Medicated Child, The

Over the last fifteen years, there’s been a 4000% increase in the number of kids diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Four-year-old DJ was diagnosed six months ago and is now on four psychiatric medications. But the drugs he takes are largely untested in children and can cause serious side effects. Is this good medicine? Or is it an uncontrolled experiment? FRONTLINE investigates.

“FRONTLINE’s ‘The Medicated Child’ … is about as harrowing a look at the burgeoning use of drugs to treat psychological conditions in children as you can imagine…”
– Heather Havrilesky,

“… ‘The Medicated Child’ revisits territory FRONTLINE first examined in 2001, raising some familiar warning flags and some new ones. But it’s not a knee-jerk treatment. As the program points out, there are pros as well as cons to the increased use of prescription drugs on children.”
– Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

“… Writer/producer Marcela Gaviria and co-producer Will Cohen portray a growing medical establishment that is grappling with crises in the lives of children while establishing its own boundaries, protocols and body of certain knowledge. …

“‘Child’ reveals a world of paradox, contradiction and anecdotes that could bolster almost any viewpoint. …

“‘Child’ is far from an anti-drug diatribe. … What Gaviria and Cohen stress is that suddenly (in terms of establishing protocols) drugs are becoming integral to the lives of grade-schoolers and preschoolers — in numbers growing exponentially. How will this affect their later life — their teens, their early working years and so on? … ”
– Ted Mahar, The Oregonian