Is Lanza’s Psychiatrist’s Drugging Indicative of Connecticut’s Mental Health Services?

February 6th, 2014 | Breaking News

Is Lanza’s Psychiatrist’s Drugging Indicative of Connecticut’s Mental Health Services?

In today’s Connecticut News Times there was a brief article spelling out the State’s legislative agenda, including efforts to block the right of the public to have access to information on homicides.  This legislative measure is in response to the State’s continued unwillingness to make public the mental health records of Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza.

The obvious point of having public disclosure of Lanza’s mental health records is two-fold. First, it is important to know whether Lanza was prescribed any psychiatric mind-altering drugs that may have played a part in his violent behavior. The disclosure of these records also is necessary in order for lawmakers to make informed decisions about costly, mental health legislation.

Ablechild has, for more than a year, used every legal means available in order to persuade the State to release Lanza’s mental health records.  Apparently, the State is using Lanza as the backbone of enormous legislative efforts to increase mental health funding and services within the State, yet there is no evidence that Lanza used any State mental health services.  All available information reveals that Lanza’s mental health was paid for by private insurance.

Based on the State Police Report, no mental health records are available for Lanza after 2007 when he was 15-years old.  Additionally, Lanza’s apparent primary psychiatrist, Dr. Paul Fox, surrendered his license in June of 2012, destroyed his patient records and move to New Zealand, making it impossible to obtain Lanza’s mental health records from the primary source.

Whether Lanza had been prescribed psychiatric mind-altering drugs is extremely relevant to understanding his uncharacteristic violent behavior.  Furthermore, it is important to remember that Connecticut Assistant Attorney General, Patrick B. Kwanashie, during the Ablechild FOIA hearing, revealed that the reason for not divulging the identity of the antidepressants he (Lanza) was taking was because it would “cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications.”

Based on this information, it certainly seems that Lanza had been prescribed, at a minimum, antidepressants. However, Ablechild has been contacted by a mother whose young son also had been a patient of Dr. Paul Fox and, based on this child’s medication record, one could easily question whether Lanza’s mental health “treatment” included just antidepressants.

For example, this unidentified ten-year old child began receiving “treatment” from Dr. Fox in 1998 for an apparent diagnosis of Asperger’s and, from what has been made public, Lanza also was diagnosed with Asperger’s at the age of five or six.

Between January 1998 and March of 1999 (14 months), Dr. Fox prescribed to the unidentified ten-year old the following antidepressants: Celexa, Remeron, Effexor and Wellbutrin.  Additionally, Fox prescribed Neurontin, an Antiepileptic; Buspar, an Antianxiety; Zyprexa, an Antipsychotic; and Adderall, an Amphetamine.

recordsRecord2

As if prescribing eight mind-altering drugs to a ten-year old during a 14 month period isn’t outrageous enough, Dr. Fox prescribed these drugs as cocktails.  The safety and efficacy for all of these drugs have not been established for pediatric use, nor are there any clinical trials showing safety and efficacy for pediatric use in any of these drug cocktail combinations.  The majority of clinical trials last a few weeks or months. In other words, Dr. Fox doesn’t know how these drugs adversely affect a child’s developing brain when prescribed in combination, let alone singularly.

One daily drug regimen for the unidentified ten-year old includes the following:

8AM        1 Celexa (20mg)

4pm        1 Neurontin (300mg)

6PM        2 Buspar (15mg) each

8PM        1 Neurontin (300mg)

10PM     1 or 1/2 Remeron (15mg) if trouble sleeping.

Dr. Fox’s drug “treatment” regimen seems more in line with a chemical lobotomy, especially in light of the patient’s age.  But there also is the added concern of adverse reactions associated with the mind-altering drugs prescribed.

For example, each of the Antidepressants carry the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Black Box Warning.  This is the federal agency’s most serious warning, which includes increased suicidal thinking and suicidality.  More importantly, all of the Antidepressant drugs listed report adverse reactions such as “mood and behavior changes, anxiety, agitated, hostile, aggressive and hallucinations” to name a few.

Recall that Adam Lanza received the same diagnosis as our unidentified ten-year old. Is it possible that Dr. Fox chose a similar, or worse, drug “treatment” regimen for Adam Lanza?   Who knows? The State of Connecticut apparently doesn’t want the public to know and is doing everything legally and legislatively possible to block access to Lanza’s mental health records.

After reading the list of mind-altering drugs prescribed to our ten-year old unidentified child, the State should be asking Dr. Fox some serious questions. And rather than spending so much time and effort trying to convince the people of Connecticut that increased mental health (which equates to increased drugging) is the answer to the tragedy at Sandy Hook, wouldn’t it be more beneficial to investigate the outrageous psychiatric drugging of the state’s children?

If Dr. Fox’s drug “treatment” regimen is indicative of the type of mental health being provided by the State of Connecticut, increasing services does not bode well for its children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ablechild Releases FOI Post Hearing Documents

September 13th, 2013 | Breaking News

Both the State of Connecticut and Ablechild have submitted final documents in post hearing briefs as requested by the FOI Commission. See links below.

2013-9-12 – AbleChild Post-Hearing Brief

STATESLASTSUB

Ablechild’s mission is Informed Consent.   Our goal is to ensure that every parent, caregiver, and decision maker has all the information before placing their children or child onto mind-altering drugs, and to ensure they are told as part of the “reality” of informed consent that psychiatric disorders are subjective in nature – a fact the State of Connecticut seems to want to ignore and seems filled with shame to disclose.

The famous, renowned medical doctor and former Ablechild board member put it best into words.

Dr. William Glasser,  “Clearly to diagnose a mental illness such as those described in the DSM-IV, one of the basic tenets of the medical model is completely ignored. In those instances, mental illness is diagnosed from symptoms alone and no supportive pathology is required. This misuse of the medical model has led to the present ever-increasing assortment of diagnoses and treatments, none of which even comes close to meeting the requirements of medical science.”

Reference: Defining Mental Health as a Public Health Issue, A New leadership role for the helping and teaching professions, William Glasser, M.D. 

Immediately after the Newtown, Sandy Hook mass murder/suicide, Ablechild was contacted not only by parents within Sandy Hook, Newtown, Connecticut but throughout the Country urging us to obtain valuable information to ensure that this type of senseless loss of life never happens again.

Seeing beautiful young babies snubbed out, we committed ourselves to that task.  The post hearing briefs linked within are historical and will forever be within the records of history.  We dedicate our efforts to all parents and children.  We will continue to keep you updated on our efforts.

Sincerely,
Ablechild.org

 

CT AAG Nervous About Releasing Adam Lanza’s Medical Records: Disclosure “Can Cause A Lot of People to Stop Taking Their Medications.”

September 1st, 2013 | Press Releases

For Immediate Release:

Contact Sheila Matthews
203-253-0329

STATE of Connecticut Claims Disclosure of Adam Lanza’s Records “Can Cause A Lot of People to Stop Taking Their Medications” in Recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Hearing.

Ablechild vs. Chief Medical Examiner (FIC Docket No: 2013-197):

Attorney, Patrick B. Kwanashie, AAG for the Office of the Attorney General argues release of Adam Lanza’s records to public “can cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications”.  Ablechild argues that lack of transparency compromises informed consent and puts public health “at risk”.

December 14, 2012, 20 year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children and six adults in a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut.  He committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

Many would agree that to prevent future tragedies from occurring like those in Newtown and Littleton, Colorado we should have a deeper understanding of what the key components and common factors are that drive a person to such acts of violence.  Ablechild, a national parent rights organization with parent members within Sandy Hook and Newtown, have been on the front lines of the Newtown tragedy as it unfolded.  It has been asking for accountability in the form of disclosure of all records pertaining to the shooter as a means of transparency, to provide the public with facts that could be pertinent in protecting their safety. Sadly this transparency has eluded the Newtown “investigation” from the start.

One relevant question that has remained unanswered was whether or not Adam Lanza was under the influence of one or more drugs, to include all prescription drugs.

“What plagues this investigation is that some are simply fixated on having it remain secret in spite of the urgency of transparency that is clearly needed to protect the public,” said Patricia Weathers Cofounder of Ablechild.  “It is alarming that here we are very close to a year later and the public still remains in the dark, records are still sealed, and the State is now saying that it is opposing a release of the records because those records “can cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications”.  This opposition comes despite the fact that 31 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs resulting in 162 wounded and 72 killed and despite the fact that Ablechild for years has been asking for a federal investigation into the link between psychiatric drugs and these violent acts, without result.

Mrs. Weathers went on to add, “If there is nothing to hide then disclose, especially if this information has the potential for reevaluating the use of certain psychiatric drugs that evidence shows are contributing to the rapidly growing acts of violence in this country in recent years.  Our organization thinks that both the Medical Examiner’s office and State’s actions are unacceptable and reprehensible because in actuality they place the public at risk.”

What should be more alarming to the public is that the media doesn’t question this failure to disclose that is being arbitrarily wielded by the State Medical Examiner’s Office, despite the evidence that at the very least should call for a review.  In the midst of this tragedy the State itself has scrambled for solutions in the form of firearm prevention legislation and sweeping mental health funding without ever actually demanding that all evidence be reviewed first before passing such legislation.

Newtown was the second deadliest mass shooting by a single person in American history, after the 2007 Virginia Tech Massacre and comes 14 years after Columbine.  What is telling in all of this…America is still chasing its tail while the public pays a heavy price!

For more information on Ablechild’s demand for accountability and transparency within the State of CT watch our case before the Freedom of Information Act Commission.

 

 

ABLECHILD URGES ADDING OVERMEDICATION OF CHILDREN IN STATE CARE TO GOVERNOR’S 2012 AGENDA

January 3rd, 2012 | Press Releases

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
www.ablechild.org
(203) 966-8419

WESTPORT, CONN., JANUARY 3, 2012 – Ablechild co-founder Sheila Matthews will brief Connecticut State Healthcare Advocate Victoria Veltri today on the organization’s research into the over-prescribing of psychotropic drugs to children in foster care.

The parents’ rights organization is a sitting member of the Connecticut Behavioral Health Committee that reports directly to Governor Malloy. In today’s meeting, Matthews will share data from last month’s ABC News 20/20 report, which AbleChild helped develop. The show provided a first look at a new Government Accountability Report that found:

  • Foster children were prescribed psychotropic drugs at rates nearly five times higher than non-foster children.
  • More than a quarter of foster children were being prescribed at least one psychiatric drug.
  • Hundreds of foster children received five or more psychiatric drugs at the same time, despite no evidence that this is safe or effective.

The meeting’s agenda includes a report on the $29,766,625,000 spent on psychiatric services by Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families, and AbleChild research showing how making educational, language and vision and hearing/speech solutions available can cut costs while enabling true informed consent for parents. “The most important thing Connecticut can do now is to break the monopoly on psychiatric treatment,” Matthews says. “Medication shouldn’t be the first option addressing behavioral or learning issues and it certainly shouldn’t be the only one.”

In a November briefing with Malloy’s legislative aide, Michael Christ, Matthews also pressed for action on Proposed Bill 5007. If passed, the landmark legislation would require the state to inform parents of their rights regarding diagnosis and treatment of behavioral and mental health disorders in children.

Since 2005, Proposed Bill 5007 has remained stalled in the Connecticut Legislative Education Committee subject to reintroduction by long-time committee chair, State Representative Andy Fleischmann. Matthews says, “It’s extremely frustrating that no action has been taken on this bill for over five years while special-interest and industry-backed legislation not only moves through committees rapidly, its backers have been given fast-track access to the legislative process itself.”

Malloy is preparing his 2012 agenda, which will be announced shortly before the legislature convenes in February. “Ablechild is pleased to support Governor Malloy as he sets his course for the year ahead,” says Matthews. “Connecticut was the first state to prohibit schools from recommending the use of psychotropic drugs, three years before it became federal law. We hope Connecticut will continue to show leadership through best-practice guidelines that protect its most vulnerable residents.”

About AbleChild
AbleChild is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to parents, caregivers, and children’s rights alike. The organization is a clearinghouse for objective information regarding ADD, ADHD, and other behavioral issues. All services AbleChild provides are free to the public. To learn more, visit www.ablechild.org.

Keep your ADHD Label, Teach Writing.

September 5th, 2011 | News Archive

Over the years, Ablechild.org has gone directly to the pipeline of ADHD, and has informed parents of the misleading information they are receiving through the public school system and the media relating to the label ADHD and the dangerous mind altering drugs that are recommended as the solution.

Writing is the latest link the drug manufacturers and psychiatric gatekeepers plan on using to lure families into psychiatric drug use. Perfect timing as children start school. Tuesday, August 23 (HealthDay News) reports that Children diagnosed with ADHD have a much higher risk of developing written language disorder, a new study indicates. The findings don’t eliminate the ADHD label or give way to the fact that millions of children have been misdiagnosed with ADHD that had underlying writing issues. The study wants to ensure children are Co-labeled.

What you will find with any ADHD study, the ADHD label is often linked with human actions, i.e., walking, talking, listening, eating, sleeping, crying, laughing and now writing. To validate the label they take those actions and link it to “a much higher risk of developing” problems and across it over to whatever obtains them more clientele. For example, Monday, July 25, 2011 big news (Reuters Health) reported that Children with ADHD are more likely to misjudge risk of walking across the street. The findings, researchers say it may explain why children with the disorder have a higher than average risk of being hit by a car. This approach to taking a verb and associating it with risk and linking with your child becomes alarming. Simple tasks become a concern, something for you to look for to become proactive about. This has created an industry that feeds off our children’s behaviors. Giving cause to analyse it all and cure it. OMG!

As school starts, know the facts and stay in the solution. Writing problems exist, but they can be solved without a ADHD Label or drugs. The recommendation should not be to Co-label a child with ADHD and a writing disorder, but to look at ensuring that schools continue to focus on the connection between writing and the development of the brain.. Thus the research they are not providing to you or mentioning in this breaking news study is a key ingredient for you to make an informed decision. Ablechild gives you a battling study for your review and a breaking news story that illustrates the failure to teach writing at the important developmental ages.

Research.

News Coverage

Stay in touch with your own reality, not what the psychiatric and drug companies want your reality to be for your child. Visit us at www.ablechild.org and let us provide you with more information so that you may make an informed decision relating to your child’s health and well-being.

Have a great start to the new school year!

Sheila Matthews
Cofounder www.ablechild.org

Billion Dollar Drug Company Law Firm Restructures Connecticut Welfare System

March 10th, 2011 | Press Releases

Bob Fiddaman and Sheila Matthews
sheila@ablechild.org
(203) 594-1700

For some time now, Sheila Matthews has been suspicious about her home state of Connecticut’s treatment of its most vulnerable children. As a mother of two children and co-founder of AbleChild, her instincts led her to scrutinize the dubious relationships among Connecticut’s Department of Children and Family Services [DCF], the pharmaceutical industry and a billion dollar law firm who has defended the likes of Pfizer Inc and Merck & Co., among others.

Sheila’s investigation has led her on a journey that links a non-profit children?s advocacy group, with assets over $15 million [2009] with nationally-renowned mass tort and class action defense law firms, to the Connecticut DCF – an $865 million bureaucracy, as described by the Connecticut Mirror.

The Connecticut DCF serves approximately 36,000 children and 16,000 families across its four Mandate Areas:

1.Child welfare;

2.Children’s behavioral health;

3.Juvenile Services; and

4.Prevention.

Sheila’s AbleChild has been questioning the Connecticut DCF since 2003, when AbleChild demanded that the Connecticut DCF immediately ban the use of the antidepressant Paxil in its treatment of mental disorders after multiple studies confirmed Paxil increased the risk of suicide in children and adolescents. This was more than a year prior to America’s Food & Drug Association (FDA) announcement that all antidepressants, including Paxil, should bear a black box warning regarding this suicide risk. AbleChild was disturbed that children in state custody were being prescribed this dangerous psychotropic medication. AbleChild’s public pressure paid off, and the Connecticut DCF deemed Paxil unsafe for children and adolescents, and according to the DCF drug approval list, Paxil has not been approved for use in over eight (8) years.

In August 2003, less than one month later, AbleChild reported that the commissioner of the Connecticu DCF held a ‘behind closed doors’ meeting with Glaxo officials. This meeting was reported by the Associated Press, who wrote:

The maker of the anti-depressant Paxil plans to meet this week with Connecticut officials, weeks after the State stopped using the drug to treat young people in its care.

GlaxoSmithKline, a British pharmaceutical company, is sending its regional medical director and a medical team to meet with officials from the Department of Children and Families. [Source]

Despite repeated requests from AbleChild, the Connecticut DCF refused to inform the public what was discussed at this secret meeting.

Eight years later, Sheila and AbleChild continue to raise concerns and investigate potential wrongdoings and conflicts within the Connecticut DCF. Last month, in February 2011, Sheila attended a meeting sponsored by the Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership [CBHP], where its medical director, Dr Steven Kant, presented the Husky Behavioral Pharmacy Data. The CBHP is a state vendor that provides mental health services to DCF children. These services are paid, in part, by the State-run insurance program, HUSKY. Incredibly the pharmacy data presentation showed that dangerous psychotropic drugs, like Paxil, are still being prescribed to thousands of children and adolescents. In fact, the Pharmacy Data presentation showed that the HUSKY program, financed by taxpayer dollars, paid drug companies over $60 million for psychotropic drugs for Connecticut’s children and adolescents in 2009 alone – many of which are not approved by the FDA for use in the pediatric population and all of which carry the most serious warning possible regarding the risk of suicide.

According to the pharmacy data presentation: [Which can be downloaded as a Powerpoint presentation HERE]

More than 50% of HUSKY Youth Behavioral med utilizers are on stimulants.
Close to 30% of HUSKY Youth Behavioral med utilizers are on antipsychotics.

The pharmacy data also revealed the following:

Most Frequently Used Behavioral Meds for DCF-Involved Youth

Medications for ADHD

  • Ritalin (10%)
  • Adderall (5%)
  • Vyvanse (4%)
  • Strattera (3%)

Atypical Antipsychotics

  • Abilify (11%)
  • Risperdol (10%)
  • Seroquel (8%)
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Hydroxyzine (2.5%)

Antidepressants

  • Prozac (4.5%)
  • Zoloft (4%)
  • Zyban (3%)
  • Desyrel (2.5%)
  • Celexa (2%)

Mood Stabilizers

  • Lithum (3%)
  • Depakote (3%)
  • Lamictal (2.5%)

Curiously, none of the above medications are on the Connecticut DCF list of approved/unapproved drugs listed in itsDCF PMAC document.

With this in mind, Sheila Matthews contacted Dr Steven Kant and inquired as to whether any of the above drugs were approved by the Connecticut DCF for use in children.

Dr Kant replied:

… the answer to your question is not that straight forward.. . . Medications may be indicated by age and/or by specific treatment needs so it is not either a simply ?yes? or ?no?. Also, some medications may have the age indication but for a totally different condition, such as anti epileptic condition. . .Also FDA indications are static, they do not change over time though medical practice is constantly evolving…

Contradicting the very document that lists Connecticut’s approved and unapproved drugs, a “check-off” list that verifies the status of medications, Dr Kant replied, “I don?t think a ?check off? for each medication would work in terms of verifying their status.”

With such an ambiguous response from Dr. Kant, we found the DCF Approved Medication List on the Internet. This particular version was revised in 2009.

It appears that the DCF has approved drugs in children that have not been approved for children by the FDA. In fact, the FDA has issued multiple advisories and alerts since 2004 about the increased risk of suicide in children, adolescents and young adults up to age 25 who are treated with psychotropic medications.

And while Fluoxetine (Prozac) is the only medication approved by the FDA for use in treating depression in children ages 8 and older, it still carries a black box warning regarding the risk of suicide.

In contrast, the DCF seems to be ignoring the conclusions of the FDA. Its list of approved medication in children and adolescents include every single antidepressant except paroxetine [Paxil] and venlafaxine [Effexor].

  • Forest Lab?s citalopram [Celexa] – APPROVED
  • Forest Lab?s escitalopram [Lexapro] – APPROVED
  • Solvay Pharmaceuticals? fluvoxamine [Luvox] – APPROVED
  • Pfizer’s sertraline [Zoloft] – APPROVED
  • GlaxoSmithKline’s bupropion [Wellbutrin -also marketed as an anti-smoking cessation drug under the name of Zyban] – APPROVED [1]

Alarmingly, the DCF has produced a guide entitled, “MEDICATIONS USED FOR BEHAVIORAL & EMOTIONAL DISORDERS – A GUIDE FOR PARENTS, FOSTER PARENTS, FAMILIES, YOUTH, CAREGIVERS, GUARDIANS, AND SOCIAL WORKERS” where it writes, “Most of the side effects from the medications are mild and will lessen or go away after the first few weeks of treatment.” The guide also points out possible side effects of SSRI’s/SNRI’s:

SSRIs and SNRIs:

  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Weight Loss

One of the most dangerous side effects of these medications, suicidal thoughts/ideation, doesn’t even make the 5 bullet-pointed list. The Guide does, however, add the following: “Watch for worsening of depression and thoughts about suicide.”

The DCF Approved Medication List writes:

“The DCF Approved Medication List is a list of psychotropic medications that has been carefully established by the Psychotropic Medication Advisory Committee, a group of DCF and community professionals.”

Sheila has since investigated other advocacy groups that were concerned about the off-label prescribing of psychiatric medications to youths in state custody. This is where she stumbled upon Children’s Rights, a non-profit charity based in New York City.

In 2005, Children’s Rights employed ten (10) attorneys and a staff of 31. It claims to use its expertise to change child welfare red tape and scrutinize failing systems. If the child welfare system fails to respond, Children’s Rights files a lawsuit. If successful, it enforces reform and then monitors its implementation
.

In 1989, Children’s Rights had in fact filed a suit against William O’Neill and the Connecticut state Department of Children and Youth Services [DCYS].

The suit charged that an overworked and underfunded DCYS failed to provide services including abuse and neglect investigations, adoption, foster care, mental health care, caseloads and staffing. The case has been pending for over twenty (20) years, and while there have been numerous arguments that DCYS should be more inclusive or has failed to provide certain services, the issue of massive off-label prescription of psychotropic medications has never been brought to the court?s attention.

Children’s Rights is chaired by Alan C. Myers, a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, a billion dollar law firm which represents the pharmaceutical industry in mass torts and class actions. Myers is also co-head of the firm’s REIT Group [Real Estate Investment Trust].

Also, listed on the Children’s Rights website are individuals and law firms that have served as co-counsel on Children’s Rights’ legal campaigns to reform America’s failing child welfare systems, including:

  • Missouri – Shook Hardy & Bacon – Eli Lilly Co. and Forest Labs, defended the original Wesbeker Prozac trial in Kentucky and still defend Prozac, Celexa and Lexapro.
  • New Jersey – Drinker Biddle & Reath – GlaxoSmithKline attorneys – defended Paxil as local counsel in Philadelphia cases.
  • Oklahoma – Kaye Scholer LLP – provides work in Pharmaceutical Products Liability defense and employs an attorney who was former General Counsel of Pfizer, Inc.

A particular success for Skadden Arps occurred in 2010 when it secured a summary judgement ruling for Pfizer Inc. in a suit filed by two insurance companies who sought $200 million in damages for Pfizer’s predecessors alleged “off-label” marketing of its epilepsy drug, Neurontin.

Furthermore, in February 2011, Skadden Arps secured the dismissal of over 200 cases in a multi-district litigation pending against their client, Pfizer Inc. The plaintiffs had alleged injuries related to the use of Pfizer’s anti-epilepsy drug, Neurontin.

Neurontin, the generic version is called gabapentin, is prescribed by psychiatrists for a variety of “off-label” indications. It is often tried as an alternative treatment, when patients are unable to tolerate the side effect of more proven mood stabilizers such as lithium. [2]

Gabapentin has also been associated with an increased risk of suicidal acts or violent deaths.

This is a drug that has been known to cause behavioral problems, which include unstable emotions, hostility, aggression, hyperactivity or lack of concentration.

Children dependent on child welfare systems have rights and, according to its web page, Children’s Rights is dedicated to protecting them.

It should come as no surprise that the site fails to discuss the off-label prescription of non-approved psychotropic medications to children and adolescents, unless this falls under the ‘abuse and neglect’ category?

If Children’s Rights’ motive was to accomplish fixing the child welfare system then why hasn’t it investigated why thousands of children under state care are prescribed “off-label” psychiatric drugs? With a partner in a billion dollar pro-pharmaceutical law firm as its Chair, and supporters who also defend pharmaceutical products, is it safe to assume that its stance on the drugging of children is one that is being ignored?

Children’s Rights push to remove abused and neglected children into safety.

The basic question always comes down to trust. When power, money and a good cause is mixed, it is imperative to check motives. We would be less of a society if we didn’t check out all the facts. Abuse and neglect exist, always has and always will, but society is obligated to ensure those victims are not transformed into “good cause victims” and expensed out. There is no doubt we have a right to question the system and those who claim to promote change for the good of the children within it.

Children’s Rights Chairman, Alan C. Myers, Medical Director of Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership, Steven Kant and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families may get their knickers in a twist with regard to an advocate of Ablechild and a blogger from Birmingham, UK questioning their motives but hey, what’s the downside of shinning a light on all these players, be they good or bad players?

Sheila?s concern is that Children’s Rights with its multi-million dollar budget and with the help of its billion dollar law firms, will continue to ignore the risks of these unapproved and dangerous medications, under the guise of helping our nation?s most vulnerable children. The question remains: how can the lawyers who defend pscyhotropic drugs also be the same lawyers who advocate for abused and neglected children to get into state welfare programs which place these children on the same drugs? The conflict is clear and obvious – and it poses an unmistakable danger to children who truly need our help.

[1] Bupropion [also known as Wellbutrin, Zyban] is a non-tricyclic antidepressant. [2] Gabapentin

Bob Fiddaman is the author of the Seroxat Sufferers blog and the book, “The evidence, however, is clear… the Seroxat scandal.” Chipmunka Publishing.

Sheila Matthews is the co-founder of AbleChild and a mother of two children.

Federal Court Decision May Place More Children At Risk

September 28th, 2010 | Press Releases

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
www.ablechild.org
sheila@ablechild.org
(203) 966-8419

Last month, in Juan F., et al. v. M. Jodi Rell, et al., the United States District Court in the District of Connecticut held that Connecticut’s Department of Family Services (“DCF”) could not suspend new intakes of children into its Voluntary Services Program (the “Program”). According to the Court, the decision to suspend new intakes would unilaterally cut off the service lifeline for vulnerable, at-risk children. The Court explained that any suspension of intakes would leave children at imminent risk of irreparable harm, and place the defendants in violation of their settlement obligations. Ironically, a point often forgotten, is the fact that the original plaintiff/child in the case, Juan F., died while under State care.

The Court ultimately concluded that children accepted into the Program must be accepted by the State because these “at-risk” children were part of the original settlement in the lawsuit. AbleChild addressed the flawed intake methods in a friend of the court brief. The concern of AbleChild is that many of the children identified for the Program are not “at-risk.” The real danger is that some of these children, who are not “at-risk,” will now be put into harm’s way by taking them away from their families without cause and forcing them to ingest dangerous psychotropic
medications.

Unfortunately, in trying to help more “at risk” children, the Court ignored the State’s current intake methods for determining which children are truly “at risk.” Often times, the State concludes a child is “at risk” without any justification. Children are taken away from their families on the basis of a single phone call into a “hotline” and even without the filing of a police incident report. When this happens, innocent children are unjustly put at risk, and the child’s family is forced to prove to a court that their child is not in danger.

AbleChild appreciates the Court’s concern regarding the well-being of all of Connecticut’s children; however, AbleChild also recognizes that children who enter DCF, regardless of whether the children are “at-risk,” are typically diagnosed with a mental illness and treated with psychotropic drugs. Ablechild believes the parties, and the Court, should make a commitment to first insuring that no child is unnecessarily taken away from their family.

ABLECHILD SAYS THAT MISDIAGNOSIS OF A MILLION CHILDREN UNJUSTIFIABLE AND URGES PARENTS TO GAIN RISKS OF TESTING, LABELING AND DRUGGING

August 19th, 2010 | Press Releases

Diane Nahabedian
dianenahabedian@yahoo.com
(617) 943-3732

Over 4.5 million children nationwide have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD according to a study says an article “Youngest in Class get ADHD Label” published this week in USA Today . Nearly 1 million children may have been misdiagnosed because they were the youngest in their class.

Sheila Matthews, co-founder of AbleChild in Connecticut says, “it is unjustifiable to misdiagnose a million children with ADHD. Psychiatry claims ADHD is a serious disease like cancer, and our schools have become a marketing distribution channel for this false data. The “experts” have compared ADHD to having diabetes and touts the cure as the need for powerful dangerous mind altering drugs. Imagine if a million children were diagnosed with cancer or diabetes and underwent needless treatments. Ablechild wants to know what compensation is planned for these children and their families? In addition, when is the psychiatric industry going to tell the truth about ADHD to parents, and the fact that the diagnosis is not based in any real science, and is not a disease like cancer or a condition like diabetes. It is subjective!”

Patricia Weathers, another co-founder of AbleChild, who has testified before a Congressional subcommittee regarding the use of drugs in the schools explains, “when parents are confronted by a teacher or school psychologist regarding issues like ADHD they often feel frightened and alone, and pressured to drug their children. Frequently, parents recognize their child’s challenging behavior as normal, and may not want to subject their child to the serious risks caused by psychotropic drugs.” Weathers herself was threatened with child protective services as a result of a charge of medical neglect waged at her by her son’s school when she took him off psychiatric drugs that caused him a wide array of side effects.

Matthews and Weathers continuously urge all parents to remember that they are their child’s best advocate, and know their own child best. “We urge all parents to gain an understanding of the real risks of psychological and behavioral testing, labeling and drugging,’ says Matthews.

Unfortunately, school officials place tremendous pressure on parents to not only allow the school to conduct psychological testing on their children but to drug them as well. Parents may not realize that these tests are being used many times as the sole basis for the diagnosis of behavioral issues.

AbleChild, a 501C3 established in the state of New York, works with a team of parents, educators, attorneys and non-pharmaceutical-associated psychologists and psychiatrists who all have experience with the risks of psychotropic drugs and non-drug alternatives. AbleChild is a clearinghouse for objective information regarding ADD, ADHD, and other behavioral issues. All services that they render are free to the public.

The parents who founded this extraordinary organization and all those who work with it have personally suffered battles with their schools to have their children tested and drugged.

“Again,” says Matthews, “drugging a child today may result in serious consequences for that child’s future health.” Weathers adds, “if any parent is confronted with the issue of ADD, ADHD, or other behavioral issues that affect their child, please call us. We will give information that can help each parent make an informed decision. We are not a medical group, but a group of concerned parents who want everyone to make healthy decisions for the children they love.”

Please visit AbleChild at www. ablechild.org and become a friend on our Facebook page, or call us at 203-594-1700.

More Toddlers, Young Children Given Antipsychotics

January 4th, 2010 | News Archive

Researchers question the ‘worrisome’ trend

By Jennifer Thomas, HealthDay Reporter

Source: BusinessWeek

MONDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) — The rate of children aged 2 to 5 who are given antipsychotic medications has doubled in recent years, a new study has found.

Yet little is known about either the effectiveness or the safety of these powerful psychiatric medications in children this age, said researchers from Columbia University and Rutgers University, who looked at data on more than 1 million children with private health insurance.

Read more…

Drug Makers Are Advocacy Group’s Biggest Donors

October 21st, 2009 | News Archive

By Gardiner Harris

Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON — A majority of the donations made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one of the nation’s most influential disease advocacy groups, have come from drug makers in recent years, according to Congressional investigators.

The alliance, known as NAMI, has long been criticized for coordinating some of its lobbying efforts with drug makers and for pushing legislation that also benefits industry.

Read more…

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