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Medicating Our Children to Nowhere

Societal pressure is leading more parents and schools to medicate kids. When is enough enough?

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The rise in the use of these medications is an indicator that several cultural issues need to be addressed, including the pathologization of normal childhood behaviors, hypercompetitiveness among the wealthy and the slashes to school funding we see occurring nationwide. In an educational system where children are recognized as individuals and met where they are, students with real learning differences would have a better chance at fitting in and receiving the treatment they need (which may include medication), while those who are just a bit different wouldn’t need to be drugged into submission.

A growing awareness of these issues among parents could be one prong in seeding a movement for change. But what will it take to overcome the factors currently lined up to treat children as automatons and classrooms as their assembly plants? When will we be prepared to say enough is enough when it comes to medicating our kids?

s.e. smith is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Bitch, Feministe, Global Comment, the Sun Herald, the Guardian, and other publications. Follow smith on Twitter: @sesmithwrites.