Matt's Crow Country: These drugs don't work (for everybody)

I ALWAYS find Louis Theroux s documentaries an eye-opener. This week he was at his unassuming, thought-provoking, best, in a programme entitled America s Medicated Kids, which looked at the increasing number of children in the USA who are taking drugs to

I ALWAYS find Louis Theroux's documentaries an eye-opener.

This week he was at his unassuming, thought-provoking, best, in a programme entitled America's Medicated Kids, which looked at the increasing number of children in the USA who are taking drugs to combat the effects of psychiatric illness.

Theroux visited a number of families, and I was shocked to see children as young as 11 taking up to three of four different types of psychoactive medication each day.

Judging by the footage shown, the drugs calmed most of these children down somewhat, but also turned them into characterless zombies.


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Now I can't imagine how difficult it is to cope with a child who has mental illness, but it seems to me that subduing them in this manner is not the answer. All it does is suppress the problem.

I have to say that I found some of these parents to be more than a little selfish. Their actions appeared to be driven by a wish to give themselves a quiet life rather than doing what is best for their children.

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In days gone by, when there wasn't a myriad of pills and potions to fall back on, people found ways to deal with these conditions, rather than taking this easy way out.

Admittedly some of the youngsters featured were in therapy too, but at the end of the day most of the parents featured relied on the medication to keep their offspring under control.

Much of the blame must lay at the feet of the doctors who were prescribing these treatments.

And if you ask me it is a shocking indictment of the American healthcare system, and their society in general, that this kind of over-medication of young people is tolerated, and is becoming routine.

I hope we don't go down a similar route in this country.

A DARK cloud currently hangs over the nation, and I'm not talking about volcanic ash.

No, it's the return of television's worst creation of recent years, Britain's Got Talent, which crept back on to our screens last Saturday.

I object to BGT on a number of levels, one of which is it only serves to give yet more airtime to Piers Morgan. The ITV executive who decided to try and turn this chump into a television personality needs to take a long, hard, look at themselves.

But moreover I find the exploitation of the desperate folk who take to the stage in front of Morgan, Simon Cowell, et al to be more than a little distasteful.

If any of them had an ounce of talent, they would "make it" to the big time under their own steam. Instead they sell themselves in the vague hope of finding fame, and allow Cowell and his cronies to ridicule them for our viewing pleasure.

Hopefully I will be able to avoid this pathetic show until it disappears from view again in a few months.

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