April 29, 2014

Ask Anthony: More Meds for Kids?


Anthony is pretty much an expert on everything.

Dear Anthony,

I heard they’re medicating kids even more lately.

My son seems to be suffering from boredom. Got any dish for me?


Buy Curious in Bologna


Dear Buy,

First of all, my mom, who was an Irish woman and packed a real whallop, used to say that only boring people get bored. I offer you that for your edification, and because I love you more than a tall glass of ice water on a hot day. Well, not more than that. Let’s just say the ubiquitous: “more than anything.” Well, I mean, definitely not more than toast. I love toast! Let’s just say I love you, and leave it at that. And not like I want to move in with you. You don’t even know me. Stop pressuring me!

Mom would say, “It’s not my job to entertain you.” Which was true. And I would say the same to you right now. Except that that kind of is my job. So what was your question? Oh, yeah, glad you asked.

If you don’t know how enormously ugly is the unapologetic pill hawking taking place today, picture a twelve foot giant shoveling the things into kid’s mouths like so many M&Ms. Or picture a super-soaker filled with honeyed liquid candy soda, aimed right at them. No a fire hydrant. Picture them opening a fire hydrant full of distilled relaxation, holding kids at the aperture, and… Wait forget it, that’s gross.

See what PBS has to report. Hit that link and choose number three, “The Promoters of ADHD.” To thwart laws against advertising drugs, big pharma funds pill booster clubs, lobbyists and doctors to spread the good word. Laws have appeared that give kids with the diagnosis extra time to do their homework. Were these laws purchased? Was your mother female?

The affluence and vulnerability of today’s parents has met the enormous pliability of our legal system to create a perfect storm. It is pouring pills, people.

Climate Kid 2

There is a new kids-med thing on the near horizon, too. Oddly enough, like so many new things, it is uglier than a chatty mother-in-law with missing teeth. “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo” is the new black, apparently. Psychologists will soon be able to medicate millions, plural, more children. You’ll be able to get pills for your kids to safeguard against those days they’re just kind of being an idiot.

Symptoms of Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (seriously) include frequent daydreaming. Daydreaming. If they had a jail for that, I’d be serving life without parole. I’m sorry but instead of finding ways to drug these kids into attentiveness maybe we need to look at the educative process.

Standing in front of a blackboard and delivering information cannot compete with the quality of stimulation offered to today’s kid outside of school. Re-tooling education to make it exciting might be a genuine challenge, but please, spare us from more of this pill barrage. Medicating them into submission is seriously going to screw us up, going forward.


One of your author's daily daydreams.

One of your author’s daily daydreams.

What can we do about it? Absolutely nothing. Our nation is not for sale at all, it is sold. We are a corpocracy. The very best course of action is to blithely go from this report to the next form of mild amusement offered by your screen. We are powerless and have no choice. We are the clam in the spider’s web, the owl in the barroom. We are the final frog, standing on the cliff’s edge, with a blueberry muffin in one hand, and a crumpled up copy of the Constitution in the other.

If I sound emphatic, it’s only because prescribing pills to daydreamers is like mass producing addiction, except without the word “like.” I’ve seen addiction from close up. I do not have an agenda to thwart the jolly billionaires who produce these drugs and then simply broaden the need for them. Hell, free enterprise is a beautiful thing. I just don’t want to be, say, renewing my motor vehicle registration, or buying a movie ticket, or in a check out line, and have to see this. This. Grey drugged quiet colorlessness.

So I pray. I am my favorite idiot.

Give me screaming.

Give me howling. I’ll take full-on, flat-out tantrums, and be grateful for them. Let me have a miniature riot at the gas station while I’m just trying to fill the tank. But please, spare me from the invariably over-medicated population this new syndrome will create. Do not, repeat, do not, let loose the midget zombies.


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Editor: Travis May

Photo: Pixoto, Flickr

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