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Letters From Listeners
Let's Not Just Drug 'Em
Let's Not Just Drug 'Em
10/03/2011

Dr. Laura,
 
My husband works in respite care; his clients are mainly bipolar, autistic, and deaf children. I happened to meet one of his clients while my husband and I were walking around the local park -- what a cutie! He's 13 years old and has been "diagnosed" with severe behavior disorders, including bipolar.  The list goes on and on and on, and, ironically, so does his list of medications.

At the end of the day, I hear some of the situations my husband deals with while working and at first I was convinced his client NEEDED all of his medications.

However, since I began listening to your program and really sitting back to examine things I can clearly see that's not the case.

Yes, the boy has bad behavior, yes he has an attitude much bigger then himself, yes he's a hand-full but he's also from a home that's below lower-class, his father is a tyrant, his mother is a drunk, and his brother is bullying him.
 
To begin with, he barely stands a chance.
 
I'd be angry too.

I'd act out too.

What other way does he have to release his thoughts/emotions than to act them out, even if in a negative way?

But instead of getting him help he's on narcotic medications his doctors' claim "don't affect him negatively because there aren't any side effects and they're non-addictive".

Yeah. Right.

His medications...make this 13 year old look and act crazy. His behavior is severe, he's hallucinating, doesn't eat, sleeps minimally, and he has such jerky movements he looks like a robot.

No side effects my ass!

I had heard from my husband's co-worker the young man was being sent to a facility if he didn't start improving under my husband's care (he's the best worker in the company) because the family, doctors, and family counselor don't know what else to do. The same day I found that out, I listened to your program and heard of the Drake Institute that works with people with Autism, Bipolar disorder, etc. without drugs and I thought to myself "this is his last hope!" I printed up the information and asked my husband to talk with his boss about it. He did and was shot down. Why send the boy to the facility I suggested when they could send him to a different one that costs 3 times as much, one that the taxpayers can pay for?

I don't understand it and I probably never will.

What an injustice to this young man...and I wonder, how many more children are being put through the same thing?

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