THE DRUGGING OF OUR CHILDREN IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
VIDEO: The Drugging of Our Children
How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child - Documentary Video
New Research Indicts Ritalin
A recent study reveals that the drug being prescribed to tens of millions of school-age children for a scientifically unproved mental disorder is more potent than cocaine.
New Research Indicts Ritalin
Uncle Sam Now America's No. 1 Drug Pusher
Saving Your Child From The Label (ADD, or ADHD)
The American Academy of Pediatrics reports as many as 3.8 million schoolchildren, mostly boys, have now been diagnosed with the newly-coined "ADHD" --- attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder --- a psychiatric "disease" with symptoms to which most of our grandparents would have responded by simply smiling: "Boys will be boys." Or perhaps by asking, "Could it be that he finds your school boring? Does it really make sense to spend three or four years teaching reading, a skill easily mastered in six weeks if you'd just use phonics?"
At least a million children now take Ritalin for this "disorder." In two school districts near Virginia Beach, Virginia, for instance, a 1999 study by psychologist Gretchen LeFever found fully 20 percent of white boys in the fifth grade in the 1995-1996 school year were receiving prescription drugs for ADHD. And even the AAP acknowledged in a recent study that many cases are misdiagnosed.
Rep. Ron Paul, MD
The Psycho State: “America’s children should not be medicate
Wed Sep 15, 2004 03:10
The Psycho State:
by Rep. Ron Paul, MD
A presidential initiative called The “New Freedom Commission on Mental Health” has issued a report recommending forced mental health screening for every child in America, including preschool children. The goal is to promote the patently false idea that we have a nation of children with undiagnosed mental disorders crying out for treatment.
One obvious beneficiary of the proposal is the pharmaceutical industry, which is eager to sell the psychotropic drugs that undoubtedly will be prescribed to millions of American schoolchildren under the new screening program. Of course a tiny minority of children suffer from legitimate mental illnesses, but the widespread use of Ritalin and other drugs on youngsters who simply exhibit typical rambunctious, fidgety, and impatient behavior is nothing short of criminal. It may be easier to teach and parent drugged kids, but convenience is no justification for endangering them. Children’s brains are still developing, and the truth is we have no idea what the long-term side effects of psychiatric drugs may be. Medical science has not even exhaustively identified every possible brain chemical, even as we alter those chemicals with drugs.
Dr. Karen Effrem, a physician who strongly opposes mandatory mental health screening, warns us that “America’s children should not be medicated by expensive, ineffective, and dangerous medications based on vague and dubious diagnoses.” She points out that psychiatric diagnoses are inherently subjective, as authors of the diagnostic manuals admit. She also is concerned that mental health screening could be used to label children whose attitudes, religious beliefs, and political views conflict with the secular orthodoxy that dominates our schools.
The greater issue, however, is not whether youth mental health screening is appropriate. The real issue is whether the state owns your kids. When the government orders “universal” mental health screening in schools, it really means “mandatory.” Parents, children, and their private doctors should decide whether a child has mental health problems, not government bureaucrats. That this even needs to be stated is a sign of just how obedient our society has become toward government. What kind of free people would turn their children’s most intimate health matters over to government strangers? How in the world have we allowed government to become so powerful and arrogant that it assumes it can force children to accept psychiatric treatment whether parents object or not?
Parents must do everything possible to retain responsibility and control over their children’s well-being. There is no end to the bureaucratic appetite to rule every aspect of our lives, including how we raise our children. Forced mental health screening is just the latest of many state usurpations of parental authority: compulsory education laws, politically-correct school curricula, mandatory vaccines, and interference with discipline through phony “social services” agencies all represent assaults on families. The political right has now joined the political left in seeking the de facto nationalization of children, and only informed resistance by parents can stop it. The federal government is slowly but surely destroying real families, but it is hardly a benevolent surrogate parent.
September 14, 2004
Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.
Ron Paul Archives
Between the years of 1990-2000 over 569 children were hospitalized,
38 of them were life threatening hospitalizations, and 186 died
Quack Doctors Drugging America´s Children.
Drugging Of American children is out of control
By F.C. Blahut
Are 10 percent of American children mentally disturbed?
If you think not, then why are 10 percent of American children being subjected to psychotropic drugs?
The drug in question is Ritalin, an amphetamine like substance used to treat ADD, or attention deficit disorder. It is prescribed to an estimated 4 million American schoolchildren each year.
If you disagree with the drugging of our country´s youth, you´re not alone. In fact, a class action lawsuit against Ritalin manufacturer Novartis, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the parents´ group Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CAADD) alleges the company fraudulently over promoted the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD in collusion with the two organizations to boost drug sales.
The action was filed in a state court in Brownsville, Tex. in May, but is just now getting national publicity. It seeks unspecified damages against Novartis. It charges, among other things, that the Basel, Switzerland based company failed to adequately warn the public of Ritalin´s impact on children´s cardio-vascular and nervous systems. Several hundred Texas parents have signed on as plaintiffs, but are not discussing the case with the press.
According to published reports, the conflict with doctors and educators reflects a growing controversy about whether ADD and its variant, attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder (ADHD), are being over diagnosed causing children to be drugged for no reason.
The Texas suit alleges that the APA has expanded the definition of ADD/ADHD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV, the handbook of psychiatric diseases, over time so that more and more children would fall into this category. Additionally, it claims the drug company encourages the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD and its treatment with Ritalin by economically supporting CHADD and the psychiatric association.
In a written statement to a network television news division regarding these allegations, the company said it would defend itself vigorously against the suit, adding ´Novartis has supported educational programs sponsored by the American Psychiatric Association, as is standard industry practice, and as do most pharmaceutical companies with a therapy in the psychiatric area. The notion that Novartis improperly influenced the APA has no merit." The company responded: "Novartis is proud to help CHADD and other credible third party organizations that provide valuable information to many people. Novartis rejects the notion that these unrestricted educational grants to credible third parties creates improper influence upon them."
CHADD declined to comment to net?work reporters on the case. Statistics do show an increase in the number of cases of ADD/ADHD and a rise in drug prescriptions. In fact, ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood, affecting 10 percent of school?age children in the United States according to the a 1999 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) report.
IMS Health, a health information company in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., reports that preemption rates for Ritalin have increased 390 percent in the last five years as of June.
The psychiatric group says it develops its diagnostic ´manual based on the research and input of thousands of experts from around the world. Representatives declined to comment further on the case.
Psychiatrists say the proper diagnosis of ADD/ADHD takes time and careful evaluation. Dr. David Fassler chairman of the Council on Children, Adolescents and Their Families for the APA, emphasizes it is important to ensure sure a child has received a comprehensive professional evaluation, including family, school and medical history, before being diagnosed with a disorder.
According to published reports, some critics blame the diagnosis popularity on the "Pencil/Paper diagnostic exam," a form that teachers or other school authorities fill out. Schools routinely base recommendations for further medical evaluation on the test, but critics say it is too subjective and inclusive. In fact according to psychiatrist Dr. Peter R. Breggin, author of Taking Back to Ritalin and Reclaiming Our Children, behaviors listed on the form should be considered normal. Breggin is a medical consultant to the plaintiffs´ attorneys in the lawsuit.
Behaviors on the diagnostic exam for ADD include:
"Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in school work."
"Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)."
Symptoms for ADHD on the list include:
"Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat."
"Often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly."
According to published reports, Dr. Fred Baughman, an El Cajon, Calif. neurobiologist, has been following ADD/ADHD research for 20 years and believes the disorders are "a colossal fraud." He says there is no evidence of a physical or chemical abnormality in people diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.
A series of lawsuits related to the use of Ritalin were brought during the late 1980s and early 1990s, coincident with the campaign against ADHD and stimulant medication for children spearheaded by the the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a non-profit anti-psychiatry organization founded by the Church of Scientology.
In one of the earliest cases, LaVarne Parker, mother of a child who had been diagnosed with ADHD, filed a $150 million federal lawsuit against an Atlanta area school district, several physicians, and the American Psychiatric Association (APA). She claimed that her son had been medicated with methylphenidate at the insistence of the school district and that the drug had made him violent and suicidal. She charged the APA with fraud, claiming that the Association deceived the public by supporting an overly broad definition of ADHD. The case was dismissed in 1988.
Similar cases were filed in Massachusetts, Minnesota and California. At the time, most of the suits involved alleged adverse side effects of Ritalin, and defendants included school districts, doctors, and the American Psychiatric Association.
Parker was represented by Washington attorney John Coale who, in another similar suit filed in Maryland in 1987, was quoted as saying, "We're after the structure, the system. It's a deterioration, a failure of our school system. ... Our goal is to put [Ritalin] off the market."
Ten years later Coale is still involved in a number of new class action Ritalin lawsuits--this time aimed at the drug's manufacturer, Novartis Corporation. In essence, all these suits charge the drug manufacturer with conspiring with the APA and Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD) to invent and promote the ADD/ADHD diagnosis in order to promote Ritalin sales. The lawsuits claim that as early as the 1950s, Novartis (then Ciba-Geigy) and the APA conspired to create the diagnoses of ADHD and ADD, and to include these illnesses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to encourage the overdiagnosis of these ailments and to promote Ritalin as the drug of choice for treatment.
As with a number of other lawyers involved in the Ritalin suits--including Mississippi attorney Richard Scruggs--Coale previously had part of the groundbreaking national tobacco litigation in 1998. The Ritalin lawsuits may be the next class action battleground for this legal team that brought the tobacco industry to its knees.
The first class action lawsuit was filed in District Court for Cameron County, Texas on May 1, 2000 by attorney Andy Waters. The case was later moved to federal court in Dallas. In the complaint, plaintiffs alleged that Ciba/Novartis conspired with the American Psychiatric Association "to create, develop, promote, and confirm the diagnoses" of ADD and ADHD "in a highly successful effort to increase the market for its product Ritalin." This effort included providing active support to advocacy groups like CHADD, "so that such organizations would promote and support (as a supposed neutral party) the ever-increasing implementation of the ADD/ADHD diagnosis as well as directly increasing Ritalin sales."
The suit also claims that Ciba/Novartis deliberately misled the public by releasing promotional material about Ritalin that did not address "the many significant hazards of methylphenidate use and prescription" including cardiovascular, central nervous system, and gastrointestinal problems, and pituitary dysfunction.
The suit attacks the American Psychiatric Association for its relationship with the drug companies, and alleged that financial donations and contributions from Ciba/Novartis and other members of the pharmaceutical industry "directly affected and caused the APA to make every effort possible to support and confirm a new medical 'diagnosis' for which a stated treatment would be methylphenidate, i.e. Ritalin."
Dr. Peter Breggin is a medical consultant for the case, as well as for the California and New Jersey cases (see below). He told FRONTLINE that Andy Waters decided to bring the Texas case after reading Breggin's book, Talking Back to Ritalin. Waters' firm, Waters and Krause, hosts a web site--RitalinFraud.com--with information about the lawsuit, and a form offering information about Ritalin and soliciting information about users' experience with Ritalin, ADHD, and CHADD.
Over the several months following the filing of the Texas case, lawyers from around the country got wind of the lawsuit and many contacted Waters. Soon, a legal team was formed, including a number of lawyers who were previously part of the national tobacco litigation. On September 13, 2000, the team brought two new lawsuits against Novartis, et. al., filing them in San Diego, California and Hackensack, New Jersey The new suits contained in essence the same charges as the Texas case.
The New Jersey case was filed in Bergen County Superior Court. The plaintiff class is described as "all individuals in the State of New Jersey who have taken the drug Ritalin."
The lawsuit in San Diego was filed on behalf of all California residents who have used or bought Ritalin, seeking unspecified damages. On March 8, 2001, U.S. District Judge Rudi Brewster dismissed the suit on the grounds that it failed "to state a cause of action because of a number of defects, including the absence of any allegations of causation, actional conduct, or damage." In addition, the judge ruled that activities by defendants intended to advance the medical understanding, diagnosis and treatment of ADHD were free speech protected under California's anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) statute.
The plaintiffs plan to appeal the judgement. "We're not going away, I will say that," attorney Scruggs told the San Diego Union Tribune after the court's ruling. The American Psychiatric Association hailed Brewster's decision as "a victory for sound medicine and free speech." An attorney for Novartis said that the ruling was "consistent with our view of all of this litigation: that it is contrary to the clear consensus of the medical and scientific community, and an inappropriate subject for litigation in our court system."
However, similar suits continue to be filed by other lawyers across the nation. In November 2000, a fourth case was filed in federal court in Orlando, Florida, on behalf of a local mother and a Puerto Rican couple. The case was brought by the Florida law firm Stanley, Dehlinger, and Rasher and San Juan attorney Peter Porrata. In February 2001, Porrata filed a fifth case in Puerto Rico District Court. According to a Novartis attorney, these new suits track the allegations in the California, New Jersey, and Texas suits very closely.
When the California and New Jersey lawsuits were filed in September 2000, the drug manufacturer Novartis issued a general response:
"Any charge that Novartis somehow 'conspired' with nationally prominent professional and/or patient third-party groups is unfounded and preposterous. Furthermore, any charge that ADHD is not a medically valid disorder is contrary to medical evidence and psychiatric consensus."
Novartis supported this statement by citing the NIH Consensus Conference on ADHD, the American Academy of Pediatrics' diagnostic guidelines on ADHD, and the fact that the FDA, which only approves treatments for well-established medical conditions, has approved the use of methylphenidate to treat ADHD.
Regarding the charges that its support of CHADD and other advocacy groups amounts to fraud, since it is an attempt to "hide" its marketing strategies by funneling them through a supposedly neutral third party, Novartis said that although they had provided unrestricted educational grants to CHADD, for projects including a public service announcement on ADHD, and the translation of some ADHD literature into Spanish, they believed such grants were appropriate. "Novartis believes that comprehensive care for all patient populations include education and support as well as medication. Novartis is proud to help CHADD and other credible third-parties that provide valuable information to many people."
The APA's written response to the Texas lawsuit claims that the allegations are "ludicrous and totally false," adding that the lawsuits represent an "opportunistic attack on the scientific process." CHADD likened the lawsuits' allegations to accusing the American Diabetes Association of conspiring with the makers of insulin to invent diabetes.
As of April 10, 2001, the Texas, New Jersey, Florida and Puerto Rico cases are pending.
RITALIN CLASS ACTION SUIT FILED
A class action suit for "fraud" and "conspiracy" in over-promoting the stimulant medication Ritalin (methylphenidate) was filed on May 1, 2000 in a Texas court. The suit was brought by the Dallas law firm, Waters and Kraus, and will be nationwide in scope.
Three national organizations are named as defendants: (1) Novartis (formerly Ciba Geigy), the manufacturer of Ritalin, (2) CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), a parents' organization that is partially funded by drug companies, and (3) the American Psychiatric Association.
The suit charges that Novartis, CHADD, and the American Psychiatric Association committed fraud in conspiring to over-promote the diagnosis Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and its treatment with the stimulant drug, Ritalin.
The allegations state that the drug company "deliberately, intentionally, and negligently” encouraged the use of Ritalin through its promotional literature and through its training of sales representatives. In so doing “Defendants willfully failed” to inform parents, teachers, and doctors of the well known hazards of Ritalin use. The suit also charges the drug company with “Actively supporting groups such as Defendant CHADD, both financially and with other means, so that such organizations would promote and support (as a supposed neutral party) the ever-increasing implementation of the ADD/ADHD diagnosis as well as directly increasing Ritalin sales.”
It further claims that “Defendant American Psychiatric Association (APA) conspired, colluded and cooperated with the other Defendants” while taking “financial contributions from Ciba as well as other members of the pharmaceutical industry…”
Although the suit was motivated by concern about the over-medicating of America's children, the class action is not restricted to children. Adults who have purchased Ritalin for children or for themselves in the last four years are potentially eligible to participate in the suit. The suit seeks compensation for those who paid for Ritalin, regardless of whether or not the medication caused any harm or damage.
Anyone interested in joining the class action suit, or in obtaining more information about its legal basis, should contact the attorneys, C. Andrew Waters and Peter Kraus (phone: 214 357 6244).
Peter R. Breggin, M.D. (phone 301 652 5580), medical consultant to the suit, may be contacted about background issues concerning Ritalin, ADHD, Novartis, CHADD and the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Breggin is the director of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (ICSPP). However, ICSPP has no role in, and is not a party to, the class action suit. Ritalin Class Action Suit
THE VACCINE REACTION
Dr. Breggin Testifies Before US Congress
Lawyers Allege Maker of Ritalin, Psychiatric Group 'Created' Disease
ALTERNATIVE HEALTH and HEALING
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Ritalin, Drugging Children, and Psychiatry
Death From Ritalin/The Truth Behind ADHD
A Suicide Side Effect?
What parents aren't being told about their kids' antidepressants
Mass drugging of schoolchildren remains dark secret
Arrested for not drugging his child with Ritalin
Drug-Free Alternatives For Attention-Deficit Disorder
Helping Children, Not Drugging Them
Ritalin Abuse Now an Epidemic
Ritalin Abuse Now an Epidemic
Ritalin: the Government Drug
Ritalin: The Government Drug
VITAL INFORMATION ABOUT RITALIN,
ATTENTION DEFICIT-HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER,
And THE POLITICS BEHIND THE ADHD/RITALIN MOVEMENT
What Dr.'s aren't telling you about Ritalin
Government drugging children for a "DISEASE" that does not exist?
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