What I Think: Kids on Drugs

ProzacEver wonder why so many kids are on Prozac? If you ever get the chance to spend a day at school, you will notice that after lunch about a third of the school goes to take their medication. Are all these drugs really necessary?

Many students may have become unnecessarily dependent on such drugs. Drugs such as Prozac are said to reduce worrying and stress, while also helping the patient concentrate better. Wouldn't we all benefit from such outcomes? The anxiety rate is certainly growing for kids, but should the drug intake grow as well?

Such drugs are rarely needed. Kids are ignorantly being raised on drugs. It's scary to think that some kids attribute their daily weaknesses to not having taken their medication. Surely it cannot be healthy for kids to have the attitude that drugs are a cure-all! While these commonly prescribed drugs are hardly viewed as dangerous, they can be just as deadly as more infamously risky drugs like heroin.

Of course, there are many cases showing that these drugs save lives and help many people. But wouldn't more enriching activities help a kid concentrate as well? Shouldn't we instead make our school systems better to help cure the boredom? Ignorance may be bliss, but I would choose an information overload rather than a drug overload any day.

On a related note, since the patent has recently expired on Prozac, manufacturers have chosen a new name and a new market. Who is the target this time? Women with PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). Sarafem is a new medication made from a smaller dose of fluoxetine hydrochloride, the same active ingredient in Prozac. Sarafem is said to ease the symptoms of irritability, mood swings, bloating, and other symptoms associated with PMS. However, its side effects consist of tiredness, upset stomach, nervousness, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating.

Every day new drugs for treating mental disorders appear on the market or go to the FDA for testing. It would seem that America's new trend is 'over-treating' the minor stresses that plague the human race.

For more information, check out www.sarafem.com, or www.ninh.nih.gov.

For more articles by young women visit Blue Jean Online (www.bluejeanonline.com). Copyright 2002, Blue Jean Media, Inc.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.