Thursday, December 2, 2010

Child Insomnia and Sleep Medication

I came across this article titled Our children aren't sleeping and we're medicating them. The article examines the frequent use of prescription medication for the management of insomnia among children.

After reading The Anxiety Cure by Dr. Archibald D. Hart, I had come to the conclusion that the use of medication among children was used but not very commonly and only when it is the only other option. From reading this article and the study that the article was based on, I realized that the use of prescription medication is actually fairly common. The study consisted of a sample of 1,500 members of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The sample completed a survey regarding clinical practice with the use of prescription and non-prescription medication for child insomnia. The results, in my opinion are very surprising. The results state that when treating child insomnia, 96 percent of the sample recommended the use of prescription drugs within one month.

This article not only surprised me, but also frightened me that the use of prescription medication is recommended so frequently. I understand that there are instances where the use of prescription medication is necessary, but I also remember reading in Hart's book that insomnia is a symptom. Therefore, instead of treating the insomnia, health care professionals should be treating the problem. Not only should they be treating the problem, but also treating it first with methods other than prescription medications. The article notes that those who used medication to treat their problems early on in life will be more likely to need them later on in life. Is this going to cause a further increase in the need for prescription medication? And for many an inability to sleep throughout life without medication? I believe that prescribing medication for children with insomnia should be done only when necessary and with extreme caution.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree! Health professionals now a days are so quick to prescribe medication to it's clients especially young children. Kids are seen and immediately labeled and given medication as a remedy. They then grow up not only dependent on drugs and medications but with a negative label.

    Medication in the right circumstances is beneficial but it is not always the right solution especially for the developing mind of a child. As counselors we need to take the time to evaluate situations and make sound decisions to work with patients not simply write them of a bottle of pills.


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