In 2001, Harry Markopolos repeatedly warned the authorities about Bernie Madoff. No one listened. Only a serious downturn in the economy led to Madoff’s downfall. It’s not a Ponzi scheme, but once again, no one is listening and the red flags are everywhere. This time the victims are our very young, innocent children in the millions. Today, children as young as 2, are being prescribed powerful anti-psychotic medications. Side effects include tics, drooling, and incessant eating. Some children have gained up to 100 pounds and often progress to becoming diabetic.
The use of powerful drugs to treat younger and younger patients has gone far beyond disturbing. The age of children being medicated with prescription psychiatric drugs is getting younger and more widespread every year. According to a 2010 study of data on more than a million children reported by American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s journal, the use of powerful anti-psychotics with privately insured U.S. children, ages 2 through 5, doubled between 1999 and 2007.
The twin murder trials of the parents of Rebecca Riley, who died at age 4 of an overdose of the psychiatric drug, clonidine, have cast a spotlight on the beliefs and practices of the doctor who prescribed the drug. Kayoko Kifuji was granted immunity in both trials in exchange for her cooperation for testifying. Reactions from jurors, comments online and letters to the editor based on newspaper accounts of Kifuji’s testimony range from confusion, shock, and outrage directed at the doctor’s role in the tragedy.