The Medicated Generation

In 2011 the documentarian, Louis Theroux, debuted a disturbing documentary. This documentary was called America’s Medicated Kids. It showed children ranging from age 5 to 14 on various forms of medication for issues that were behaviorally connected. This documentary disturbed many Americans and made some Americans take a second glance at what medication was being given to children and how children's behavioral issues were being managed within the medical system. This led to an outcry for several issues to be discussed for the medicated generation.

Parental Involvement

Parental involvement is a major issue when discussing the medicated generation. In many cases it is believed that the situation with the child has escalated to the point of medication due to the fact that parents are not as involved with their children as they should be. For example, a parent may feel that discipline or over display a child may be harmful only to find that when the child reaches a behavioral stage that is beyond the parent’s scope, medication is the only way the parent feels the situation can be handled. Many therapies have opened up to help parents learn how to discipline their children properly, how to cope with children's issues and how to avoid medication while still dealing with behavioral issues. However, there has not been much luck in this area due to the fact that parental involvement is such a personal issue and can be taken as a slight against the person and can be looked at as someone being a bad parent when they do not feel that they meet that requirement.

Over Medication

The main issue with the medicated generation is the amount of medication the children are receiving. For example, in the previously mentioned documentary children at the age of five were on up to 10 medications per day. These medications range from anti-anxiety to antipsychotic. There were some children there on three and four medications in the morning that were combined to be anti-anxiety, time released and antipsychotic medications. The disturbing factor with this documentary was the fact that the children did not seem to be affected behaviorally by the medication. In fact, the only adjustment the medication seemed to make was with the amount of activity the child had. For example, you would see a child who was very calm yet still projected the behavioral issues that the medications were supposed help. These disrespectful, behavioral outbursts and other issues were still present they were just toned down to a more calm reaction or tone.

There've been several movements with different parenting organizations to stop the over of medication children and to increase parental involvement in children's lives. The belief system is that if parents were more involved in their children's lives and if parents were taught to cope with the different issues the children project the medication would not be necessary and children would be allowed to be freer within themselves rather than dependent on medication that may cause adverse side effects later down the road. One of biggest concerns with communities and community outreach programs is that these children who are on various forms of antipsychotic medication may have an adverse side effect when they are taken off the medication that could lead to drastic behavioral issues and criminal issues.

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