Behavioral Drugs Discouraged by Colorado Board of Education

"The Colorado Board of Education passes a resolution discouraging teachers from recommending behavioral drugs such as Ritalin." This headline was from a story reported in the New York Times in the November 25th, 1999 edition. This resolution is the first of its kind in the US and although it carries no legal weight it does send a strong message that teachers and other school personnel should use discipline and instruction instead of drugs to overcome behavioral problems in the classroom.

The article reported that proponents of the resolution were motivated by evidence that suggests that dozens of violent crimes, including the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado, had been committed by young students who were on these psychotropic drugs. Brenda Welburn, executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education said, "I agree that too often the first answer for children with some behavioral problem is to reach for medication. Some of the numbers we are seeing for medication of children are staggering."

Some of those statistics include the fact that by 1996 children in the United States were consuming 90 percent of the Ritalin in the world. This number is even more dramatic with the fact that between 10 and 12 percent of all schoolboys were taking this addictive drug.

The International Chiropractors Association responded with a letter of support to the Colorado Board of Education by President Robert Hoffman, D.C.. The opening of the letter set the tone, "The International Chiropractors Association supports your recent action and urges the Colorado State Board of Education to stand by its courageous and urgently needed call to action. Our nation is awash in chemicals with far too little thought or attention given to the long-term implications of the mass administration of very powerful drugs."