Ethical Issues in Child Psychopharmacology

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Ethical Issues in
Child Psychopharmacology
Biological Foundations of Psychology
PSY/ 340, Diane Snyder
Bonita Morales
August 20, 2008

Psychopharmacology refers to the study of mood changes, sensation, thinking and behavior which was induced by pharmaceuticals or drugs. There is both a professional and commercial side to the field of psychopharmacology and contrary to some beliefs their primary study is not just recreational drug, but more so of drugs that can help to alleviate symptoms of behavioral and mental disorders (Coghill, Dave, 2003). Basically psychopharmacology’s main focus is the chemical and psychoactive interaction of the brain. Psychopharmacology researchers main interest lies in any substance that may cross the blood-brain barrier which is a membranic structure found in the central nervous system. This structure limits the passage of certain chemical substances as well as microscopic organisms such as bacteria; yet it still allows substances, like oxygen, through that are important for metabolic function (Wikipedia, 2008). The main purpose for many of the drugs that are manufactured from the research of psychopharmacologists is to help to alleviate the symptoms that are suffered from neurological, psychological and mental disorders, yet as with any good thing, there are people who will abuse the helpfulness of these drugs. This abuse leads to ethical issues that need to be addressed, especially when the use of them by children and teens is involved. Neurological, Psychological and Mental Disorders

ADHD, ADD, Autism, Sleep disorders, Learning disorders, Anxiety (both general and specific)… the list goes on and on of recognized neurological, psychological and mental disorders for children and teens (Franklin, Donald J.; PhD, 2003). All of the above types of disorders are essentially affected by what are called neurotransmitters. According to Dr. James Jordan at, there...
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