More and more frequently, desperate mothers are turning to alternative medicines and herbal tinctures to help their children cope with autism, ADHD and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
ABC News recently profiled Judy and Ryan Mendoza, a mother and son who tried everything to treat 12-year-old Ryan’s OCD symptoms. Just over a year ago, Ryan’s anti-psychotic meds were failing him and he begged his mother to run him down with her car. To calm her son’s triggers, Judy turned to an ancient remedy Phish fans and college students have been using for decades:
Marijuana is of course classified as an illegal drug by the federal government, but California passed a law legalizing medical marijuana in 1996. “The effects marijuana has on the developing brain are not yet fully known,” as ABC News points out, but Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a retired physician and professor at Harvard Medical School who treated his own son’s cancer symptoms with marijuana says, ”Marijuana is remarkably non-toxic.”
But child psychiatrist Dr. Steven Sager doesn’t think medical Mary Jane is the answer for kids with psychiatric disorders. He says it “might just be kind of sedating them and not really addressing the underlying issues.” He notes that marijuana can cause anxiety and depression, which is trouble for parents who are hoping to use pot to eradicate those feelings in their kids. However, some people find medical marijuana alleviates anxiety. Judy Mendoza writes on her website, “If you are considering giving Medical Cannabis to a person under your care it is very important that you receive a recommendation by a qualified medical practitioner. Also it is important to realize that when you are trying this medication with your special needs child, there is a trial and error period, while you are determining what the best treatment course will be.”
Judy told ABC News, ”It’s not like the OCD goes away when (Ryan) has his medicine, but his ability to cope with it changes.”
Faced with a similar situation, would you give your child medical marijuana? Do you think medical marijuana should be available on the national level?
Photo: Judy Mendoza