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January 9, 2002
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Letters Editor:
On January 9th, an Associated Press story appeared in the AJC concerning the Tampa teen pilot who crashed an airplane into a skyscraper.  As if his suicide isn't tragic enough, he was yet another teenager taking a prescription drug with insidious side effects.
I believe too many children and teenagers are prescribed drugs whose link to suicide and depression is strong.  Today, children and teenagers are prescribed anti depressants despite the War on Drugs. Our youth deserves to know side effects from their prescriptions.
I'm tired of seeing commercials on television marketing anti depressants like everyone is mentally "ill." Anti depressants like Paxil are even given to teenagers, but I have yet to see anyone under 18 acting in a anti depressant television commercial or participating in a clinical study.
What does this have to do with the Tampa teen pilot? Everything.  I wonder if the doctor who prescribed him Accutane did so with full knowledge of the side effects.  I wonder if the doctor failed, like many Child and Adolescent psychiatrists do, to remember their first lesson in medical school.
First, do no harm.
Tony Zizza
1326 Waterton Trail
Douglasville, GA 30134


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