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The New School Nurse Is Nurse Ratched 196

Posted by timothy
from the old-school-nurse-was-wretched dept.
theodp writes "In Ken Kesey's 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Nurse Ratched maintained order in the mental institution by dispensing antipsychotic and anticonvulsant drugs to the patients. Fifty years later, the NY Times reports that some physicians are prescribing stimulants to struggling students in schools starved of extra money, not to treat ADHD, necessarily, but to boost their academic performance. 'We as a society have been unwilling to invest in very effective nonpharmaceutical interventions for these children and their families,' said Dr. Ramesh Raghavan, an expert in prescription drug use among low-income children. 'We are effectively forcing local community psychiatrists to use the only tool at their disposal, which is psychotropic medications.'"
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The New School Nurse Is Nurse Ratched

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  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @08:32AM (#41640713)
    We've gotten to a sick point as a society. We know what works when it comes to education, it is no great mystery. Smaller classes, highly qualified and motivated teachers, involved parents. Instruction that imparts a love of learning and cultivates the desire to investigate the world around us.

    Instead of providing this, we drain schools of funding and treat teachers with hatred and distrust. Students in low income schools are subjected to draconian learning environments where their future is ruled by testable metrics and a discipline fetish.

    So doctors - despite knowing the significant risks of drugs that alter brain chemistry (especially with children) - are using their own tools to step in and help. Either they are way out of line, or they have hit the nail on the head by classifying academic performance as central to a child's long term health. Either way: they wouldn't be in this mess if we just invested in schools with a fraction of the enthusiasm with which we invest in bailing out banks and fighting wars.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Smaller classes, highly qualified and motivated teachers, involved parents.

      And community values.

      Ever wonder why Asian stiudents, no matter where they go to school, excel at academics while their American counter parts don't do as well?

      Community values which includes lots of parental encouragement - not all good admittedly.

      Asians as a whole value academics above sports and other activities.

      We Americans value the football hero, the entertainer, and the bling and superficial.

      • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @09:28AM (#41640925) Homepage

        You are over generalizing (on Slashdot? The Horror) and mixing up symptom and cause.

        One of the several root causes for academic failure is social failure. The vast majority of human children need a consistent, controlled and supportive environment if they are to get as much as possible out of schooling. Chaos doesn't work well for most. Since we've not done such a good job with the society at large, especially for economically disadvantaged people, we now try to take it out on the schools which are forced to be in loco parentis for a while. That hasn't been working out well either.

        So we turn to drugs. Simple. Easy. Better living through chemistry and all that.

        Ought to be an interesting experiment.

        If I were the DEA or persons of similar persuasion, I would be shaking in my combat boots. Another generation even more attuned to psychotropic medication than the last couple of generations - who were doing pretty good with just amateur status. How are you going to get these kids to try to make the artificial distinction between 'good' and 'bad' drugs. Especially since a lot of these are pretty 'bad' drugs - they can make you feel crummy, they have significant side effects. They work in the brain (natch) so somebody is going to actually like the way they make you feel and want to buy them off of you. Whatcouldpossiblygowrong?

        (Complacently sips caffeinated beverage).

        • by colinrichardday (768814) <colin.day.6@hotmail.com> on Saturday October 13, 2012 @10:29AM (#41641269)

          If I were the DEA or persons of similar persuasion, I would be shaking in my combat boots.

          What's in it for the DEA to actually end the use of illegal drugs?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Kurrel (1213064)
            By the same logic, every humanitarian foundation also has a vested interest in preserving human suffering and disease. Every mechanic, doctor, technician, developer, or whatever profession that is paid to fix things should be intentionally not fixing them to maximize profit, yes?

            So why do any of these things work?
            • Simple. People are not the one dimensional profit maximizers that classical economics- which is where that idea comes from- claims they are.
            • So why do any of these things work?

              Doctors, technicians, mechanics, etc aren't monopolized industries. The mechanic will genuinely try to fix your car, because if he doesn't then customers will take their money somewhere else.

              Government agencies, on the other hand, don't need to 'fix' their problem just so long as they can make a pretty powerpoint that says they are.

      • by Shavano (2541114)

        That would be parental involvement and the emphasis that individual Asian families put on academic success. In most of America, there aren't strong enough Asian local communities to really influence students. They just live too immersed in white, black or hispanic communities to feel much influence of Asian culture outside their home.

        But I agree that the excessiv emphasis on sports and other interests that is so common in America is not helpful for the long-term success of most minority students and the

      • We Americans value the football hero, the entertainer, and the bling and superficial.

        Well, those folks seem to make a lot of money, and they also seem to be constantly doped, coked, wiggin' and wasted to their eyeballs.

        So why not get kids on to the right career path to success early, and start 'mething them up in grade school?

        Bartender: "Another glass of hyper-oxygenated blood and a shot of EPO for you, Mr. Armstrong, sir?"

      • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@co[ ]et ['x.n' in gap]> on Saturday October 13, 2012 @09:54AM (#41641099)

        But as an Actual Asian Person, there's more to this story than that. Hang around Canal St. in New York sometime. Not all Asians have that hard grit academic drive.

        What happened was, a lot of Asian American families are first or second generation immigrants who were already successful and higher status. So they had the strict Asian upbringing AND the tools to enable the hard work ethic.

        It's a complicated matter, and I think you're grossly simplifying the scenario here.

        • From what I've seen there are significant cultural differences among Asians also. My neighborhood is almost 100% Vietnamese, mostly people who came over after the war. Academics are valued, but not anything like it is in Chinese neighborhoods populated largely by people who came here for graduate school.

          I know this is racist, so I'll get flamed for this for sure if anyone even reads it, but I also think genetic differences account for some differences between Asians and white Americans. From infancy my k

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The only intelligent thing about your reply is your decision to post it as Anonymous Coward. You have no specific knowledge that supports your worthless claims, have probably never traveled extensively in Asia, and are not well versed in Asiatic cultures or educational practices.

        Asia, the content encompassing many diverse, non-Oriental cultural groups, has no unified or enhanced characteristics of diligence or excellence over the rest of the world.

        My wife is Turkish, which is a country within the continent

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @12:18PM (#41641977)

        Have you ever done Peace Corps?

        The reason why Asian-Americans excel is because wealthy Asians emigrate to America. If you actually go to Asia, you'll find that it's just like the U.S.: rich kids go to good schools and poor kids go to bad schools. The only difference is that cheating's a-ok beacuse it lets the school, the administrators, and the students all gain face.

      • by russotto (537200)
        Which is worse -- taking stimulants (e.g. Adderall) to improve academic performance, or dealing with the pressure from stereotypical Tiger Moms to improve academic performance? Maybe better living through chemistry is a viable answer.
      • by rsilvergun (571051) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @02:01PM (#41642729)
        most Asian parents work. A lot. 6, 13 hour days is standard fare. I always here Asian parents trotted out as the example, but fact is there's no way to work those kind of hours and raise a kid. How do the majority do it? They let the government, specifically school teachers, who take a MUCH more active role in the students' life.

        As for Asians valuing eduction, that's because in most places it's a dog eat dog hell hole due to their surplus population (that's surplus, no over, population. Over pop means there's not enough, surplus means there's enough to abuse). Americans value those things not because of a weak culture but because we're wealthy enough we can.
        Put another way, I'm sick and tired of this weird cult of frantic, desperate, dog-eat dog work. The puritan work ethic is a scam that the Romney's of the world use to make excuses for their grotesque wealth.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Except that it's a money pit. We're spending $526 billion on primary education. Fire the administrators. Double the teaching staff. Eliminate tenure.

      • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @09:32AM (#41640943)
        False. Total Expenditures [ed.gov] for 2008 = 596 billion for both primary and secondary education. Of that, 506 billion was directly being spent by the districts (vs adult education, debt obligations, etc for the remainder).

        Plus, I wonder how much you know about schools that you would suggest firing administrators entirely.
        • by pspahn (1175617) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @02:08PM (#41642773)

          All it takes is working in education for even a brief time to understand that the majority of administrators should not be doing the job they are getting paid for.

          It's not so much that they are bad at their job, it's that their job is counter-productive.

          They dictate how classrooms should be run when they themselves have either never taught or haven't taught in 15 years. They are often completely out of touch with today's children.

          As a result, we end up with classrooms that are dictated to be run a specific way that simply DOES NOT WORK. Teachers get reprimands for straying from administrative policy even though it provides a better education for the kids.

      • http://www.pdfernhout.net/towards-a-post-scarcity-new-york-state-of-mind.html [pdfernhout.net]
        "New York State current spends roughly 20,000 US dollars per schooled child per year to support the public school system. This essay suggests that the same amount of money be given directly to the family of each homeschooled child. Further, it suggests that eventually all parents would get this amount, as more and more families decide to homeschool because it is suddenly easier financially. It suggests why ultimately this will be a

        • by fermion (181285)
          You now, all arguments are based on often unstated assumption. The three assumptions for home schooling are that it is inherently preferable for a parent to stay home to be there for the kids if they are needed, and that school as it is now is a negative influence the children who parents want to bring them up in a morale world. The third, and more controversial, is that 12 years of schooling is overkill.

          On the parent at home thing, I would argue this is already possible, though it does not happen becau

        • by pete6677 (681676)

          Everyone would win with that plan except the parasitic public employee unions and the politicians who the unions own. For this reason, it could never happen.

          Get the unions out of education and quality will be guaranteed to improve.

          • by AK Marc (707885)
            I grew up in Texas, where there is a union, but it is banned, by law, from taking action without approval. A union that can't strike or walk out or do anything has no power. Yet the schools there aren't any better, and are worse, from some reports I've read. So that doesn't agree with your assertion, and I've never seen anything that supports that assertion other than "I hate others having the freedom to associate, fuck freedom".
        • by AK Marc (707885)
          The problem is that the $20,000 per student is way too high. From the last numbers I remember seeing, less than half that is classroom spending. If you are going to compare 20,000 classroom spending (homeschool) to $5,000 classroom spending (public school) then declare a victory for "cheaper" homeschooling, I have to object.

          I have seen the same thing in comparing private schools. They pick the private schools with no building or administration costs (the small church-run ones where the buildings are free
    • I notice you left off "involved parents" from you "we do bad things" list. The #1 predictor of good school performance is parents. I'm not going to mention the elephant in the room, just like you.
      • by swalve (1980968)
        So what do we do about kids with bad parents? Just give up? Punish them for daring to be born into bad circumstances. Yes, good parents can make students better. But we don't have to let bad parents ruin good kids. The teachers just have to, you know, do what the profession was invented to do and fill in the gaps where parents fail their kids. We'd never have needed to invent schools if parents were good at educating their kids.
        • by AK Marc (707885)
          The problem is in solving for one case, we are punishing everyone falling into a different case.
    • Your missing the point. Their parents are "involved" but they don't want educated children, they want obedient children. Throwing money at schools won't change that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @08:39AM (#41640741)

    Ever notice the drug commercials? None of them address the underlying cause -- they address only the symptoms.

    * Your dick doesn't work: Don't get exercise that could actually improve your blood flow. Don't eat right. Take this ridiculously expensive pill. Notice the age of the men on these commercials has dropped from what once was older mean, now the guys could be in their late 30s. WTF?

    * Your cholesterol is thru the roof: Don't cut out fatty foods and fried goodies. Don't get exercise. Take this pill that has more side effects that the black plague.

    It's all about the money -- and it should be illegal. America hates drugs? Start with big pharma. They kill more people every year than illegal drugs.

    If I had my way, I would dictate all pharm companies become non-profit. All money goes to R&D and moderate salaries. Then and only then would the research perhaps be about people and not profit.

    These commercials now about one kid in 110 being autistic. No fracking way is this possible. ADHD? Same thing. When I was a kid back in the 70s, kids were hyper. It's normal. Now? Drug the poor things until they comply. People think a pill can solve anything. Want to lose weight? Take in fewer calories than you burn. Make sure those calories are good calories like fruits, veggies, lean meats like fish, turkey. Actually exercise. Almost no one was fat when I was a kid. Fat people were rare. Now? Almost 40% of Americans are considered fat. Why? The crap that passes for our food should be illegal. We need to become like Europe and ban all the junk. When it's about profit, the people get screwed. What's next? Soylent Green?

    • by ratbag (65209)

      Start with big pharma. They kill more people every year than illegal drugs.

      1. Citation required.
      2. Per user, or in absolute terms?

      Not that I disagree with your general point about commercials - I live in a country where this sort of advertising is forbidden.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2012 @09:14AM (#41640873)

        As no one seems to believe these numbers are real, I'll quote the source: The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4, July 26th 2000, authored by Dr Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

        That study, which is twelve years old -- and drug deaths have risen considerably since then -- documents 106,000 deaths per year from the "adverse effects" of FDA-approved prescription medications.

        To reach this number from outbreaks of violent shootings, you'd have to see an Aurora Colorado Batman movie massacre take place every HOUR of every day, 365 days a year.

        • As no one seems to believe these numbers are real, I'll quote the source: The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4, July 26th 2000, authored by Dr Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

          That study, which is twelve years old -- and drug deaths have risen considerably since then -- documents 106,000 deaths per year from the "adverse effects" of FDA-approved prescription medications.

          To reach this number from outbreaks of violent shootings, you'd have to see an Aurora Colorado Batman movie massacre take place every HOUR of every day, 365 days a year.

          Not surprising. The (only good) reason they are prescription medications is that they are dangerous. A 'drug' is just a poison with a useful side effect.

          Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison.
          The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.

          Paracelsus - from the 17th century, IIRC.

          And modern medicine is all about drugs. So those numbers don't surprise me a bit.

        • by ratbag (65209)

          Thanks, reading the paper now. Issues that occur to me so far:

          It's mainly for hospitalized patients - how many of these would have died whatever happened? It's hard to tell from the paper directly, since it cites other estimates from around ten years before, and I haven't been able to read them yet.

          How many people's lives have been saved or improved by "big pharma"? Same question for illegal drugs and Aurora-style massacres. Yes, it's silly question, but your equivalence between "big pharma" and illegal dru

      • by Type44Q (1233630)

        Citation required

        Let me guess: you're not a shill in real life but you play one on Slashdot. :p (Seriously, though...)

        I live in a country where this sort of advertising is forbidden.

        Conside yourself lucky that you're not here in the States to see this "over-fed, under-nourished and heavily-medicated" phenomenon we refer to as "society." My girlfriend and I only semi-jokingly refer to it as the NWO's obvious plan for population control here in the Western Hemisphere. No exaggeration: I'm about to turn 40 and virtually everyone I meet in their late 20's and 30's looks noticeably more aged

    • by OldSport (2677879)

      Address the root causes, and the market for the drugs evaporates. The last thing drug companies want is for you to take responsibility for your lifestyle and actually be healthy.

      • Address the root causes, and the market for the drugs evaporates. The last thing drug companies want is for you to take responsibility for your lifestyle and actually be healthy.

        Given the popularity of performance enhancing stimulants even at the schools preferred by those with functionally unlimited educational resources, I'm not sure that is usefully true in this case. Yes, drug companies want your money. And yes, symptom management for lifestyle diseases is a major market; but the idea that there is actually a state of human affairs without a market for drugs? If so, that'd be a first in human history...

    • by Gothmolly (148874)

      Then start living that way - dont whine about how the business-controlled government fails to act - why would it?

    • by martas (1439879)
      Meh, I don't think it's such a great idea to force all pharma to be non-profit. If there's demand for dick pills even with frequent side effects, why shouldn't there be supply? Now maybe there should be more restrictive regulation on what can be advertised (e.g. for serious conditions like depression, or high cholesterol, maybe even for any drug not explicitly stated to be only for 18+ people, I think there's good reason not to allow any advertising). But outright banning profit from pharma seems like overk
    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

      IANADoctor, but my understanding is that those cures aren't cures, either.

      Exercises can help ED a little, but can't repair the damage of time. Valves get weaker and leak more, so to even have enough blood to keep the corpus cavernosum filled, the pressure in the rest of the body would have to be raised to dangerous levels. Cholesterol can be cut out of the diet, but the blood won't be back to normal for decades, and in that time the patient faces much higher risks from having high cholesterol.

      Pills are just

    • by khallow (566160)

      We need to become like Europe and ban all the junk.

      Why? Because we have a bunch of fat people? Because somewhere, there's someone making money off someone's headache? Don't you need to have a reason first? LOL.

      When it's about profit, the people get screwed.

      And when it's about flimsy pretexts for running other peoples' lives, the people get screwed.

      • by AK Marc (707885)

        Because somewhere, there's someone making money off someone's headache?

        Somewhere, there's someone making money off causing someone's headache, and someone (not necessarily the same someone) making money off treating it.

    • by openfrog (897716) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @09:42AM (#41641011)

      I have mod points, but since you are well on your way to +5 insightful, I just want to add some data to this. I am interested in this topic, and I have noticed a series of articles in influential venues, like the Economist, the New York Times, etc. beginning a couple of years ago. They all have a common point: they are reporting some kind of controversial news, like here "doctors are prescribing drugs to poor kids to help them, is this good or bad", while the underlying message is unquestioned, that is, whether those drugs work at all. The underlying message is that they do and that would go without saying.

      In the case of the Economist article, unfortunately for the drug companies and the PR firms probably doing this work for them, the reader comments were devastating for this underlying assumption. This article was asking whether it was fair that some students could have recourse to "brain enhancing drugs" bought illegally (like the one used in the treatment of ADHD). Dozens of people having taken drugs as students in the hope of helping at exam times reported their horror stories, and shredded every point of the article.

      Big pharrna is financing PhD students in prestigious universities around the world, for work on the use of drugs, not for therapeutic purposes, but for enhancing the brain. This is something that I have myself confirmed meeting one of them.

      Now it is the Slashdot crowd being targeted. According to the comments I am reading already, I would say this is another mistake of theirs...

    • by trout007 (975317)

      I am amazed at how many people despise profit. Profit and loss are some of the most important things in a society. They are the single biggest factors that helps efficiently allocate resources. Think of it this way. Big profits is a signal that the demand for a good or service is so outstripping supply that people are willing to pay way more than it costs to provide them. In the same way losses mean people aren't willing to pay what it costs to provide something. In this situation those providers operating

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I am amazed at how many people despise profit.

        If people weren't going broke or indeed dying right now because big pharma wants to maximize its profit, your amazment would be understandable. Instead, it proves your moral bankruptcy. There's nothing wrong with individuals making a living providing health care or inventing medications, but there's no reason why anyone should die so that some already-rich dickwads can get richer. This is why if you truly want maximum health care at the best possible price it is necessary to take the profit motive out of me

        • by trout007 (975317)

          You are describing a utopia where there is no scarcity and no labor or resources has to be allocated to produce things. Where what people need is magically created just by wishing for it to exist.

          In the real world resources and labor is scarce and needs to be allocated. The most efficient way is a free market that respects property rights and contracts.

          You failed to read the rest of this sentence. "Get rid of profit and you have no way of knowing what people want and how to allocate resources to meet it." T

          • by sjames (1099)

            Actually no, he's not assuming resources cost nothing. He's assuming that a drug which costs 3 cents to make could sell for a dollar rather than 100 dollars, especially when the same company DOES sell it for a dollar in other markets.

            As for the rest, you're saying that if not for the obscene profits on pharmaceuticals we might mistakenly think people want more frequent migraines, floppy penises, poor sleep, and uglier more yellowed nails?

    • by udachny (2454394)

      It's all about the money -- and it should be illegal.

      - no, what should be illegal is government telling people what they can or cannot advertise, what drugs they can or cannot take.

      It should be illegal for government to impose patents and copyrights, that's what should be illegal.

      It should be illegal for government to set up agencies like FDA, which destroy competition and cause higher prices for all.

      It is all always about productivity, which means money. It's all business and only business is interested in satisfying the customers. But once government is i

      • Libertarians are incredibly naive.

        The reason we have an FDA isn't that evil Collectivists under Fascist/Communist influence decided to Destroy Freedom (tm). It's that conmen abused freedom by pissing in a bottle, calling it an anti-cancer wonder drug, and charging desperate people their life savings for it. When the modern FDA was created (1906) no Fascists existed anywhere, and Communists did not have any power in any government whatsoever. The President who signed the bill was Teddy Roosevelt. The modern

    • by Rockoon (1252108)

      Ever notice the drug commercials? None of them address the underlying cause -- they address only the symptoms.

      Every notice that lawyers buy commercial for essentially the same time slots? "Have you or someone you loved taken _____? You may be entitled to financial compensation! Call now!"

    • by swalve (1980968)

      Ever notice the drug commercials? None of them address the underlying cause -- they address only the symptoms.

      * Your dick doesn't work: Don't get exercise that could actually improve your blood flow. Don't eat right. Take this ridiculously expensive pill. Notice the age of the men on these commercials has dropped from what once was older mean, now the guys could be in their late 30s. WTF?

      * Your cholesterol is thru the roof: Don't cut out fatty foods and fried goodies. Don't get exercise. Take this pill that has more side effects that the black plague.

      First, you make the stupid assumption that people aren't already trying these things, or that they are suffering the effects of things that happened in the past. You can't tell someone to go back in time and live a healthier life. Secondly, who cares if they want to spend their money on dick pills? The reason there are so many drugs to treat symptoms is because nobody has figured out how to fix the underlying cause. By your logic, band-aids and casts should be banned- they just treat the symptoms, after

  • Tech the test and having funding be all about the TEST needs to go.

    As well college for all over more trades / tech schooling.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @09:05AM (#41640833) Journal

    While I'd be hard pressed to say nice things about the cheap seats of US educational policy, isn't it a trifle hyperbolic to equate ritalin and friends with the genuinely hardcore pharmaceuticals you'd find in a '60s psych ward(or even a present-day one, antipsychotics are not a pleasant bunch, on the whole)?

    It certainly seems like a bad plan to make psychiatrists(or GPs and nurses forced to fill in because real psychiatrists are expensive) the first-line people for problems that often have social fixes; but are the common psychostimulants really serious enough to fill the role of terrifying bogey-man here?

    • No, because a significant number of 'those' drugs are the same drugs that Nurse Ratchet was dispensing, or, at best, their slightly better behaved cousins. It's not just amphetamines (and they're pretty potent in and of themselves). It's haloperidol (Haldol), respiridone (Respirdol), Quetiapine (Seroquel) - all somewhat improved versions of Chlorpromazine (Thorazine).

      Drugs that I think twice of giving in the ER with an acutely psychotic person.

      This stuff goes well beyond antidepressants and benzos. It is

  • The problem is that "society" never can and never will replace the nuclear family. Until we realize this and start supporting the traditional family children don't have a chance.
  • Apropos of nothing in particular, I got this story first from the Daily Show, downloaded yesterday, broadcast the day before, and summarising TV news stories from earlier in the week.

  • Being a school nurse is not a resume enhancer. It's not a position most nurses will seek out. It is often a last resort because they've screwed up or washed out elsewhere.

  • THX1138 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kurt555gs (309278) <kurt555gs@@@ovi...com> on Saturday October 13, 2012 @09:32AM (#41640939) Homepage

    Really! They made a movie about this.

  • As a child of the sixties, I can testify that psychotropic medications are fuckin'-a great.

    I was medicated through half of high school and all of college. I was too broke to score during grad school, but managed to bogart enough from the trust fund babies in my class at Columbia to maintain.

    And look how well I turned out. My twelve-toed daughter is very proud of her old dad.

  • At least since the 1980s.

    See the racket is with big phrama, its a shell game. They get everyone hooked on drugs, and when they can't pay, they get the government to subsidize it.

    If the government subsidizes it, the poor can pay for the life destroying chemicals, and the tax payer foots the bill. Big Phrama is still getting paid somehow.

    Like other industries, they can use celebrities, hollywood PR goons and famous "liberal" personalilities to spin their racket into a "postive good".
  • As far as I know, the only person in my granddaughter's high school that did not have drugs was the school nurse. Changing this could cause panic!
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War_on_Kids [wikipedia.org]
    "The War on Kids is a 2009 documentary film about the American school system. The film takes a look at public school education in America and concludes that schools are not only failing to educate, but are increasingly authoritarian institutions more akin to prisons that are eroding the foundations of American democracy. Students are robbed of basic freedoms primarily due to irrational fears; they are searched, arbitrarily punished and force-fed dangerous pharmace

  • Surely the State medical boards should be reminding doctors that they are there to treat ILLNESS, not act as equivalents to the team "medical consultants" on your average Tour de France team or whatever.

  • The slashdot summary has this sentence quoted from a doctor: "We as a society have been unwilling to invest in very effective nonpharmaceutical interventions," hyperlinked to this [salon.com] blog post on Salon. However, there appears to be no logical link between the quote and the blog post. The blog post doesn't describe any "effective nonpharmaceutical interventions." Actually, what it describes is a situation where a sixth-grader wasn't interested in doing his school work, the parents tried dealing with it using no

    • by russotto (537200)

      If you believe the story (and I find it eminently credible, if biased), there simply was no problem with the kid. His test scores were high, but the teachers were put off by the fact that he "didn't seem to do any work". He had teachers who "were ready to retire, a little jaded and bitter". The principal was "a woman concerned primarily with the condition of her hair and nails". One teacher "notoriously disliked boys", another "could neither teach history nor control the class". Turning to drugs to cop

      • by bcrowell (177657)

        If you believe the story (and I find it eminently credible, if biased), there simply was no problem with the kid. His test scores were high, but the teachers were put off by the fact that he "didn't seem to do any work".

        I don't think it matters whether we believe her story or not. Regardless of whether we believe her interpretation of the situation: (1) there was a problem, which consisted of a mismatch between the kid's genetically determined, natural behavior and the modern social environment that his beh

  • Ignore the problem as long as possible and, when it no longer be ignored, look for the fastest, easiest fix without considering the long-term consequences (because, hey, it'll be someone else's problem by then, right?)

    It's easier to shove pills down their throats than it is to foster a supportive and productive environment (that takes time and effort ... who wants to do *that*?), but how will these kids cope in the future when their minds haven't learned how to function without psychoactive drugs?

    Oh, that's

  • I think the major problem here is the inflated role of academic performance. Our society drains the individual of value and reduces him to pieces of paper. What we need is to change society, such that people are judged on their individual merits and not on academic performance.

    Reform the educational system, provide alternate routes to good employment. Shutdown the school-prison pipeline.

    • by dadioflex (854298)

      I think the major problem here is the inflated role of academic performance. Our society drains the individual of value and reduces him to pieces of paper. What we need is to change society, such that people are judged on their individual merits and not on academic performance.

      Reform the educational system, provide alternate routes to good employment. Shutdown the school-prison pipeline.

      Absolutely. Now, we need to figure out a way to judge someone on their merits... without paper... and there was that employment thing... Whoa. This is too hard. Maybe that idea to make more prisons WILL solve the unemployment problem. At least we could try it. Some more.

  • Story, story, blah blah blah. Nurse Ratched was evil/good Winn from DS9 and Frank's mother from Shameless? I just.. I...
  • by DL117 (2138600) on Saturday October 13, 2012 @01:58PM (#41642701) Homepage

    There is an interesting misconception that all psychotropic drugs have sedative effects or make the user more submissive. That's not true. Antipsychotics are sedating, the older typical antipsychotics more so than the newer ones. However, stimulants are the opposite of sedatives. Antidepressants aren't sedatives. Most psychotropic drugs aren't sedatives.

  • Taking drugs so you can hit more home runs and command a higher salary is bad bad bad and may result in congressional hearings.

    Taking drugs so you can get a letter grade higher on that all important pre-algebra test is good good good!

    Does that about cover it?

  • for the most part, are about as effective as showing the kids pictures of fluffy pink bunnies? Just maybe. Sorry, but after you get a psychology degree, you're likely to get *really* unromantic about human behaviour. It's not magic, or unpredictable. You can fix certain things with chemicals, or other direct neurophysiological interventions commonly called "punishment" or "reward," but virtually all other merely cognitive or verbal efforts fail miserably.

  • Considering the drugs typically used to treat ADHD, and in light the sort of horrors the same drugs are described as being by the likes of DARE and the DEA, it seems our society is adopting a Trix-inspired motto: Silly adults, speed is for kids!

    Of course, there is a difference between using drugs and abusing drugs, but good luck getting drug warriors to admit that. As unhelpful as DARE has been since it's start, it reaches a new level of absurd when police officers come to schools to teach classrooms ful
  • See here at 7:48 [youtube.com] where the Mom has the Dog on an anti-anxiety medication :)

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