National Vice President
Parents say psychiatric drugs are making children violent and suicidal and FDA must act.
The national parents’ group, AbleChild: Parents for a Label and Drug-Free Education, has asked the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Acting Commissioner, Lester Crawford, for a private meeting to discuss additional advertising warnings for psychiatric drugs. The request for a meeting comes on the heels of a joint letter signed by actors Kirstie Alley and Kelly Preston along with medical doctors demanding stronger warnings.
“Celebrities, physicians and parents have been asking for full disclosure of the dangerous side effects of psychiatric drugs for years which the FDA has recently begun investigating. They are now warning that stimulant drugs, like antidepressants, can cause suicide and violence,” stated Mrs. Sheila Matthews, Vice President of the group, also known for its website, www.ablechild.org.
The group represents more than a thousand parents who have been coerced into putting their children on a psychiatric drug and who lobbied for passage of a federal law, signed by President Bush last December that now prohibits such coercion in schools. For some of the parents, the law came too late: coroners determined their children died from the psychiatric drug they were forced onto.
Mrs. Matthews said their letter to Commissioner Crawford stated that not only do the drug warnings need to be strengthened, but the way manufacturers and the American Psychiatric Association promote the drugs as necessary to “balance” out a “chemical imbalance” or “neurobiological disorder” is misleading and must change.
“While studies may suggest brain differences or ‘chemical imbalances’, there is no conclusive evidence, as the APA and manufacturers’ websites imply”, Mrs. Matthews said. “This violates the informed consent rights of parents. The risks could be reduced if the public was provided with accurate and complete information, not just with what ‘sells’, which only protects a multi-billion drug industry”, she added.
Additionally, “Ms. Preston and Ms. Alley have a long history of speaking out on this issue as a voice for parents and children—ever since the Columbine high school shooting when it was determined ringleader Eric Harris was taking an antidepressant known to cause violent mania. I think they could help us present information to the FDA which would be of immense benefit to all.”