Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Parenting and Drugs

I wasn't sure what I was going to write after this wonderful long 4th of July weekend, but the BBC America dumped a good one on my plate this morning. It was a story about how Pediatricians (Drug Companies) want kids as young as eight to start taking anti-cholesterol medications. This bugs me for two reasons, which I will have to spout off about in my loving way.

First, the drug companies need to find a new market to increase sales since they have already saturated the adult market. In the beginning, the threshold for anti-cholesterol drugs was a combined level of 240, but when sales peeked that level was dropped to 190. That difference opened up additional sales opportunities because what red blooded American is not going to pop a pill pushed by their doctors. This is regardless of the accuracy of testing and the attributable effectiveness of the drugs. I am not saying with all certainty that anti-cholesterol drugs don't work, but they can't prove that they do.

So now that they have duped every adult, the drug companies are looking toward our children for a new income stream. The fact that they can get a random doctor to endorse this misguided policy is no big surprise because doctors are human too. Where is the test data that backs this up? What are the alternatives to pushing even more drugs on our kids? Which leads me to the second thing that chaps my butt about this whole story. Parents what are you doing to help your kids with the non-drug therapy of diet and exercise?

The story reported that 1/3 of all American kids are overweight and that put them at risk for greater complications later in life. The drug companies are pushing the use of medications for children as young as eight, so they can secure an income stream of 70 years at one pill a day. First, parents wake the heck up and help your kids. Help them to lose weight by reducing their calorie intake and work with them to get them to exercise. You buy the food they eat and you buy the games that they play.

Bad parenting is no excuse to give into the drug companies. Do we really think that 50% of some schools have ADHD, while other schools have only 2%? Kids need parents to teach them important stuff like self-control and how to behave. We need to do a better job at home raising our children to be effective members of society and not leaving it to the schools to do. Do we really need the government to raise our children because that is what happens when we don't. They end up in special schools, prison, or dead because they didn't learn appropriate behavior at home.

I know there is a long list as to why parenting is not occurring in the home. There are single parent homes and children having children, but these are just excuses. A child learns and understands boundaries when they are given them consistently. If early on, parents act like parents good or bad they will establish a relationship that will propel the child through its life. You can choose to abdicate this role and the results are currently speaking for themselves. Or you can choose to set rules and enforce them. It is never too late to establish rules and require children to abide by them because this is seen in prison where you follow the rules or be punished.

I am not saying that you need to be a warden, but establish boundaries for your children so that they can lead a full, productive, and drug free life (legal and illegal). If you don't agree with me let me hear it.

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