And most of the time, not even for psychosis. 44% of the PTSD and ADHD kids got antipsychotics.
You can wrack your brain trying to figure this out or blame the usual suspects, but the answer is right there in the article:
Variables associated with antipsychotic use [included] male gender, age 12 years and under, being nonwhite, and a length of stay 13 days or longer.
You'll observe that none of those words is "diagnosis" or "severity."
The cause of these high levels of medications is so simple you'll recoil from the truth of it, but pour yourself a drink and take it like a man: the kids showed up. That's it. The kid is in front of you and you have to do something, now, that results in an acute change. Not better grades 4 years out, or less sadness over the teen years; change the sleep tonight, make the kid less hyper now, and when it "stops working" you can up the dose or change the med.
It doesn't matter what the diagnosis is or what the symptoms are, really, whether he ate his dog or got a C on a test he's going to be getting something at qd and hs because that's what you get when you put psychiatry as the cornerstone of a Multidisciplinary Treatment Team.
When a kid is presented to a psychiatrist, the psychiatrist is
pressured, obligated, to do something pharmacological. If a psychiatrist
looked a single parent a joint away from a nap right in the eye and
said, "nope, he's acting out because of X, Y, Z, and medications aren't
going to fix this" that doctor will get his head handed to him by parent
or by lawyer. Justice will be done, you negligent elitist.
And the simple reason why the kids showed up is that the parents and the schools and the cops and the courts were told that's where you go when a kid punches another kid or becomes hispanic. That's why outside the oakwood offices of the private docs the shingle says "Practice of Psychiatry" in Palatino Linotype, but get within fifty blocks of a black kid and the whole thing is labeled "Behavioral Health" in what I think is Erasermate.
This is why reducing antipsychotic prescription is a Chuck Grassley political diversion, if the kids don't get antipsychotics they won't get nothing. The problem is the overprescription of prescriptions.
I get that when a 15 year old starts up with cocaine it is a bad thing. But is it automatically true he has ADHD or BPD and needs medications? Check the map:
An Epidemic of Mental Illness