Psychotropic drug prescriptions for children and adolescents have skyrocketed in recent years in spite of the fact that there is an absence of valid research to support the practice. Unbiased scientific research indicates these medications have questionable effectiveness and their use poses serious long-term consequences to developing brains and bodies.
Low-income children and those placed in foster care are prescribed these medications disproportionately. This conference explored this trend in light of the available evidence. Is the trend the result of reduced stigma, our cultural need for a “quick fix,” the medicalization of social and cultural problems, new effective medications, and/or aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies? What are the viable alternatives to the use of psychotropic drugs? How can the resources and skills be developed in order to realign, create, and support these alternatives?
This conference explored these issues and deepened the conversation about how we can redirect the path toward healthy child development and wellness.