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The New School Nurse Is Nurse Ratched

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the old-school-nurse-was-wretched dept.

Education 196

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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carcass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41640695)

We can make the kids parents pay for pills to almost fix the problem.

Instead of actually fixing the problems which might be expensive and take a long time.

Cheap easy short term gains are awesome! Lets build an entire country like that!

Workers revolution is the only solution! (-1, Offtopic)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 2 years ago | (#41640703)

We need COMMUNISM NOW!

Hello Slashdort, I know that a lot of you harbor irrational anticommunist prejudices but you should just realize that itis only subconsciously your being jealous that I had amazing sexy all nignt with my love Laura and you didn't.

Re:Workers revolution is the only solution! (1, Offtopic)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#41640737)

but you should just realize that itis only subconsciously your being jealous that I had amazing sexy all nignt with my love Laura and you didn't.

I don't even know Laura. And I guess you'd not be happy if I had an amazing sexy night with her. :-)

Re:Workers revolution is the only solution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41641655)

We should all 3 have a sexy night with Laura!

Also, more on topic, whats wrong with giving the students what they need to excel if there are NO serious health detriments?

It sounds like some fundamentalist conservative garbage notion along the line of drugs and guns are bad and women belong in the kitchen.

Same idea with the attack against college students using adderal to get good grades. If its a "smart drug" we should all use it? Or is doing well in school a bad thing?

Re:Workers revolution is the only solution! (1, Offtopic)

Cwix (1671282) | about 2 years ago | (#41640947)

You name your blow up dolls? Creepy...

We've Given Up on Poor Kids (5, Insightful)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#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:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41640721)

As long as you get your guns, all is fine!

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41640749)

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.

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41640809)

The bling? What are you talking about, bro?

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41640925)

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).

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (4, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 2 years ago | (#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:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (3, Interesting)

Kurrel (1213064) | about 2 years ago | (#41642211)

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?

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41641817)

So, legalize every drug in existence.

We have people, who tell use we need certain drugs to get better, called psychologists, we trust them, right? But all they care for is the end results, the short term ones, since they're the most visible, and let's be honest, it takes them years of study to graduate, and years of work to get at least average at it, so, by definition a lot of time, they screw up. There's no manual for the human mind. Not yet.

Then again, we have the various "street vendors" who let you make your own choice about what drug you take, and IF you want to. What's ironic, is that recreational drugs are the easiest to make, and most popular. I wonder what would happen, when they start making antianxiety pills or other stuff like that, just as popular, but not as illegal ...

About one in every three persons have some psychological disorder. But who decides what's good and what's not? Take workahoolics for instance, a lot of them know they have a problem, but don't want to solve it. The need for success, greed, fear of failure, they're all psychological disorders, but they're also tools that help you move higher, help you ignore things that might otherwise hold you back.

So, next time you see someone successful on the screen, think about the little cogs spinning behind that facade too.

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (2)

swalve (1980968) | about 2 years ago | (#41642177)

So, legalize every drug in existence.

I'm mostly libertarian, but I fear a society where this would occur. It would look like the fucking Walking Dead. Have you been in communities with drug problems? It is terrifying.

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (0)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | about 2 years ago | (#41642675)

So do people walk around drinking alcohol all the time where you're from? Or do they exercise some self control and restrict their drinking to the evening.

Sure a few more people would do drugs, but the quality of the drugs would probably increase - why do crap drugs when you can get the new designer ones for a few dollars more. And those drugs would probably have fewer side effects.

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#41640955)

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 their families. For that matter, its not helpful for most white families.

That said, club or school team sports are a good thing for students who can participate. They teach kids that persistence pays off, that practice is important and that by working with others, you can achieve more than you can by yourself. But that you have to take those lessons into the classroom because 99.9% of the opportunities to have a career are in something other than sports and of those, 90% require a solid education. Less than 0.5% of all high school athletes will have an opportunity to even get hired in professional sports and of those, many will wash out in the first couple of years.

However, if you have pretty good talent and work very hard, there's a chance of getting a college scholarship. If you can do that, you've earned a free education, but even if you're in an NCAA division 1 college, your chances of making it to the pros are slim, so you should study something that will be your career, assuming that you will not make it to the pros even if you think you are the best guy on the field.

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#41640995)

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?"

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (5, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41641403)

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 you mentioned, and many of her family have emigrated to the US after excellent secular graduate level educations in the Middle East to complete their post-grads. Her father was an entrepreneur, a taxi driver, extortionist, and kidnapper, and has been barred from re-entry to the US, but she's earned several degrees and has a great job doing something she loves. I'm Japanese, but was from a poor fishing village with few educational opportunities and a dialect that is unintelligible to the mainland. My family builds boats and houses and fishes to stay alive, and some were out to sea trying to earn a living when the tsunami hit. They value hard work, whether it is applied to sports or academics. This is the only defining characteristic of our mutual successes, not the continent on which our mothers' waters broke.

Your response was lazy, poorly informed, and stereotypical. Maybe you didn't learn not to speak in your 'American' (How ethnocentric. May I assume United States native?) school by your family when you didn't have anything to say. Maybe what separates your concept of what makes someone an Asian in your mind from Westerners is that they don't try to look smarter than they are and thus never risk looking stupid.

Remember, if you want to do better, ganbatte!

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41641827)

Maybe you didn't learn not to speak in your 'American' (How ethnocentric. May I assume United States native?) school by your family when you didn't have anything to say.

Best. Sentence? EVAR. Grats.

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41642245)

So, as an obvious expert with English, what's the politically-correct adjective for something to do with the United States?

Unitedstatesian?

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (1)

russotto (537200) | about 2 years ago | (#41642017)

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.

You're looking at the very rich (4, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 2 years ago | (#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:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41640771)

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

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41640907)

Fire everybody and give me drugs!

As that great american patriot, Patrick Henry said,

"Give me librium or give me meth"

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41640921)

THANK YOU.

We spend more than enough on education. Unfortunately on the wrong areas. The public teachers union has the choke hold on the money without producing results. Look at what they were fighting about in Chicago, they did not want more money, they only wanted NOT to be judge on the performance of their job.

Smaler classes and highly qualified teachers, that equals cost which comes from tax dollars. Granted I would love to go over my school districts budget and operations with a fine tooth comb, but that lies in the hands of the politicians and that is the second problem.

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (3, Interesting)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Debunked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41641007)

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).

Excellent debunking! I'll just leave this here:
Pyrrhic victory [wikipedia.org]

Towards a Post-Scarcity New York State of Mind (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 2 years ago | (#41641959)

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 win/win situation for everyone involved (including parents, children, teachers, school staff, other people in the community, and even school administrators :-) because ultimately local schools will grow into larger vibrant community learning centers open to anyone in the community and looking more like college campuses. New York State could try this plan incrementally in a few different school districts across the state as pilot programs to see how it works out. This may seem like an unlikely idea to be adopted at first, but at least it is a starting point for building a positive vision of the future for all children in all our communities. Like straightforward ideas such as Medicare-for-all, this is an easy solution to state, likely with broad popular support, but it may be a hard thing to get done politically for all sorts of reasons. It might take an enormous struggle to make such a change, and most homeschoolers rightfully may say they are better off focusing on teaching their own and ignoring the school system as much as possible, and letting schooled families make their own choices. Still,homeschoolers might find it interesting to think about this idea and how the straightforward nature of it calls into question many assumptions related to how compulsory public schooling is justified. Also, ultimately, the more people who homeschool, the easier it becomes, because there are more families close by with which to meet during the daytime (especially in rural areas). And sometime just knowing an alternative is possible can give one extra hope. Who would have predicted ten years back that NYS would have a governor who was legally blind and whose parents had been forced to change school districts just to get him the education he needed? So, there is always "the optimism of uncertainty", as historian Howard Zinn says. We don't know for sure what is possible and what is not."

A "basic income" for all is an other solution...

Re:Towards a Post-Scarcity New York State of Mind (2)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#41642353)

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 because there is limited economic value. We no longer mend clothes, cook all meals from scratch, wash clothes by hand, or plant gardens to provide our families fresh nutrition. When I was a kid these things were mostly done, and were done with parents working. But even so, in this free market society people still want to stay home and take care of the house that takes care of itself, to watch soap operas and sports. But they need an excuse to do so. Home schooling is that excuse. And I have no problem with this. I just don't know how much the taxpayer should pay. If parent choose to keep the kids home, then cut expenses of the school proportionately and give back the money to the people who pay the taxes. To those that say we should pay parents to teach the kids, i say what is next, home nursing and pay a parent for putting on band aid, or giving an aspirin.

That said, I think we as a society can afford to make it possible for a parent to stay home. i know families where only one person works, the other parent uses the time to bring production in the house, or does work from home, in order to make ends meet. It can be done if one is willing to sacrifice. We have programs, such as the child tax credit, which makes it possible. Universal free health care for children will also make this more possible. I know parents who pay $500 a month for health insurance. So there are things we can do, that will help all families, not just those that want special treatment.

Second is the perceived immorality of public school. There is nothing that can be done about that. You either buy into the belief that it is ok for people you know to have differing beliefs or you don't. You either buy into the belief that a child is responsible for his or her actions, and if they get into a fight or do drugs that is a reflection on you and your child, or you believe that you have no control and have to do what everyone else is doing. You either believe that conflict resolution is best developed in a hotbed, or you don't. In any case alternatives already exists. One can home school, but, as stated, tax payers can't really pay for your private education. One can go to a private school, and most families can afford it if they want. A neighbor sent all three kids to private school a a very limited budget. Or a family can move elsewhere. Government cannot pander to every special interest, and families have to take some responsibility.

Third is the quality of education. Passing an SAT does not mean quality education. Not passing a state test does not mean a bad education. Again, this is mostly buy in. For instance, many high schools have an international staff which I think we all agree can help in college and work where top employers are now looking for the best employees, not the best americans. many high schools have advanced technological resources, above what many families can afford, and knowing how to use a computer to work, not just play games, is useful. Most parents are not going to have advance study in all subjects, so are not to be able to expose the children to specific questions that come from such study, i.e. teach instead of just show some movies. And I am not talking about the best schools. I am talking about even the well funded below average high schools. This again is buy in. Either deep learning and critical thinking is valuable or it is not. What I will say is that there are not very many manufacturing jobs, sales jobs do not pay as much as they used to, and paper pushing does not pay so much either.

On topic, giving drugs to kids is bad. Paying teachers that can mange the kids is a better solution. Focusing on learning instead of passing a test is better. If I had a job where my pay depending on some out of control kid passing a test on a particular day, then i might want to either have the kid our of my class or put the kids or drugs as well. The thing is there are many a principle who are this situation. People are not interesting in learning and personal growth, just passing a test.

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41642219)

Yeah, and how much are we spending on wars to go kill brown people?

We should double the amount we're spending on education and cut to 1/5th the amount we're spending on killing people. Our country and the world would be a much, much better place.

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41641309)

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.

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (1)

swalve (1980968) | about 2 years ago | (#41642217)

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.

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (1)

rosaliepizza (951681) | about 2 years ago | (#41641731)

There is a huge number of middle age kids who have learned to read, write and do arithmetic and have no idea the value or need of further learning. A strong case could be made for teaching technical skills at a much younger age as hands on learning is more interesting for many and at the end of high school they would have a marketable trade.

Re:We've Given Up on Poor Kids (1)

SMTB1963 (1893272) | about 2 years ago | (#41641859)

Middle age kids? WTF?

Ever notice the drug commercials... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (2)

ratbag (65209) | about 2 years ago | (#41640859)

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.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

XaN-ASMoDi (894073) | about 2 years ago | (#41640887)

If you're going to reference something, at least give us farking title

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41641299)

If you're going to reference something, at least give us farking title

how about a link to a PDF [jhsph.edu]

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (4, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41641749)

He can't. He's quoting [naturalnews.com] a website verbatim.

However, the title of the JAMA [jamanetwork.com] article is "Is US Health Really the Best in the World?", and it's available here [jhsph.edu] , though apart from the statement (accompanied by another citation that I'm not ambitious enough to track down) of the number of deaths, it says little else relevant to this story.

However, I used to work with those adverse effect records, and citing them directly is incredibly misleading. The 106,000 deaths is only a tiny percentage (0.06%) of the 170,000,000 Americans on prescription medications (rough mental estimate of 48% [cdc.gov] ), and it's inflated. The way adverse effects are recorded, any drug that could possibly be the cause of death is recorded as having definitely caused it. If an epilepsy drug causes a side effect, and the patient takes acetaminophen for it but overdoses and dies, the epilepsy drug is considered to be at fault, because the death was a result of its adverse effect.

The reason for this odd system of inflated numbers is that its purpose. The system was designed to inform doctors and researchers of what could happen as a result of a drug's use, including any previously-unknown interactions. By recording that an epilepsy drug, when taken with acetaminophen, could cause overdose symptoms, researchers could be pointed to an interaction between the two medications.

For direct deaths, the percentage (original research, no source) is closer to 0.001%, and the majority of these (to the point where I couldn't really differentiate "all") were where the prescription triggered an allergic reaction that wasn't already known (or at least recorded in the doctors' notes).

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41641887)

However

However

However

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 2 years ago | (#41642667)

The 106,000 deaths is only a tiny percentage (0.06%) of the 170,000,000 Americans on prescription medications (rough mental estimate of 48% [cdc.gov] ), and it's inflated.

WOW!

That's incredible! Essentially, half of Americans are sick?

(I've tried and failed to find a similar statistic for another country.)

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41640935)

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.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (2)

ratbag (65209) | about 2 years ago | (#41641015)

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 drugs is why we're having this little debate.

The number of deaths due to adverse effects forms less than half of the deaths from iatrogenic causes - is the problem really "Big Medical system as a whole"? I know a lot of people are happy to posit a conspiracy by the drug companies but are reluctant to blame medical professionals for whatever reason. Recognition that human errors occur, and learning from those errors, is to my mind more important than belittling the work that everyone involved in humand and animal health is doing.

Yup, I'm in favour of pharmaceutical drugs. I've had cause to take several of them in the past, mostly for mental issues (OCD, anxiety, etc.), but also migraines. In all cases except one (a doctor nearing retirement and seemingly a bit out of touch and too eager to hand out the happy pills), the medical professionals have been very reluctant to prescribe unnecessarily, recommending therapies such as CBT before drugs, waiting to see how those therapies progressed and giving me assistance in eventually terminating treatment when its work was done (ie tapering programs for anti-depressants). YMMV, since I'm a happy customer of the NHS and I suspect you don't have a similar system.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41641883)

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 and decrepit than I do...

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (2)

OldSport (2677879) | about 2 years ago | (#41640879)

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.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41640909)

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...

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 years ago | (#41640917)

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

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

martas (1439879) | about 2 years ago | (#41640919)

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 overkill.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41640941)

FFS, calories are calories .... take in less than you expend is correct, but please don't spout the loony bullshit about energy (which is what the calorie is a measure of - YES, IT IS ONLY A UNIT OF ENERGY WITH NO OTHER MEANING) being "good" or "bad"

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 2 years ago | (#41641317)

Perhaps the GP meant "good" calories in the sense that those foods have nutrients. Of course, it's then the food and not the calories that are good.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

swalve (1980968) | about 2 years ago | (#41642431)

Hey Seattle Sutton, it doesn't work that way. Calories in versus calories out is an archaic paradigm.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#41640957)

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 part of the picture. A competent doctor will urge patients to exercise and eat better for the long term, and offer the pills for the short term. Of course, there's few companies that have any money to spend on advertising diet and exercise, so you don't see any ads for that.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (2)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41640983)

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.

Slashdotters now the target! (5, Interesting)

openfrog (897716) | about 2 years ago | (#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...

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

trout007 (975317) | about 2 years ago | (#41641037)

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 at a loss look to see what industries are making big profits and try to shift production towards meeting that unfilled demand. This shifts labor and materials to where people want it most.Get rid of profit and you have no way of knowing what people want and how to allocate resources to meet it.

Now there are lots of things we could do to make this reallocation quicker and easier. The first would be to get rid of the concept of intellectual property. Let people and businesses concentrate on innovating and meeting demand and not worrying about if someone else did it first.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41641121)

I agree with the ability to make a living, not a killing. I don't care how you slice it, knowingly charging someone far more than it takes to make something and make a fair profit is not cool. I don't care about business or their profits. I care about fairness and equality. Society should strive for everyone to have a good education, everyone to have the same great healthcare, everyone to have a safe place to live that isn't in poverty. We should strive, for lack of a better example, to make the world a little more like Scandinavian society. I don't care if taxes are high as long as the services and other things are there that reflect an egalitarian society. If we all strove to help one another, we'd have more time to spend together and have fun, not slave for the man. Profit is overrated. I'll take a living over a killing anyday.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

trout007 (975317) | about 2 years ago | (#41641551)

I guess I have to make this clearer. Making a killing is important because it lets others know this is where the demand is and it shifts resources towards it which brings down prices and profits. You need someone to make a killing by charging what the market will bear otherwise the demand and investments needed to ramp up production CANNOT be identified.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about 2 years ago | (#41641917)

Without profit there would be no more investment in the research to make "wonder drugs" possible. Do you think that research is free? Do you think all the testing of a drug to get FDA approval is free? Do you think people in the pharmaceutical industry should work for free? Do you think that shareholders (the ones who actually OWN the company) are not entitled to a return on their investment? Do you know how much money is spent developing drugs that never get approved and never make it to market?

You need to learn about how business operates in the real world.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41641333)

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 medicine. Most of the new drugs you're being sold aren't actually any better than the old drugs, and many of them are worse, and have worse side effects, but the bar for bringing a new form of an old drug to market is much lower than approval for a new drug — because big pharma writes the FDA regulations, which are then rubberstamped. They do, after all, pay the piper more than enough to call the tune.

Get rid of profit and you have no way of knowing what people want and how to allocate resources to meet it.

When it comes to medicine, or for that matter education, it's not about what people want but about what they need. We can argue about that all day long but it's clear that many people aren't getting what any of us think they need, let alone their own ideas. Your suggestion that without profit there's no idea what people want is preposterous anyhow, because desire exists with or without a monetary system.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

trout007 (975317) | about 2 years ago | (#41641589)

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." The key part is how to allocate resources to meet those wants. Everyone has wants and needs. The question is how do you allocate resources to meet it? You provide no real method other than "They need it so they should have it".

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (2)

udachny (2454394) | about 2 years ago | (#41641247)

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 involved, the incentives get screwed up. With crazy fees and other costs added by the FDA it becomes unprofitable to research and develop drugs and procedures and methods for less known diseases, but it becomes very profitable NOT to research, but instead to milk the patent protection racket.

Take the same pill, modify it slightly from 'version to version' and then sell it as the next best drug in the world while being protected from any competition by the all powerful government.

Listen, I personally want the most research in biology and all the medical aspects of life and I know that people are inventive and that the best driver and motivator is a personal need - an itch to scratch.

That's exactly why I don't want any government to stand in between me and anybody in the WORLD coming up with ideas and trying to sell them to me. In the age of the Internet I (and most others) have enough access to information to make up our mind. We are all going to die at some point, so let us live our own fucking lives the way we fucking want, and if that means getting high on crack cocaine or on Zoloft, it should be our choice.

Saying that a business must become a 'non-profit' means saying that you want UNLIMITED TAXATION or borrowing or printing (inflation) to be spent on that nonsense, because to be 'non-profit' means exactly that. Once you regulate somebody to that point, that they can't make a profit by offering the best product to the market, they'll become part of government, and their salaries and bonuses will keep creeping up, as the efficiencies and productivity falls through the floor.

Sure sure, they'll invent SOMETHING, there is no question about it. F22 exists after all. But people don't actually need F22. They need something they WANT TO BUY and that's CHEAP, and that's not what governments do, and it's not what government structure encourages.

All money goes to R&D and moderate salaries.

- that's the most IMMORAL thing that you could do.

Of-course the government is already doing an immoral thing with patents, with FDA, etc.

Telling somebody, who wants to scratch his own itch, and who works in a garage: you can't do what you are doing, you can't attempt and alleviate some condition against some health issue, you can't do that for profit.

That's absolutely immoral. It's absolutely anti-human.

The most moral system that exists to create and distribute what people need is free market capitalism. That's the reason that the last 200 years have been so prosperous on this planet.

You see, governments have always wanted more power and they always existed, they always could DICTATE their ideology. But governments never invented Zoloft or computer screens or whatever. It's not what they do, it's not their purpose, it's not possible to do with their incentive structures and it goes against humans, against individual freedom to try and make one's life better on his own.

Of-course in other aspects of life you seem to be getting your wish. Collectivism is not dead unfortunately, you'd think people would learn over the last 100 years.

WWI, WWII, cold war, communism, fascism. It's all collectivism. Apparently people aren't learning from history and they will repeat it and on a bigger scale.

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

metalix (259636) | about 2 years ago | (#41641679)

Drug the poor things until they comply.

I think Trey Parker and Matt Stone are on to something with the South Park drug free treatment [southparkstudios.com]

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#41641891)

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!"

Re:Ever notice the drug commercials... (1)

swalve (1980968) | about 2 years ago | (#41642419)

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 all. My stupid cut should pull itself up by its bootstraps and quit bleeding all over the place by sheer force of will. If a germ gets in there and causes an infection, it serves me right for having weak skin. If my leg didn't want to be broken, it should have planned ahead and made itself out of titanium instead of stupid calcium.

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.

Maybe they do in gross numbers. But as a percentage of users? I doubt it.

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.

Why not just take it one step further and force their employees to work for free? Only then would you know for sure whether they were in it for a good reason, and not filthy money.

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.

Yeah, let's keep doing it they way we used to do it. Those little freaks should be mocked and beaten until they quit flapping their hands and chasing butterflies. If they can't just sack up and act normal, they deserve to live unfulfilled, unhappy, unproductive lives.

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?

You know why people were so skinny? Because food was expensive and there wasn't enough of it for a lot of people. That this is now a much smaller problem is a triumph of society. Why don't you worry about your own shit and let other people get fat if they want to? Buy some stock in Pfizer and laugh all the way to the bank.

Tech the test and having funding be all about the (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#41640745)

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

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

Re:Tech the test and having funding be all about t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41640813)

Forgot to take your meds this morning?

Hyperbolic much? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41640833)

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?

Re:Hyperbolic much? (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41640989)

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 more than a little concerning.

Re:Hyperbolic much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41641599)

Ritalin is like 4 amphetamines blended together. If a doctor didn't prescribe it you would be calling them junkies. If they are functional then you shouldn't be medicating them.

Re:Hyperbolic much? (1)

cvnautilus (1793340) | about 2 years ago | (#41642113)

Nope, Ritalin is like a completely different chemical. It's methylphenidate. No amphetamine in it.

Its not society's problem (2)

TodoRojo (1106857) | about 2 years ago | (#41640835)

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.

Re:Its not society's problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41640897)

Nothing more true has ever been said... Amen!

Re:Its not society's problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41641131)

Bullshit!! If 'society' exists as a cohesive entity, then the future of its youth are of paramount concern. You can't begin to convince me that poor students aren't disproportionately affected by the circumstance of their birth which includes a much greater likelihood of unhealthy environmental impacts from pollution, inadequate sanitation, deficient diet, and lack of opportunity generally.

Drug dependence, pharmaceutical or otherwise, is a ridiculous response to any problem as large as what leads to this type of situation. Whether it stems from inadequate protection or institutionalized malfeasance, chemical alterations or neurobiology in the absence of adequate direction from counselors, teachers, parents or peers is NOT a healthy 'solution' to the difficulties encountered during maturation of young minds in a complex social structure.

You can hide this from yourself in some misguided belief that stable social structures just naturally maintain themselves or you can open you eyes to the world around you and realize that health, education and welfare are responsibilities that are legitimately addressed as part of healthy democratic institutions and we're all better off doing so within a framework that promotes what we want rather than leaving it to the 'wisdom' of the marketplace.

Who the hell is Dr. Michael Anderson that I should accept his assertion that, “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid”? The fine article says he claims ADHD is "made up" but he treats patient anyway, and it's all paid for my Medicaid?

Here you go kid, I have no idea what's actually wrong, but since you can't seem to keep up, here! Take some speed!

Hey, let's all travel back to the 50's and visit the childhood of all the mommies on Valium, then travel forward and see how many of them developed some serious disorders in the Valley of the Dolls?

Care to compare the attitudes the circumstance and ask yourself why the War on Drugs is so ineffectual or why your leaders' priorities are so out of whack?

Re:Its not society's problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41641179)

What utter bullshit. Children do better in stable loving families, not just nuclear ones. I know lots of fuckups that came from what you would call a traditional family; dad works and beats mom, mom stays home and gets abused. Just like the 1950s!

Daily Show, my source for news for nerds (1)

ratbag (65209) | about 2 years ago | (#41640883)

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.

Re:Daily Show, my source for news for nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41640923)

How did you do that? Since I watched all shows without a single exception in at least the last 5 years, I know for a fact that there was no such story on TDS in the last weeks for at least 2-3 months. Let alone this Thursday. Here, check for yourself: http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/thu-october-11-2012-paul-thomas-anderson [thedailyshow.com]

Re:Daily Show, my source for news for nerds (1)

ratbag (65209) | about 2 years ago | (#41641055)

Doh. Sorry - Colbert Report not Daily Show. Wednesday: The Word - Meducation.

Schools don't get the best and brightest nurses. (1)

Picass0 (147474) | about 2 years ago | (#41640885)

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.

Re:Schools don't get the best and brightest nurses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41640913)

I disagree. School nurses make pretty decent salaries, work on average 200 days a year (60% of the year), have a fairly stress-free existence, and work Monday - Friday 7:30 - 4:30. It's not always about the money. I'd gladly trade, say, a 70,000 a year job with stress and only two weeks off, loose hour/work boundaries for a 45,000 a year job that gives me almost no stress, great hours, months off to spend with family. Money and titles are overrated. Life has no rewind button. Spend it with family or friends or spend it chasing a profit for some asshats who could give a monkey's toss about you or yours.

Disclaimer: I work for a school system.

Re:Schools don't get the best and brightest nurses (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#41641079)

Life has no rewind button.

Yes. But thanks to drugs, it has a fast forward button.

THX1138 (3, Insightful)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 2 years ago | (#41640939)

Really! They made a movie about this.

no biggie (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#41641049)

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.

Re:no biggie (0)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 2 years ago | (#41641241)

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

Which one? Malia or Natasha?

Its been this way for years.... (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 2 years ago | (#41641359)

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".

Unwilling to invest , no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41641377)

As a society, we have tried multiple ways of fixing educational under-achievement. We have free breakfast and lunch programs, money spent for tutoring illiterates, funds for experimental programs, various foundations trying the latest and greatest ideas and very little of it works. We are very willing as a society to spend money on academics, it is just they we have not found an universal solution. And in my opinion, a lot of the investment has gone to the lowest 10% instead of trying to raise everyone else.

This is a weird situation (1)

cvtan (752695) | about 2 years ago | (#41641439)

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!

Medical malpractice? + $ is available (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 2 years ago | (#41641899)

If you ask me, prescribing medications to people who don't need them is medical malpractice.

At a minimum, the FDA should step in and make each doctor swear that in his medical judgment, his patients actually need the drug for their health and that the drug would still be needed even if the school provided the appropriate educational environment for that child.

If the doctors won't swear to this, then suspend that doctor's right to prescribe the drug to that patient. If he will swear to it but is saying something else in public or even in private, then go after him for perjury.

If he really is prescribing the medication in good faith according to his medical judgment, then that's okay. Sometimes doctors do over-prescribe in good faith, but that's far different than deliberately over-medicating a patient.

As for the schools:

Parents and the doctors should file complaints with the schools and sue them if necessary for failure to provide reasonable educational accomodations. The ADA and other federal laws come into play here. Also, "we don't have the money" shouldn't be an excuse, as the feds provide extra funding for students who are in special education. Special-ed isn't what it used to be. Today smart kids who need special accomodations like smaller classes or a quiet place to do schoolwork during the day or after school are put in special ed for paperwork and funding purposes.

"The War on Kids" Documentary (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 2 years ago | (#41641921)

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 pharmaceutical drugs. The educational mission of the public school system has been reduced from one of learning and preparation for adult citizenship to one of control and containment."

How is this not malpractice? (1)

markdowling (448297) | about 2 years ago | (#41642063)

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.

...but we will throw money at it, no problemo. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41642181)

> We as a society have beenunwilling to invest in very effective nonpharmaceutical interventions

Alternatively, we as a society continue to be plagued by memes of the inherent value of spartanly toughing things out instead of throwing pills at things.

society "investing" is the cause of the problem (1)

bcrowell (177657) | about 2 years ago | (#41642237)

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 normal parenting techniques, that failed, and what worked was ... a pharmaceutical. The story told in the blog post leads to a conclusion that's precisely the opposite of the words in the hyperlinked quote.

What exactly does it mean in this context to have "society invest?"

Whoever put together the misleading slashdot summary seems to have in mind that we should have "society invest" in better schools. But the situation described in the blog post is one where basically the kid wasn't interested in doing school work, enjoyed wandering around the school and helping to fix computers, etc., and although some of his teachers thought it was cool to let him do that, not all of them did, and the principal didn't either. This situation doesn't seem to have anything to do with how much money their state was spending on schools.

I suspect that the doctor being quoted actually had in mind options like talk therapy, which is more expensive than prescribing pills. (WP says that specific types of non-drug therapy that are effective include "psychoeducational input, behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), family therapy, school-based interventions, social skills training, parent management training, neurofeedback, and nature exposure.") But the thing is, society *is* investing a ton of tax money in treating disabled kids. Special ed programs are extraordinarily expensive. At the community college where I teach, we have a whole disabled student center, with half a dozen full-time employees, who seem to spend most of their time helping the huge number of students who are diagnosed with ADHD.

If it was true that kids with ADHD just needed expensive non-drug therapy, and then they'd be fine, then we'd expect to see affluent parents paying for it out of pocket. But that's not what we see at all. What we really see is that affluent parents make sure their kids get drugs.

The real problem isn't that we need to have "society invest" more money in kids with ADHD. The real problem is that (a) kids lie on a bell curve in terms of their ability to learn (in a school environment, but also in any environment), and (b) there has been a long-term historical trend of requiring people to be more and more educated (e.g., a doctor in the 19th century usually has only a few years of college education). If education was really an equalizer in our society, smart working-class kids would end up being more successful than dumb affluent kids -- or more successful than affluent kids who just hated school. This would be unacceptable to affluent parents. It's an arms race, and everyone has the highest possible motivation to get their kid diagnosed with ADHD and get the kid taking the drugs that will allow him to compete.

The problem isn't occurring because of a lack of "investment" by society at large. Society has been investing for a couple of hundred years now in raising the level of education. The result of that investment is the extremely competitive environment we have now, where there is intense pressure on kids who are at the low end of the bell curve in terms of "doing school." Investment by society at large isn't the cure for the problem, it's the cause of the problem.

Re:society "investing" is the cause of the problem (1)

russotto (537200) | about 2 years ago | (#41642457)

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 cope is just the sort of thing that an adult might do in a similar situation.

The American Way (1)

epp_b (944299) | about 2 years ago | (#41642259)

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 right, nobody's thought that far.

Academic performance lacks intrinsic value (1)

DL117 (2138600) | about 2 years ago | (#41642459)

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.

Re:Academic performance lacks intrinsic value (1)

dadioflex (854298) | about 2 years ago | (#41642555)

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.

WHAT? (1)

dadioflex (854298) | about 2 years ago | (#41642541)

Story, story, blah blah blah. Nurse Ratched was evil/good Winn from DS9 and Frank's mother from Shameless? I just.. I...

"All drugs are sedatives" (2)

DL117 (2138600) | about 2 years ago | (#41642701)

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.

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