Behavioral Medicine Tops List

From the June 2004 Trumpet Print Edition

In the January Trumpet, we cited a study that indicated one in 20 American children had been diagnosed with some kind of attention deficit disorder. By 2007, that figure is projected to reach one in seven. And according to the May 25 Wall Street Journal, about 10 million children and teens suffer from some form of “psychiatric illness.”

Over the last 3 years, there has been a 23 percent increase in drug usage treating attention deficit disorders. (For those under the age of 5, the increase has been a whopping 49 percent.) With these recent increases, spending on behavioral medicines, including stimulants and anti-depressants, has now surpassed the figure Americans spend on antibiotics.

The figures break down this way: 17 percent of total spending on drugs for children goes toward behavioral medicines; 16 percent for antibiotics and asthma drugs; 11 percent for skin conditions.

The top moneymaker is now medicine used to treat mental “sickness.” Obviously, there are legitimate cases of mental sickness among youths. But they are rare. As we pointed out in January, far too many parents rely on behavioral drugs to regulate a child’s behavior because they have failed to do so themselves as parents.