Beware of drug pushers in white coats

By Daniel J. Flynn
The American Spectator


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week that nearly one-fifth of high school-age boys have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Doctors eventually medicate two-thirds of them. The diagnoses represent a 41 percent increase over the last decade.

The primary gateway drug for teenagers isn’t marijuana or beer. It’s prescription medication. As the New York Times piece breaking this story points out, feeding a child a daily diet of Ritalin increases the chances of dependency, anxiety, and psychosis.

It’s easy to wage a war on drugs when the enemy combatants wear tie-dye and long hair, or gold chains, track suits, and beepers, or, in their current incarnation, saggy drawers and designer t-shirts. When the drug pusher dons a white coat, the lab garb provides a cloak of invisibility. Despite ubiquitous evidence of their malfeasance in overmedicated America, dope dispensing doctors remain largely immune from criticism.

In most instances, today’s dirty “street” drugs were introduced as yesterday’s clean cure-alls by pharmaceutical companies. Bayer bequeathed both aspirin and heroin to the world. Ecstasy, the dance-party drug also known under its alphabetized nom de narcotique “X,” “E,” or “MDMA,” first came into existence not at warehouse raves but in a Merck laboratory. Sandoz Laboratories created LSD, which the company marketed under the name Delysid.

Boyhood isn’t a medical condition to be cured. The God-complex of doctors, on the other hand, could use an injection of humility. Physician, heal thyself.

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