Psychotropic Drugs and Children

TUE, JUN 15, 2010 (51:28)

Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic, discusses the disturbing effects of psychotropic drugs prescribed for children. Such medications, used for ADHD, depression, and anxiety, for example, have become commonplace over the past 30 years. This practice profoundly alters the lives of the children, and so now we, as a society, urgently need to address this question: do the medications help the children thrive and grow up into healthy adults? Or does this practice do more harm than good over the long term. Robert Whitaker emphasizes two things: first, the need for an objective, evidence-based approach to evaluating these drugs; and second, the need for better public understanding of how these medications work.

+ BIO: Robert Whitaker

Robert Whitaker is a science journalist and the author, most recently, of On the Laps of Gods. He has won the George Polk Award for Medical Writing and a National Association of Science Writers’ Award for best magazine article. He was a finalist for the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, considered journalism’s top prize. Whitaker has also published more than twenty short stories in literary magazines such as the Indiana Review, Black Warrior Review, Florida Review, and Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Prose. He now lives and writes in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Photo Courtesy of B.D. Colen.

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