Medicating Young Minds

Drugs have become increasingly popular for treating kids with mood and behavior problems. But how will that affect them in the long run?

Getting by is hard enough in middle school. It's harder still when you've got other things on your mind--and Andrea Okeson, 13, had plenty to distract her. There were the constant stomach pains to consider; there was the nervousness, the distractibility, the overwhelming need to be alone. And, of course, there was the business of repeatedly checking the locks on the doors. All these things grew, inexplicably, to consume Andrea, until by the time she was through with the eighth grade, she seemed pretty much through with everything else too. "Andrea," said a teacher to her one day, "you look like...

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