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TeenScreen - Another Gross Distortion

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Here's another gross distortion of the truth by TeenScreen. On its web site, in response to the question, is TeenScreen related to TMAP, the Texas Medication Algorithm Project? It says: “No. ... Some Web postings inappropriately and inaccurately claim that TeenScreen is a bridge to medication and hence the TMAP program. This is entirely false.”

“There is absolutely no relationship between TeenScreen and TMAP. ... TeenScreen does not endorse any particularly mental health treatment or medication.”

"TMAP ... is a medication formulary for seriously mentally ill adults in Texas. The adults served by this program are cared for in public programs. TeenScreen and TMAP have nothing to do with one another."

That's what TeenScreen says. Now lets look at the truth.

Simply put, a TMAP (aka, algorithm) is a list of drugs that doctors are required to use in treating persons with specific illnesses who receive medication funded by the government with tax dollars.

Contrary to what TeenScreen claims, this list is not limited to mentally ill adults in Texas. In fact, Texas has a children's version that apes the adult version and is used for kids in hospitals, foster care institutions, prisons, juvenile programs and every other public program that is funded with tax dollars in Texas.

It all started in the mid-90s while Bush was governor. TMAP was developed by what's referred to as an "expert consensus" made up of a group of "experts" already known to have favorable opinions of certain drugs, chosen by drug company sponsors, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Astrazeneca, Pfizer, Novartis, Janssen-Ortho-McNeil, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Wyeth-Ayerst and Forrest Laboratories.

In 1997-98, with pharma funding, a panel was assembled to determine which drugs would be used in treating children and decided that the same drugs used on adults could be used on kids. There were no studies conducted to test the safety of giving the TMAP drugs to kids and most had never been FDA approved for use by children.

Experts are speaking out against these lists. According Dr Grace Jackson, author of the new book, Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs : A Guide for Informed Consent, “Outside of emergency & trauma medicine, where algorithms can and do save lives, the use of medical flowcharts and guidelines must be evaluated carefully and critically. This is because the algorithms have arisen from "Evidence Based Medicine" -- a statistically based approach to studying treatment effects in populations, rather than a reality based approach to discerning treatment effectiveness in each unique individual.”

The TMAP is still being used to push drugs on kids in Texas, according to an article by the Associated Press on February 09, 2005, “As lawmakers work to revamp Texas' foster care system, they also are reviewing the use of mind-altering drugs by foster children.”

In October, 2004, the Texas inspector general for the Health and Human Services Commission said his office interviewed staff at three state licensed wilderness camps, which provide care for foster children, and found that the average child arrives on four or five psychotropic drugs.

After investigating the issue of drug use with foster kids, in an April, 2004 report, Texas Comptroller, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, blasted the agency for giving children drugs so ''doctors and drug companies can make a buck."

An update on Texas, comes from noted author Dr John Breeding who reports, "We are fighting off a swarm of efforts to codify New Freedom language into Texas law. Driven by Big Pharma and psychiatry, Texas is a focal point as the Texas Medication Algorithm Project started it all, the same folks were behind the New Freedom Commission, and the end result is more and more folks on drugs," said Breeding.

TeenScreen's underlying motive is to recruit customers to funnel money to pharma by drugging kids and a TMAP model, under whatever name it goes by in each state, is the list of the drugs that the new customers will be given. In fact to push the overall scheme along, the Bush appointed New Freedom Commission (NFC) has recommended that TMAP be used in all 50 states.

And it is spreading to other states. In Ohio, the list is called “OMAP” and includes all the high-priced psychotropics such as Paxil, Zyprexa, Adderall, Zoloft, Risperdal, Seroqual, Depakote, Prozac, Wellbutron, Zyban, Remeron, Serzone, and Effexor.

But first things first, they have to get TeenScreen in schools and this is where the NFC comes in. Its recommendations include, "Early detection of mental health problems in children and adults - through routine and comprehensive testing and screening - will be an expected and typical occurrence." "Both children and adults will be screened for mental illnesses during their routine physical exams."

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Evelyn Pringle is an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America.
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