Monday, March 06, 2006

Florida Rep Documents Youth Suicides on Antidepressants



Florida State Representative Gus Barreiro will release a report on a study just completed which documents that 96 Florida children ages 18 and under who used psychotropic drugs, committed suicide over a five year period from 1999 to 2004.

This number represents an astounding 38% of the total youth suicides during that time period.

Rep Barreiro stated, “This report is significant in light of the September 2004 ‘Black Box’ warning given by the FDA for all antidepressant use in children due to the risk that they may cause suicidal behavior. This report suggests that the danger is even worse than indicated by the FDA.”

Additionally, in June 2005 an FDA advisory committee recommended placing warnings of suicidal behavior for children using the popular “ADHD” stimulant medications, which are being given to some 2.5 million children in America today. This report showed 36 children committed suicide while using these drugs, or with a history of using them.

The report states that the percentages may actually be higher as in some cases all information on use or prior history of use of psychiatric drugs was not available.

Rep. Barreiro intends to release the report and accompanying documentation to the press at a press conference at 12 noon, February 23, 2006 on the steps of the old Florida Capitol building. Rep. Barreiro will also be participating in a gathering at the same time and place of a coalition of human rights, education rights and youth rights organizations in support of a bill sponsored by Rep Barreiro in the Florida House and Sen. Victor Crist in the Florida Senate. The bills if passed will guarantee the right to full informed consent for parents whose children are referred for psychological type evaluations through the school system, which commonly result in recommendations that the children be given the type of dangerous psychotropic drugs identified in this report.

“These drugs are dangerous and there is no question that they kill children. Parents need to know the consequences. We fully expect this bill to pass through the legislature this year and we hope that the Governor will sign it into law. It is long past due,” Rep. Barreiro stated.