Thursday, June 12, 2014

America we've got a problem - Kids, guns & drugs, legal that is!!!


The shooting this week in an Oregon school marks the 74th shooting incident in schools in America since the Sandy Hook murder rampage just 18 months ago in Newtown, Connecticut.  When kids are injured or die there is understandably a much more passionate reaction than to the typical murders in America.

The media, politicians and shrinks all take to the airways whenever there is another incident, and at the current rate there is one a week.  Each week we get the gun control debate, the profiling and psychological analysis of the shooter, the grief for the victims, and White House reaction, more promises and then everyone goes home and does nothing.

74 School locations
However, in the course of reacting to the tragedies everyone seems to be caught up in the emotional frenzy and loses sight of the truth about what is happening.  I guess truth has little value when those raising Hell have no ability to do anything about the continuous stream of killings.

First the truth.

The worst shootings have taken place in the states with the toughest gun control laws in America.

Since 1993 murders by guns in America have declined drastically, in fact the rate of murder is about half of the 1993 rate.

Many of the weapons being used are illegal firearms.

More truth.

Percent of Youth Aged 4-17 Currently with ADHD Receiving Medication Treatment by State: National Survey of Children's Health
Most of the shooters, where the information was disclosed, had been or were on prescription drugs for depression, ADHD or other reasons.

All of these prescription drugs have a direct effect on the brain.

We have no idea what the long term impact of prescription drugs may be on our children.

When kids have more than 1 problem they may get multiple prescriptions for drugs and the cocktail effect when mixed has unknown impact on the brain.

Our addiction to drug prescriptions may very well be causing the increase in school shootings and killings.

In truth, our medical system and pharmaceutical greed may be destroying our kids mental and physical health faster than it destroyed our own health.

Did you ever wonder why no current reports on prescription drug use, the increase in drug use, and the deaths from legal drug use are available.  The most current analysis is four to five years old before it is made available.

Are prescriptions, problems and complications increasing at such a fast rate that critical information is now being withheld from the public?

If multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical corporations can report profits the first quarter of the next fiscal year, in other words within 90 days from when it happened, in order to maintain their lofty stock values, why can't they tell us how many more children are being given prescriptions of their drugs, how many died, and what other complications have been detected from extended use until 4-5 years later?

Politicians must make the giant pharmaceutical companies liable for all the long term damage they are doing to our kids minds with their prescriptions, cocktails and indifference.  And when kids on prescriptions are doing the shooting like they have been, then the same companies have to be liable for the victims deaths, treatment and consequences.

Do you think your elected representatives will support such a logical liability measure or will they continue to waive the liability for these companies like they have been doing all along for the same companies and banks and others?

What is more important to a politician - innocent school victims or corporate campaign money?  So far the money has trumped the kids.  So far our ignorance of the effect of drugs and drug cocktails is shameful.  So far our indifference in demanding change by our politicians is a disgrace but we can still do something about this before we have destroyed an entire generation.

America - we have really got a problem.... Our children's brains are being bombarded and possibly permanently altered by the prescription drugs we are pumping into them at record levels.

Here are some reasons why.

ADHD Medication

This past year, the utilization of medications to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) jumped 9.0%. With this increase, the United States now spends more on prescription drugs for Attention Disorders than it does for all but six other conditions.

Currently, an estimated 5.4 million U.S. children are diagnosed with ADHD. And with new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics that now recommend physicians prescribe these medications to children as young as 4 (previous guidelines suggested a lower limit of age 6), the number of total diagnosed children is likely to grow.

Interestingly, the local impact of this national trend depends highly on where you live.

When looking only at Americans with commercial insurance, Express Scripts researchers found that children living in the South are 63% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children living in western states. When broadening to all American children (including those on Medicaid and other government-sponsored plans where ADHD prevalence is higher), those living in a southern state have approximately a 1 in 9 chance of being diagnosed with this condition.  

The American Psychiatric Association states in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) that 5% of children have ADHD.  However, studies in the US have estimated higher rates in community samples.

Recent surveys asked parents whether their child received an ADHD diagnosis from a health care provider. The results show that:

Approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011.

The percentage of children with an ADHD diagnosis continues to increase, from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11.0% in 2011.

Rates of ADHD diagnosis increased an average of 3% per year from 1997 to 2006 and an average of approximately 5% per year from 2003 to 2011.

Boys (13.2%) were more likely than girls (5.6%) to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD.

The average age of ADHD diagnosis was 7 years of age, but children reported by their parents as having more severe ADHD were diagnosed earlier.

Prevalence of ADHD diagnosis varied substantially by state, from a low of 5.6% in Nevada to a high of 18.7% in Kentucky.

Medication Treatment

Percent youth being treated for ADHD

Parents were also asked about whether their child was taking medication for ADHD. The results show that:

The prevalence of children 4-17 years of age taking ADHD medication increased from 4.8%  in 2007 to 6.1% in 2011

More US children were receiving ADHD treatment in 2011 compared to 2007; however, as many as 17.5% of children with current ADHD were not receiving either medication for ADHD or mental health counseling in 2011.

In 2011, geographic variability in the percent of children taking medication for ADHD ranged from a low of 2% in Nevada to a high of 10.4% in Louisiana.

Anti-depression Medication

In the US, almost 40% of people with mental health issues received treatment in 2012. But data from the US department of health also shows the types of treatments they received - from psychologists to prescription medication (including antidepressants).

Like other countries, the use of antidepressants in the US has soared. In 1998, 11.2 million Americans used these drugs. By 2010, it was 23.3 million. Despite that rise, expenditure on antidepressants has barely risen as the drugs have become cheaper – from $624 per person in 1998, to $651 in 2010.

According to a report released yesterday by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the rate of antidepressant use in this country among teens and adults (people ages 12 and older) increased by almost 400% between 1988–1994 and 2005–2008.

The federal government’s health statisticians figure that about one in every 10 Americans takes an antidepressant. And by their reckoning, antidepressants were the third most common prescription medication taken by Americans in 2005–2008, the latest period during which the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) collected data on prescription drug use.

Here are a few other stand-out statistics from the report on antidepressants:

23% of women in their 40s and 50s take antidepressants, a higher percentage than any other group (by age or sex)

Women are 2½ times more likely to be taking an antidepressant than men (click here to read a May 2011 article in the Harvard Mental Health Letter about women and depression)

14% of non-Hispanic white people take antidepressants compared with just 4% of non-Hispanic blacks and 3% of Mexican Americans

Less than a third of Americans who are taking a single antidepressants (as opposed to two or more) have seen a mental health professional in the past year

Antidepressant use does not vary by income status

Time Period
8th Graders
10th Graders
12th Graders
Any Prescription Drug
Past Year
Past Year
Past Year
Past Year
Narcotics other than Heroin
Past Year
Past Year
Past Year
Past Year
Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of Various Drugs for 8th Graders, 10th Graders, and 12th Graders; 2013 (in percent)*
* Data in brackets indicate statist
Time Period
Ages 12 or Older
Ages 12 to 17
Ages 18 to 25
Ages 26 or Older
Psychotherapeutics (Nonmedical Use)

Past Year

Past Month
National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Trends in Prevalence of Psychotherapeutics (Nonmedical Use) for Ages 12 or Older, Ages 12 to 17, Ages 18 to 25, and Ages 26 or Older; 2012 (in percent)*
Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes— long known to have an adverse effect on the brain— has now been linked with the loss of brain matter.

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), researchers studied the brain structures of 614 patients with a mean age of 62, who had all been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for an average of 10 years. They found that long-term diabetes was associated with the greatest loss of brain tissue – suggesting brain atrophy.

“It’d been thought that most, if not all, of the effect of diabetes on the brain was due to vascular disease that diabetics get and, therefore, stroke,” lead study author Dr. R. Nick Bryan, professor emeritus of the department of radiology at the Perleman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, told “We found that in addition to that, there’s sort of diffuse loss of brain tissue, atrophy… we think may have a direct effect of the diabetes on the brain.”

Researchers noted that the greatest reduction of volume was seen in the brain’s gray matter, where the organ’s neurons are located.  The shrinkage of gray matter is often regarded as the start of the neurodegenerative process. Since patients with diabetes have been previously shown to have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, the findings suggest cognitive changes may be related to neurodegeneration.

“[We’re] not saying all [people with diabetes] will get Alzheimer’s, but suggesting that many of them will have worse cognition and worse thinking ability as they get older and probably more of them will get neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s, than non-Alzheimer’s patients,” Bryan said.

The findings suggest that for every 10 years of diabetes duration, the brain of a diabetes patient looks approximately two years older than that of a non-diabetic person – with regards to gray matter volume.

“One thing that’s pretty clear was that the adverse effect of diabetes was significantly worse in patients who had diabetes longer,” Bryan said.

Researchers point out that, for people with diabetes, proper care is a priority.

“[Patients] need to take the maximum effort to cooperate with physicians… to manage diabetes and blood sugars as well as they possibly can to try to decrease or prevent the damage of diabetes to the brain and ability to think later on in life,” he said. “[Diabetes] significantly affects all the organs in the body; the brain is one that is affected significantly perhaps in not just one, but two ways— not just vascular that we know about, but as a primary or direct assault on the brain.”

Legal Drugs for everyone 
About half of all Americans in 2007-2010 reported taking one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days.  Use increased with age; 1 in 4 children took one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days compared to 9 in 10 adults aged 65 and over.

Cardiovascular agents (used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease) and cholesterol-lowering drugs were two of the most commonly used classes of prescription drugs among adults aged 18-64 years and 65 and over in 2007-2010.  Nearly 18 percent (17.7) of adults aged 18-64 took at least one cardiovascular agent in the past 30 days.

The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs among those aged 18-64 has increased more than six-fold since 1988-1994, due in part to the introduction and acceptance of statin drugs to lower cholesterol.

Other commonly used prescription drugs among adults aged 18-64 years were analgesics to relieve pain and antidepressants.

The prescribing of antibiotics during medical visits for cold symptoms declined 39 percent between 1995-1996 and 2009-2010.

Among adults aged 65 and over, 70.2 percent took at least one cardiovascular agent and 46.7 percent took a cholesterol-lowering drug in the past 30 days in 2007-2010.  The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs in this age group has increased more than seven-fold since 1988-1994.

Other commonly used prescription drugs among those aged 65 and older included analgesics, blood thinners and diabetes medications.

In 2012, adults aged 18-64 years who were uninsured for all or part of the past year were more than four times as likely to report not getting needed prescription drugs due to cost as adults who were insured for the whole year (22.4 percent compared to 5.0 percent).

The use of antidepressants among adults aged 18 and over increased more than four-fold, from 2.4 percent to 10.8 percent between 1988-1994 and 2007-2010.

Drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics among those aged 15 and over more than tripled in the past decade, from 1.9 deaths per 100,000 population in 1999-2000 to 6.6 in 2009-2010.

The annual growth in spending on retail prescription drugs slowed from 14.7 percent in 2001 to 2.9 percent in 2011.


The National Institute of Drug Abuse has some pretty shocking statistics detailing just how bad America’s addiction has become. For example:

the US, which holds 5 percent of the world’s population, is responsible for 75 percent of global prescription drug use;

52 million people over the age of 12 have used this medication for purposes outside of what they are intended for;

enough painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult every four hours for a month;

over half of these pills are obtained for free from a friend or family member;

there are 5.1 million abusers of painkillers,

2.2 million who illegitimately take tranquilizers,

and 1.1 million needlessly popping stimulants.


ROCHESTER, MINN. Researchers find that nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and more than half receive at least two prescriptions, reports CBS Atlanta.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic, a non-profit medical and research center, report that antibiotics, antidepressants and painkiller opioids are the most common prescriptions given to Americans.

Twenty percent of U.S. patients were also found to be on five or more prescription medications.

Nearly one in four women ages 50 to 64 were found to be on an antidepressant, with 13 percent of the overall population also on antidepressants.

Seventeen percent of people in the study were being prescribed antibiotics, and 13 percent were on painkilling opioids.

As a whole, women and older adults received the most prescription drugs.

Antidepressants and opioids were most common among young and middle-aged adults.

The percentage of people who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44 percent in 1999-2000 to 48 percent in 2007-08, the Mayo Clinic reports.

Expenditures on prescription drugs reached $250 billion in 2009, and accounted for 12 percent of total personal health care expenditures.

According to the CDC, the percent of persons using at least one prescription drug in the past month increased nearly 50 percent between 2007 and 2010.

And the researchers said prescription drug spending will only increase in the future.

America - you have got a problem...

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