CCHR Reports 1 Million Decline in US Children on Mind-Altering Drugs

We need to take the number of American children being drugged down to zero and use workable educational, medical and other solutions that don’t harm in the name of mental health and racism. – Rev. Fred Shaw

Mental health watchdog and racism task force report encouraging IQVia statistics: 15% decrease in children prescribed psychotropic drugs since 2017, including 8% drop in 2020. Wants minority groups to take heed not to drug children impacted by racism.

By CCHR International
The Mental Health Industry Watchdog
February 9, 2021

Resilience may have paid off in the past year of restrictions, despite its challenges, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights and the Task Force on Racism and Modern-Day Eugenics report, as statistics show a decrease in Americans using mind-altering prescription drugs. According to IQVia, a healthcare data source, there was an 8.4% decrease in those aged 0-17 years old taking psychiatric drugs between 2019 and 2020 and a 14.7% decrease since 2017.[1] The groups applauded the decline and want to ensure that in the wake of racism exposure, African American and minority children are not targeted for such drugs that can carry debilitating effects.[2]

Americans of all ages taking or relying upon these drugs dropped by more 1.2 million—from 78,195,307 in 2019 to 76,940,157 in 2020. In 2017, 7,213,599 0-17-year-olds were on psychiatric drugs.[3] This decreased to 6,726,189 in 2019 and 6,155,852 in 2020.

Rev. Fred Shaw, a spokesperson for CCHR, co-founder of its task force on racism and president of the NAACP Inglewood-South Bay, California, branch, said the decline in the drugging of children is encouraging but added a warning. In launching the statistics during Black History Month, he said: “During the racism and black restraint death protests last year, psychiatrists defined African American’s natural response to racism as PTSD—a ‘mental illness’ to hook them into a system that has already over-represented them with psychiatric interventions, including disabling antipsychotics. The Task Force’s community is very concerned that Blacks would be targeted for more mind-altering treatments, as has been historically documented.”

The American Psychiatric Association recently apologized for its role in creating cultural racism, which included an over-representation of Blacks prescribed antipsychotics that can cause them permanent damage.[4] Some psychiatrists even believe that racism is a “mental disorder”—not a choice to devalue, dehumanize and manipulate certain groups, Shaw said.  There are even theories that brain scans may be able to pinpoint racism in the brain and that a pill could be developed to overcome racism.[5]

Shaw said that CCHR had well-documented how current pills can cause violence and suicidal reactions. “In this scenario, both the racist and his prey are drugged.”

“Labeling racism as a mental disease, over which you have no control,” Shaw said, “is as bizarre as inventing the diagnosis that runaway slaves suffered from a form of madness called drapetomania.” The “treatment” for this was “whipping the devil out of them” and was justified in “medical” terms that it made “idle” Blacks “take active exercise,” vitalizing blood to their brain “to give liberty to the mind.”[6]

Black History Month should expose the history of such abuse. Psychosurgery was used on African American children as young as five at the University of Mississippi to control “hyperactive” and “aggressive” behavior.” Their brains were implanted with electrodes that were heated up to melt areas of the brain that regulate emotion and intellect.[7]

The Task Force says African American children become the brunt of being labeled mentally “diseased”: they represent 23% of the foster care population yet comprised only 14% of the child and adolescent population.[8] Foster care kids are sometimes given five or more psychotropic drugs at a time, with some younger than five.[9] “The drugs have damaging side effects for any child, no matter their race or color,” Shaw said.

He pointed to how a pharmaceutical company-funded mental health advocacy group had stereotypically reported that Black Americans are more likely to be exposed to factors such as homelessness and violence, which puts them at greater risk of being mentally ill. They also claimed that the black community is 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population—thereby, targeting them for treatments with long-term side effects. Also reported is a high school expulsion rate and that African American preschoolers are three to five times more likely to be expelled than their white, Latino, or Asian-American peers and up to 14% of youth with mental health problems receive mostly Ds and Fs (compared to 7% for all children with disabilities). Shaw says this is more likely the result of discriminatory or poor education and other oppressive social policies—not “mental illness.”

“Touting such scaremongering figures only profiles and stereotypes African Americans further, especially children and youths, calling them ‘disordered’ or ‘victims’ rather than recognizing that racism has been embedded in the mental health system since the days of slavery. That’s the real problem that needs to be changed and to be held accountable, not those who have been subjected to it,” says Shaw.

The late Isaac Hayes, Academy Award-winning composer, musician, actor and an advisory board member for CCHR International, once warned: “Psychiatric programs and drugs have ravaged our inner cities, helping to create criminals of our young people, and all because psychiatrists and psychologists were allowed to practice racist behavioral control and experimentation in our schools, instead of leaving teachers to just teach.”

Shaw says Hayes’ message still rings true today and recommends parents and all African Americans—indeed, any minority group, including Native Americans and Hispanics—visit the Task Force website to gain more knowledge about informed consent rights: “We need to take the number of American children being drugged down to zero and use workable educational, medical and other solutions that don’t harm in the name of mental health and racism.”






[5] Phillip Perry, “Is Racism a Form of Mental Illness?” Big Think, 15 Feb 2017,

[6] Samuel A. Cartwright, M.D., “Report on the Diseases and Physical Peculiarities of the Negro Race,” New Orleans & Surgical Journal, 1851; Thomas Szasz, Insanity, The Idea and Its Consequences, (John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 1990), p. 306, 307;


[8], p. 14; “Foster Care Statistics 2017: Numbers and Trends,” March 2019, p. 8,

[9] Elaine Korry, “California Moves To Stop Misuse Of Psychiatric Meds In Foster Care,” NPR, 2 Sept. 2015,