I found a disturbing report from Janne Larsson, investigative jounalist in Sweden. In 2005, the agencies reporting on unnatural deaths and suicide included parameters to detect what causation could be traced to psychiatric drugs. The results are both alarming and telling. 1255 people committed suicide in 2006 from their report. 71% of women and 48% of men during this time were recently or currently treated with some category of psychiatric drug. I am including the link here for my fellow Legal Nurse Consultants as this is a key action we can take when a family comes in suspecting an unexpected death was caused by the side effect of a medication. The media is reporting more and more that prescription meds are the culprit in unexpected deaths. More deaths are attributed to prescription medications than illegal street drugs. But, just as important, we nurses need to take a step back and ask ourselves are these drugs necessary for the high population we are giving them too? Is it really necessary to treat all children in the foster home programs for PTSD like they are doing in my home state of Florida? Is it safe to add an antipsychotic to children already taking meds for ADHD? It is my personal hope that the stellar nurses in the legal profession put their opinions in writing and band together to change our profession toward more humane mental health treatment. There are a lot of areas we can improve on in the nursing profession. I hope we improve on our right to voice our opinions on the topics that are exploding in the media today. We should be vocal, steadfast on our committments, and banded together collectively to make our intentions to have safe, clinically effective health care delivered to our patients.
Archive for November, 2008
More and more drugs intended for adults are being prescribed by doctors to children. Bloomberg reports that diabetes type II meds, statins for cholesterol, and high blood pressure meds are on the rise. More alarmingly meds for ADHD continue to rise for off-label use. An interesting quote: “There was also a 40 percent rise in drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with the increase for girls, at 63 percent, rising faster than for boys, at 33 percent.
The researchers also saw a boost of ADHD drug use in 15 to 19 year olds, an age group for which use typically declines as teenagers are taken off the medications. That may be a sign that ADHD drugs are being used more as stimulants to help teens keep up with schoolwork or for recreational use, Cox said. There is a sense that they are being used at that age for productivity at school,” said Cox.”
Failure to keep our children healthy with so much proven information available makes me shudder. We really have a problem on our hands as a society when we are feeding our kids the wrong foods for health and ignoring what is known about truly healthy lifestyles. As a nurse, it’s my job to counsel parents on what is right and wrong about the foods we eat. Although social-economics comes in as a factor and cultural dietary habits as well, it means that people are more willing to eat what they feel “everyone else” is devouring without the thought of the consequences. It also tells me that we as a society, do not make the right foods available to everyone. If you have the money available for fresh vegetables and fruits, high grade proteins, etc. then you are the privileged few versus the “get whatever” processed, high simple carbohydrate, devoid of vitamins and mineral foods we can afford. The high-fat dollar menu is our budget savior.
Our future depends of clear thinking, healthy minds. We need leaders who have healthy bodies and good stamina to handle the stress of leadership. Always notice the age and health changes of our presidents after 4 or 8 years in office. The stress takes it’s toll. Our future leaders of industry need creative minds, not minds dulled by atherosclerosis or drug use. Do my fellow nurses have an opinion on this?