Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Child depression drug use soars

A Commons written answer to a question by David Laws has revealed an enormous increase in the prescription of psychiatric medication to children.

The BBC reports it as follows:

The number of prescriptions handed out to children under 16 for depression and mental health disorders has quadrupled in a decade, official figures indicate.

GPs in England wrote more than 631,000 such prescriptions for children in the last financial year, compared to just 146,000 in the mid-1990s.

But at the same time, figures suggest the rate of mental health problems in the young has not changed markedly.

And David draws exactly the right political moral from this:
"I think it is a major concern that drugs seem to be prescribed so easily these days to children of school age.

"In the past, not only were there not as many of these types of drugs on the market, there was an assumption, I think, that people would try to get to the source of the problem, rather than simply prescribing drugs."

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