Why Are So Many 2-Year-Olds on Antipsychotic Drugs?

It's not just doctors armed with prescription pads and itchy trigger fingers.

When children run around like crazy, it’s not a big deal right? Don’t we commonly say that kids will just be kids? Many may agree with that position, but it looks like not everyone does. The New York Times broke the news last week that, in 2014 alone, approximately 20,000 prescriptions for antipsychotics were made out to children under the age of two.


If that sounds shocking, you’re not the only one. Antipsychotic drugs generally aren’t tested for use on children, nor do they come with usage instructions for such a young population. Some speculate that not all of the prescriptions made out were meant for children. In some cases, they might have been actually intended for an uninsured or underinsured parent, for instance. But at least some of the prescriptions were meant for toddlers with behaviors that parents and/or doctors deemed unhealthy or aggressive.

Below, psychiatrist Julie Holland delves into the dangers of overmedication: 

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