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Untitled Document

Parents' Crusade Over Children's Tragic Deaths From Psychiatric ADD and ADHD Drugs

 LOS ANGELES, Nov. 4 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Lawrence Smith, a Michigan father, and Vicky Dunkle, a Pennsylvania mother, have recently joined forces in a crusade to expose the fraud of child psychiatric diagnoses and the dangers of the drugs being prescribed. Mrs. Dunkle has filed a lawsuit against the psychiatrist who prescribed the deadly drugs to her daughter, and both parents exemplify the increasing problem faced by many parents today: being coerced by school personnel to drug their children, and never being warned about the documented risks of the drugs prescribed to "treat" them. For Mrs. Dunkle and Smith, the result was the tragic and needless deaths of their children. Smith states, "We hope to God that other families will be spared the suffering and heartbreak that has been caused to our families, and many others."

On March 21, 2000, Matthew Smith, 14, died from a heart attack while skateboarding. The coroner determined his death was caused by the long-term use of the stimulant forcibly prescribed to him through the school.

"It all started for Matthew in the first grade, when the school social worker kept calling us in for meetings, complaining that Matthew was 'fidgeting' and 'easily distracted,' said Smith. "She told my wife and I that if we wouldn't consider drugging our son, after the school had diagnosed him with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), that we could be charged for neglecting his educational and emotional needs." After also being told that the stimulant was safe and effective, the Smiths acceded to the pressure.

"If we hadn't been pressured by the school system, Matthew would still be alive today," says Smith. "I cannot go back and change things for us at this point. However, I hope to God my story and information will reach the hearts and minds of many families, so they can make an educated decision."

Mrs. Dunkle agrees. In 1999 when her daughter, Shaina, was in second grade, Mrs. Dunkle was pressured to have her evaluated for ADHD by the school psychologist because she was "too active" and "talked out of turn." The young mother did not want to drug her child, but bowed to the constant pressure from the psychologist and agreed to take her daughter to a psychiatrist. After a 30-minute evaluation, Shaina was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed a psychiatric drug. Mrs. Dunkle was never warned about the side effects of the drugs.

On Feb. 26, 2001, Shaina began convulsing in her doctor's office and died in her mother's arms. She was 10-years-old. An autopsy revealed that Shaina's death was due to toxic levels of the psychiatric drug prescribed her. Mrs. Dunkle has now filed a suit against the treating psychiatrist, alleging the doctor increased her daughter's drug dose until it reached toxic levels. "My Shaina was a ray of sunshine, she always smiled and gave her all no matter how hard. If I had followed my heart instead of the advice of 'professionals' that thought they knew my daughter better than I did, my precious Shaina would be alive now," says Mrs. Dunkle.

On Sept. 26, the House Committee on Government Reform held a high profile hearing to examine the increasing number of children being diagnosed with subjective "attention deficit" disorders, and the fact that parents are being denied full information about the lack of scientific validity behind these disorders, and the risks of the drugs prescribed for them.

"Parents are only being offered drug solutions because childhood labeling and drugging is a profit-driven industry: In 2000, the sales of stimulants prescribed for ADHD reached $758 million. Instead of supporting what is legal drug pushing, our governments, schools and doctors must ensure that all-not carefully selected-information is made available to parents in order for them to make an informed choice about their child's educational and medical needs."

Today, Smith gathers support for legislation that would mandate informed consent requirements to safeguard parents' and children's' rights. "The violation of parents' rights occurs when they are not informed about the unscientific nature of so-called disorders such as ADHD or the risks of the treatments involved (drugs)," Smith stated. "I am hoping that Republicans and Democrats will work together to fight this horrific drug war that threatens the future of American children."

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  • Drug Facts
  • Many non-medical users crush the tablets and either snort the resulting powder, or dissolve it in water and "cook" it for intravenous injection.
  • Some street names for Ritalin are : Kibbles and bits, speed, west coast, vitamin R, r-ball, smart drug
  • Ritalin is a Schedule II Controlled Substance. Other Schedule II drugs are Oxycontin and Percocet.
  • According to a new DEA report, in some U.S. schools a staggering 30 percent of students are medicated.