April 18, 2012 - Once again, I love my job. One of the cool things about being Johnny-On-The-Spot, Ace-Reporter, and Award-Winning-Columnist of Don't Rush Me fame, Don Rush, is community contact. Readers write!
They write me, they write opinions, articles and books. And sometimes (if I am lucky) they write me about the books they write or causes they are championing. I was geeked when Clarkston jeweler/bed & breakfast operator Buck Kopietz told me about an Independence Township resident and Clarkston pharmacist who had written a book about medicating youth.
My spidy-senses started a'tingling, my heart started a'pittering and a pattering and my palms started a'sweating when I heard that news. (Usually what that type of news means is I get to read another book for free, and being the cheapest guy in town, getting to read free books sets my happy feet a'tapping. I don't know if it is true or not, but I have been told I get a certain glow on when I get free stuff. I guess I'm just kooky that way.)
So, with much anticipation I waited to hear from the pharmacist who says we are buying too many drugs. I love the irony there, don't you?
Frank Granett, RPh, is a dapper-looking dude in his white pharmacist's coat. Neat hair, cool mustache and well spoken. He and his wife have six kids at various stages of their educational journeys. And, from one of those journeys, a tragedy led to Frank writing, Over Medicating Our Youth.
The thing is Frank sees the amount of mind/mood altering drugs doctors are prescribing children. He fields the questions from well-meaning and worried parents and he's done his research. He likes to quote a United States Senate report from 2011, in regards Child Foster Care. A number of states (including Michigan) were investigated and it "uncovered excessive and inappropriate prescribing of ADD stimulant and psychiatric medications to children within the foster care system."
Did you know, says he, that since 1987 sales of A.D.D. and psychiatric medications have increased from $1.5 billion to over $100 billion annually?
His book's introduction starts, "The medications used to treat attention deficit disorder (ADD) as well as psychiatric disorders are being prescribed to our youth at an alarming epidemic rate. America's children consume over three times more ADD and psychiatric medications than the rest of the world's children combined . . . This book offers constructive guidance to parents, educators, physicians, policymakers, and the drug industry for the purpose of realizing the dangers of overmedicating our youth . . .
". . . The United States leads the world with over 120,000 annual deaths due to overall adverse drug reactions, including overmedicating, which makes this statistic the third leading cause of death after cardiac disease and cancer."
His book is just shy of 200 pages. It's an easy read. And, if it were available I'd recommend you pick up a copy today. But it isn't, so I won't. It can be ordered now and should be in print early this June.
Frank says he is not about trashing one industry over another. He says, though, before medicating a child, a thorough screening needs to be completed. The screening needs to include nutrition, blood toxicity, psychological counseling and even spinal alignment (nervous system). In other words, the entire child's being needs evaluation.
He also warns, if your child is currently on medication NOT to cut 'em off cold turkey. Start getting the evaluations done and work WITH your doctor.
Frank is also spearheading a new group called the Coalition Against Over Medicating Our Youth. To that end, there's a meeting June 5 at the Clarkston High School Auditorium, 7 to 8:30 p.m. He will speak, and be there to talk about and sign his book. (I am sure he's up to selling a few copies, too.) You can go to www.overmedicatingouryouth.com for more info.
I hope to interview and tape Frank for my on-line show, at www.ClarkstonTV.com Watch for news of this. I will post it on-line and here.
Aren't you geeked?
Something that can have profound affects on individuals and the nation is starting right here in our backyard -- we can watch it grow. That (along with free stuff) gets me stoked!
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: email@example.com