavioral pediatrician questions the wisdom of medicating our children.
I've practiced behavioral pediatrics since 1978 in Walnut Creek, Calif., an affluent suburb of San Francisco. I have evaluated and treated more than 2,000 children who struggle with behavior and performance at home or at school. Last year alone, I wrote more than 700 prescriptions for Ritalin or a similar stimulant. I am not against prescribing psychiatric medication to children.

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Dying on Ritalin> Health & Body> April 27, 2000

A teenager's fatal heart attack raises troubling questions about the safety of a drug whose popularity is exploding.

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