Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Strong Prescription Drug Use Spike In Teens

TRENTON, N.J.- The number of adolescent girls taking drugs for Type 2 diabetes nearly tripled in just five years, while use of chronic medicines for psychotic behavior and insomnia roughly doubled among boys and girls aged 10 to 19, a study shows.

Meanwhile, adolescents' use of drugs for depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, leveled off or dropped in the last two years, after widespread new warnings about safety concerns.

The study, an analysis of prescription drug use from 2001 to 2006 among 370,000 insured children aged 10 to 19, was conducted by Medco Health Inc. of Franklin Lakes, N.J., the country's biggest prescription benefit manager, and released exclusively to The Associated Press.

Experts say the findings raise questions about physical and mental health problems in youth, the appropriateness of putting them on strong, long-term medicines mostly designed for adults, and whether it might be better to focus on other strategies, such as counseling, exercise and changes in diet, caffeine intake and bedtime routine.

"There's increasing use of medication in children the last 20 years, but does that mean we're treating them successfully or that we're overmedicating?" said Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. Probably both, he said, but some children aren't getting needed help.

Dr. Wayne Snodgrass, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics' committee on drugs, said the levels of medication usage found in the study might be appropriate, but it's hard to know without details on why each prescription was written.

"It deserves watching," he said, particularly because adolescents' brains are still developing. Snodgrass said worried parents should question their child's doctor about their treatment or seek a second opinion.

Denver Post

No comments: