But try walking in her moccasins: I just read your story "Medicated to Death" by Jared Klaus [January 12], and I am outraged that the doctors are so money-hungry that they would keep on giving Tom more Adderall, even though he was going through a month's supply in a week's time. I don't care how persuasive and convincing he could have been. They are the doctors, and they are supposed to know better.
I feel that his mother should have done more for him. When she saw that her son was not getting any better, she should have tried another doctor or taken him to a different emergency room and a different psychiatrist, until her son got the help he needed. Yes, the system failed him. But the one person who failed him the most was his mom.
The system sucks: I am both saddened and frightened by the story about Tom. The medical community is leaving these kids in pill dust. Obviously, these kids have mental issues -- so they solve the problem by turning them into psychos!
Medication can be very helpful to adults who have spent plenty of time with a qualified head doc, but we all know this is usually not how it works. Children are brought to regular family-practice docs who ask them this lame series of questions, no doubt provided by the drug companies. If the kids answer yes to more than two questions, they are slapped with a generic diagnosis, handed a bottle of pills, and sent on their way. If that drug seems not to work, they are given a higher dosage or a different drug. The head docs in most cases only come in later, and by that time they serve only to change the meds or add to them.
The closest thing to help I found in Tom's situation was his dad encouraging him to write out his feelings. How long were these kids left to sit alone in their rooms for hours on end? How much permission were they given to continue their behaviors, left alone with their meds and their minds? Even semirational adults will overdose themselves, if they think they need it. How tolerant do parents become when they are tired of dealing with troubled kids, thinking, "They are medicated, so what more can I do?"
My heart goes out to these families, and I wish not to place blame with the parents completely. Just the same, this article is extremely important. Tom's story was an utter tragedy that has to be addressed. Stop this from happening to other kids. Mental illness is very real and very serious. These kids deserve a better chance than a bottle of pills with a bottomless prescription.
Can you imagine how much anguish it would take to stab yourself even once? That poor boy. He was failed by the system -- as are so many.
There's a new thought: Thank you for revealing one of life's many mysteries -- namely, the one about that weird guy with the doubly weird voice on late-night TV ["Midnight Hustler," January 19]. As if his mediocre commercials weren't dubious enough, his voice downright belies his outward appearance, as if he were as high as a kite. But now I know that this man is as crazy as a fox and that his shitty commercials are just a ploy to snare his customers with his particular legerdemain.
Kelley Gaines-El the II
Gone to Potholes
Your tax money parks in suburban garages: I've been through the same problem as Mr. Magnotto [Letters, January 19]. I reported the pothole to the city, filed the paperwork with the legal department, and waited three months. On December 24, I received a letter stating that, due to Ohio law blah, blah, blah, they have refused my claim. Out $97 for the tire and $100 for the alignment.
The city is broke and corrupt, and cannot even plow the streets. Most are on Nate Gray's payroll. Don't dare drive a nice new car into Cleveland. Either it will be stolen or the window will be broken by one of our many homeless. As for those of you paying taxes in Cleveland, you're buying the Escalades of city workers who now live in the Heights or Solon.
David W. Rozman
Now, that's a peak to scale: I write to you amazed that Mr. Herschman would have the temerity to say that the reason he left his position in the middle of a shift was so that he could "legitimately look for another job" ["Food Fight," December 22, 2004]. In any profession, the act of leaving without giving notice is entirely unprofessional. However, when that's added to the further insult of trashing the employer who gave a quitter another and, hopefully, last chance in Cleveland, the result is a petulant, immature individual trying to deny responsibility for his failure to maintain the consistency and quality that the patrons of Lockkeepers had come to expect.
The insinuation that Pam Waterman had pulled Mr. Sinito's "fat out of the fire" is insulting to both parties. Ms. Waterman is an asset to the restaurant and has been a team player. The struggles that Mr. Sinito and the Lockkeepers staff have undergone to keep this landmark open are indicative of Ohio's slow economy. The quality of food and service, combined with the wine program, make this on par with any other restaurant in the United States.
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