Monday, April 26, 2010

Bigger problems on the horizon?

This is an interesting debate that could hit mainstream very quickly. The DSM is undergoing a rewrite, and according to Dr. Allen Frances, it could lead to many more people being diagnosed with mental disorders. It's making the symptoms more general, like the current edition did when it stated that "depression in kids can be a persistent irritable mood".

This could lead to very dangerous consequences, not just the fact that diagnoses could sky rocket for mental disorders such as bi-polar, ADHD, depression... disorders that require (or are most often prescribed) mood altering drugs. According to research (in the second link), the most common drug Adderall, has very serious side effects, and is one of the most abused prescription drugs.

Could this mean that once the new DSM is published that Adderall, (and other easily addictive and abused drugs), will be more accessible? The new guidelines that make it easier for people with true mental disorders to get a diagnosis for insurance companies also make it easier for drug dealers / addicts to get their hands on the substance as well?

Psychoactive drugs are the second most-prescribed drug class in the country, with some of the more potent going to children. Will this only cause these numbers to increase and the psychoactive drugs beat out cardiovascular drugs (the most prescribed drug class)?

(In case the enclosed URL doesn't work... this is the second link to the Adderall information: )

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