So, today (er, um, yesterday) I got to testify on behalf of CHAADA and myself at the Texas House Public Health Committee meeting. So many interesting bills were being discussed, but the one I was in Austin to support is House Bill 2163 – Sylvester Turner is the sponsor.
It establishes a preauthorization protocol to help review the prescribing of antipsychotics to children under the age of 11 who are covered by Medicaid.
I was truly thankful for the amazing advocates who came forward to speak for the bill. Although I only got three minutes, I think the point was easy to make, and honestly after being given the ‘privilege’ of listening to about 2 hours of testimony from psychiatrists and watching the Committee’s reaction to their responses and answers to pointed questions about drugging babies and overmedicating children with dangerous drugs, all in all it was nice to know that someone in government is concerned about our children – namely our public health committee. I commend them and look forward to seeing what they can accomplish for Texas kids.
This bill would provide a speed bump in the road of drugging children under the age of 11 in the Medicaid system with antipsychotic drugs (something that is done for drugs all the time in managed care except for apparently when it comes to psychotropic drugs for children).
Let’s be clear – these drugs kill adults. Their long term use is associated with a shorter lifespan by about 25 years, attributable to things like diabetes and weight gain caused by the drugs, as well as sudden death and heart problems.
During my three minutes I discussed what happened to me within only three days of Zoloft ‘treatment’ and how I was able to recover simply by stopping the drugs a few months later.
I am so thankful that I never went down the road of Zyprexa or other drugs or ECT, and I know that the Black Box Suicide Warning from 2004 was a big part of my decision to taper off of Zoloft and see if I could get better that way rather than weaning Isaac and going straight to Zyprexa. Warnings, speed bumps, second opinions, thoughtfulness – these are GOOD things when it comes to psychotropic drugs. Were it not for the issuance of the Black Box warning in 2004 I can’t say with any certainty that I would be alive or that Isaac would be, or my mom, husband, or Spooky & Oliver. Nor would Toby have been born… Every time I see someone who testified at that FDA hearing in 2004 or hear about how someone was working on getting those black box warnings for years before I even went on Zoloft, it makes me extremely emotional. I just want to hug all you guys right now! (Virtual Hug)
Yet some of the people advocating AGAINST this bill are pretending that they were FOR the review of the polypharmacy (such as 5 psychotropic drugs being given at one time to a foster child) in a bill that passed a few years ago in Texas (Car v. Wrench, you know who you are…). Yes, these people were FOR that bill so strongly that now they oppose adding a preauthorization to the Medicaid drug protocol for antipsychotics for children under 11. That’s about as believable as DBSA’s claim below that they are in favor of helping mothers. Or Biederman’s claim that Risperdal is safe for 3 year olds. Very credible.
I don’t understand the attitudes of people who are so opposed to the idea that anyone could possibly question their almighty authority in drugging kids. The stats presented to the committee by Rep. Turner included numbers of babies under the age of 2 in Texas receiving atypical antipsychotic drugs…
This situation is unconscionable. Texas is currently leading the nation in number of prescriptions for antipsychotics in children. I hope that our legislature will be up to the task of a real investigation and can be proactive. It’s hard to do anything to help children stay alive with odds stacked against them and people who are more concerned with getting a larger paycheck than with whether a child dies or a family is suffering with a sick child and doesn’t understand how to help them recover.
Sometimes the answer is just to stop drugging. It’s that simple.
There is a huge blind spot for the fact that the psychotic effects of antidepressants and ADHD drugs are leading to the prescribing of antipsychotics and that none of these drugs is truly safe or effective for what is claimed. It’s like a 2 year old trying to rescue a caterpillar from the grass, picking him up and accidentally picking off a leg, and then picking off the rest of the legs to make it look more even. If your definition of safe and effective = dangerous, deadly and disfiguring, or perhaps if today is opposite day, or this is Alice in Wonderland and the Queen of Hearts is calling the shots and writing the dictionary… maybe.
Nevertheless I was glad to see some admission from psychiatrists and certain lobbyists that there was a possibility that some of the drugs they prescribe are being given unnecessarily. I guess I better go check the sky to see if there really are pigs flying.