Call for Immediate Scrapping of Aust Draft ADHD Guidelines

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                       18 February 2010
CONTACT: Shelley Wilkins                                                           02 996498/0414724404

Call for Immediate Scrapping of Australian Draft ADHD Guidelines with the

Release of a New Study Showing ADHD drugs can Permanently

Increase Blood Pressure

The release of the first long term study in the world which exposes that ADHD drugs can cause permanently increased diastolic blood pressure (the pressure between heart beats) which can increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke indicates makes it clear that the current Draft ADHD Guidelines should be entirely scrapped and completely re-written.  For years the risks of ADHD drugs, including death and suicidal behaviour have been known. In 2006, Australian warnings were strengthened highlighting the risk of cardiac problems with all ADHD drugs. Additionally, a warning for suicide and suicidal ideation was added to the drug Ritalin.

This world first study (the Raine Study conducted by the Telethon Institute) also detailed: “The finding that stimulant medication use increased the odds of below-age-level academic achievement by a factor of 10 times strongly suggests that medication may not result in any long term academic gains (as rated by a classroom teacher).”

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians Draft ADHD Guidelines were halted under a cloud of controversy late 2009 when it was revealed that US psychiatrist, Dr. Joseph Biederman, is currently under U.S. Congressional investigation for his undisclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Biederman, whose studies are cited more than 70 times in the draft ADHD guidelines, has confessed to receiving up to US$1.6 million to research and promote specific drugs, clearly a conflict of interest. There will be a re-write of the ADHD Guidelines if  the investigation is  not completed by June 2010.

The Committee developing the ADHD Guidelines was also forced after public pressure to reveal their financial ties to drug companies that in a lot of cases produce the very drugs that currently appear as the first line of treatment for “moderate to severe ADHD” in the Draft Guidelines.  At least 10 of the 19 members have current or past financial pharmaceutical company ties, with the most recent draft listing their conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical industry. See below for details.

The Committee reported that it analysed 265 studies in the Draft Systematic Review document which was then used to write the Guidelines. A total of 89 or 31% of these “studies” were industry funded.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has already reported 863 suspected adverse reactions to ADHD drugs. These include the sudden death of a 7 year old, a 5 year old that suffered a stroke after taking Ritalin along with 23 reports of suicidal behaviour in children.

Australia has already experienced an annual 12% increase in prescription rates of psycho-stimulants since 2003/04, with sales of the drugs now reaching $21 million on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

“With the release of yet another study showing the harm and negative results these “ADHD” drugs can cause in children and the clear vested interests of the Committee and the studies, these ADHD Guidelines need to be totally scrapped immediately. We need impartial committee members who have no drug company ties to decide what is best based on real science and evidence. We cannot expose our children to potentially life-threatening mind altering drugs when evidence shows they cause harm,” says Ms Wilkins, Executive Director of the Australian National Office of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR).

For further information please contact CCHR, which was co-founded by the Church of Scientology & Professor of Psychiatry, Dr Thomas Szasz in 1969 to investigate and expose psychiatric violations against human rights.

Dualities and Conflicts of Interest of ADHD Guidelines Committee Members

Dr. Daryl Effron was Chair of the Committee until his conflicts were exposed in 2007. He has been on the advisory boards of Novartis that makes Ritalin and Eli Lilly that manufactures Straterra—both drugs prescribed to treat ADHD.  While standing down as Chair, he remained a Committee member.
Dr. Patrick Concannon has been sponsored by Eli Lilly to attend a conference i and served on advisory committees for Novartis and Janssen-Cilag that makes the ADHD drug Concerta. ii  See page 64.
Professor David Hay is a Professor of Psychology at Curtain University of Technology in WA and Janssen-Cilag the makers of the ADHD drug Concerta, funded his presentation at an educational seminar.iii
Ms. Michelle Pearce from WA who is on the Education Group of the Committee, helped write a booklet, “Teenagers with ADHD” for Novartis. iv
Professor Loretta Giorcelli from NSW, who is the only other member of the Education Group of the Committee appealed against the release of the disclosure documents when CCHR placed a Freedom of Information Request to obtain the details of vested interests of the Committee.  When they were released she disclosed at the first meeting that she had received expenses plus accommodation to attend a meeting as an educational advisor paid for by Janssen Cilag who make the ADHD drug Concerta. v
Psychiatrist, Dr Julian Troller from NSW has received personal payments for consultancy and review work for Novartis, Eli Lilly and Pfizer. vi
Psychiatrist Dr Mark Kneebone also from NSW declared that he had attended psychiatric meetings that had been sponsored by Wyeth.vii
Professor Michael Sawyer from SA was sponsored by Eli Lilly to attend an annual conference of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. viii
Geraldine Moore, Consumer Advocate from Victoria wrote a book on ADHD and the catering at the launch of this book was funded by Eli Lilly who make the ADHD drug Strattera.ix
Joy Toll the only other Consumer Advocate on the Committee and founder and current secretary of ADDults with ADHD NSW, approached Eli Lilly to sponsor the cost of printing her organisations information pamphlet and since 2003 she has attended consultation meetings with Eli Lilly who provide her with taxi vouchers and food. x
Professor Philip Hazel   Clinical Director of the Centre for Mental Health Studies in the Hunter NSW  attended the first meeting for the drafting of the ADHD Guidelines and according to his disclosure documents which CCHR obtained under the Freedom of Information Act he has been on advisory boards of Eli Lilly who make the ADHD drug Strattera, Novartis who make Ritalin, Shire, Jansen and Pfizer. xi
Michelle Toner from Learning and Attentional Deficit Society in WA also attended the first meeting and disclosed that her organisation had received limited and unrestricted grants from Eli Lilly, Janssen-Cilag and Novartis. xii
Jude Foster the director of the Wraparound Kids Program attended the first meeting and she also appealed against release of her documents. When they were released her document dated 1/03/07 stated she was a member of the Advisory Board for Novartis and Janssen Cilag- both drug companies who make ADHD drugs. xiii

i “Draft ADHD Guidelines on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, List of Appendices,” The Royal Australasian College of Physicians, June 2009, p.4.
ii Clinical Excellence Commission Report:  “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and adolescents in New South Wales- 2007. Final Report of the Special Review, December 2007,”  page 64.
iii Draft ADHD Guidelines on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, List of Appendices, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians,” June 2009, p.8.
iv “Teenagers with ADHD”  http://www.adhdsupport.com.au/pdf/adolescent.pdf accessed 18th July 2008,  See page 2 and  “Draft ADHD Guidelines on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, List of Appendices, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians,” June 2009, p.9.
v Freedom of Information Request done by Citizens Committee on Human Rights to the Australian Department of Health and Ageing. Documents released to CCHR on 12 December 2008.
vi Draft ADHD Guidelines on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, List of Appendices,” The Royal Australasian College of Physicians,” June 2009, p.6.
vii Draft ADHD Guidelines on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, List of Appendices, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians,” June 2009, p.6.
viii Draft ADHD Guidelines on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, List of Appendices, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians,” June 2009, p.6 & 7.
ix Freedom of Information Request done by Citizens Committee on Human Rights to the Australian Department of Health and Ageing. Documents released to CCHR on 15 September 2008.
x Draft ADHD Guidelines on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, List of Appendices, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians,” June 2009, p.9 & 10.
xi Freedom of Information Request done by Citizens Committee on Human Rights to the Australian Department of Health and Ageing. Documents released to CCHR on 15 September 2008.
xii Freedom of Information Request done by Citizens Committee on Human Rights to the Australian Department of Health and Ageing. Documents released to CCHR on 15 September 2008.
xiii Freedom of Information Request done by Citizens Committee on Human Rights to the Australian Department of Health and Ageing. Documents released to CCHR on 8 January 2009

 

The truth about Mandatory Internet filtering

I was forwarded this via email hope it answers some of your questions about the proposed filter.
Hi,

Please take 5 minutes to read this message as it’s extremely important for your continued access to an uncensored and functional internet, and to help protect children on the internet.

——- BACKGROUND ——-

The Rudd Government is currently planning to introduce a mandatory Internet filtering law from some time in 2010. Your ISP (the company you get your internet access from) will be asked to censor between 1000 and 10,000 websites deemed to be “Refused Classification” (aka “RC”, many; if not most of these sites are NOT illegal).
They are marketing this as “protecting the children” by reducing access to Child Pornography, something which I am all for doing, but unfortunately, this is a very ineffective means of doing so, with far more drawbacks than benefits.
It is important to remember that this is the same government that’s REDUCING the budget of the Federal Police unit whose job it is to catch the paedophiles this filter will effectively help to protect.
I respect that you may think this a good idea. I for one completely support any measure which will yield any improvement to child safety. However, this proposal is being done in a way similar to many “political” things — it is being sold by the politicians as far more effective than the experts believe it will be, and has the added possibility that in a few years, it will censor far more than just websites of “refused classification”.

——- WHAT IS THE FINANCIAL COST? ——-

As it currently stands, this filter will cost the Australian public around $43 million. This amount however is only the tip of the iceberg. It does not include the costs to your ISP — costs that they will almost certainly have to pass on to you. Similarly, it does not include the ongoing, and potentially massive, task of maintaining the filter list, which is absolutely vital if there is to be even the slightest chance of the filter actually doing anything productive. These costs, both to the government and passed on to you by your ISP are quite likely to be greater than that of far more effective PC based systems which can be easily purchased and installed and be tailored to your individual family’s needs.
However cost is far from the only argument against the proposed filter.

——- WILL IT ACTUALLY PROTECT CHILDREN? ——-

There is the illusion of increased safety of children, and their protection from on-line threats and predators, and the issue of uncensored access to the internet.
The main message here is that if this filter ever becomes a reality, do not presume that it will make children safer and DO NOT use it as an excuse to reduce supervision of children whilst they use the Internet. If you believe children are going to be safer because of the filter, then read on and I will explain why that is an illusion.
Here are 10 things you should ask yourself (and the Government) about the filter so that you are more informed:

——- 1) People don’t just “stumble” across child porn online or search Google for it. ——-

Child porn is already filtered out of search results by all search engines.
So how do people access it?
- Peer-2-Peer networks (High speed sharing of large files like videos)
- Usenet (Direct File sharing)
- Sharing the web page addresses directly
- Encrypted websites (Where their privacy is secured, like your online banking, paypal, etc.)

——- 2) How do paedophiles find children online to perform these disgusting acts on/with? ——-

- Social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace
- Chat Rooms
- Instant messaging programs like MSN and Yahoo
- Email

——- 3) What does the ISP filter block? ——-

A specific, secret list of website addresses only.
This list includes a number of perfectly legal sites deemed politically “unsavoury”, such as euthanasia and anti-abortion websites as well as perfectly harmless websites that were hacked a long time ago, and have been fixed.
This list includes any and all content which the regulatory body deems as “Refused Classification”, including any perfectly legal site which does not meet the strict definitions for classification under one of the existing (G, PG, M, MA, R, X, etc) ratings.
If a site hasn’t been reported for classification (so as it can be refused that classification), it will not be blocked.
Nobody of good concience is ever likely to find the paedophiles (already secret) websites, so who exactly does the government believe will be reporting these sites? If nobody who knows about them will report them, they will never be blocked.

——- 4) What doesn’t the ISP filter block? ——-

- “R” Rated pornographic and adult material
- “X” Rated pornographic and adult material
- (As above) Any website containing any content which has not been specifically reported to the authorities and then subsequently refused classification
- Instant messaging
- Facebook and Myspace
- Email
- Peer-2-Peer
- Usenet
- Chat Rooms
- Encrypted Websites

——- 5) Can the filter be worked around to still access child porn? ——-

YES, undoubtedly, and easily. You can bet the same people who share their filthy habit of child porn and website addresses will also share the very simple methods for bypassing the filter, which not only makes the filter pointless, but also makes it harder for Police to catch them. ie the Government filter will NOT make your child safer.

——- 6) How easy is the filter to evade? ——-

It is extremely easy for any person with the inclination to do so, and access to Google.
a) Both an independent trial by Telstra and the official Government trial report that every single option tested was easy to bypass.
b) The best success rate (at preventing a filter being bypassed) allowed 10% of known bypassing methods to work. It also caused the greatest slow-down (Greater than a 40% reduction in speed).
c) Children already know how to bypass similar filters installed at their schools (http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1567015/school-net-security-failing-grade)

——- 7) Does the Government plan to make evading the filter harder? ——-

Under the current proposal, no.
a) There will be no penalties for evading the filter and no plans are in place to make it harder to evade.
b) Proxies, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), Encryption, and Tunneling programs (all simple ways of evading the filter) will not be blocked by the filter.

——- 8) Are there any technical drawbacks to the filter? ——-

Yes, it is likely to cause slowdowns on the internet for everybody.
a) If you’re on dialup, you probably will not notice any difference.
b) If you have fast internet, (EG. ADSL, up to 8Mbps) your internet is likely to be slowed up to 10%
c) If you have VERY fast internet (EG. ADSL2+ or Cable, 8-24 and 30, and 100 Mbps are all currently available in Australia) your internet is likely to be slowed significantly more, but no one knows for sure as The Government has failed to test the filters at these speeds.
d) This type of filtering does not “scale” well. As more people use faster internet, so too the effect on the speed of that internet will be worse. The proposed National Broadband Network (NBN) will be 100Mbps and is designed to give almost everyone access to these speeds. The government has done no testing of any kind on any network with even one tenth of that speed, or even one percent of the likely number of connections.
e) There will also likely be some increases to ping times. This will increase online gaming lag (for games such as World of Warcraft and others) as well as make VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol, aka Internet Telephones) less effective, decreasing the quality of the cals)

——- 9) What if I can’t access a perfectly safe website? ——-

Unfortunately, even the best filter could accidentally block upwards of 3 million websites in its attempts to block less than 1000 child porn websites that’s 300,000% of what they are meant to be blocking.

——- 10) What if my website gets blocked? How would I know, and how do I fix that? ——-

The government board, ACMA decides what is blocked based on complaints and maintains a secret blacklist (which has already been leaked online once already). Unfortunately there is no process for informing people that their website is blocked, or how to appeal that decision. There is also no evidence that anyone is, or will be held responsible for any loss of business you may encounter if your website is wrongly blocked by the system.
If you, like me, find that any of this is unacceptable, please visit http://www.nocleanfeed.com and make your voice heard by contacting your local and federal members of parliament and putting your vote on the line, and please consider throwing an Australia day party ( http://www.EFA.org.au ), blacking out your twitter/FB profile pic or website ( http://www.internetblackout.com.au/ ) or attend the nationwide protest in your capital city on the 30th of Jan ( http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=200213317223&ref=mf )

——- WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MY CHILDREN NOW? ——-

If you are concerned about protecting your children online, there are many easy ways to do this from home, where you can control what level of protection you offer. First and foremost, supervise your children whilst online and teach them about the internet and its dangers just like you would teach them how to cross a road. Nothing can or should replace good supervision and education. Websites like Facebook have 13+ age requirements for a reason. Please feel free to visit this website for more information: http://www.microsoft.com/protect/parents/childsafety/age.aspx

Just like crossing the road, the internet can be a safe place, if young children are supervised and assisted, and older children have been taught the safe way to proceed.
I hate chain mail as much as the next person, but this is kind of different. It’s not regarding an issue that’s no longer relevant, I’m not asking you to sign anything, and I’m not saying your true love’s name will be revealed only if you send this on to 20 people, so please forward this email on to anyone in your contact list you think would read this (or even if you think they won’t).

The government is determined to hide the truth about their filter with misleading press releases, and using the ETS and NBN as media cover.
For a summary of key trial reports and media stories on the ISP filter, see here http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/?tag=cleanfeed

Most importantly, please TALK about this issue with your friends and family. Those who are technically minded and the non-technical alike need to make this a matter of public knowledge. Without doing that, messages like this can be forwarded all we like and nothing will change.

Thank you for taking the time to read this message.

 

Sand Drawing

 

I/T Guy builds a Tree House

Last week end my husband tried his hand at building a Tree House for the kids. Keeping in mind that he’s an IT guy I think he has done a pretty good job. My camera memory card broke down before he pu on the finishing touches but you’ll get the idea here.

 

November in the Veggie patch

Yes summer is almost here and I’m a bit late in getting this post up, hope it wont be too late for you to plant some of these in your patch.

Beans                                                                        BeetrootOrganic Gardening on the Allotment

Cabbage                                                                    Capsicums

Carrots                                                                      Cucumbers

Celeriac                                                                     Endives

Eggplants                                                                 Leeks

Kale                                                                           Marrow

Lettuce                                                                     Okra

Melons                                                                     Parsnips

Spring onions                                                         Radish

Pumpkins                                                                Silverbeet

Salsify                                                                      Sweet Corn

Squash

 

What’s Wrong with Psychiatry? A psychiatrist explaines