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It's a drug overload for kids



Published: Fri, July 26, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



By MOLLY CONWAY

BLUE JEAN ONLINE

Ever wonder why so many kids are on Prozac? If you 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.

New target

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 & quot;over-treating & quot; the minor stresses that plague the human race.

XMolly Conway, 13, of Brighton, N.Y., is a teen editor for Blue Jean Online. Read more articles and reviews by young women at http://www.bluejeanonline.com, or check out the book & quot;Blue Jean: What Young Women are Thinking, Saying and Doing. & quot;




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