If Drugs are Bad, What is Good?

by Dr. Dathan Paterno

Today, I’m starting a series of posts on alternative treatments to drugs. Supporters of medication as a treatment for childhood depression, anxiety, attention/concentration struggles, and behavior problems often ask a legitimate question, “If you think drugs are so bad, then what do you suggest?”


I aim to answer that question. I won’t pretend to exhaust all of the possibilities, but I want to list and describe as many as possible. As my loyal readership, feel free to offer your own suggestions and thoughts about alternatives in general or any alternatives that you have found to be helpful for your children or a child you know.


For starters, I will list the Top Ten major alternatives to drugging children.

Here they are:

  1. Improving diet
  2. Regular exercise
  3. Proper sleep: quantity and quality
  4. Stop using drugs, like cigarettes, alcohol, and prescription drugs
  5. Get plenty of fresh air and sunlight
  6. Improving relationships (and shedding unhealthy relationships)
  7. Prayer/meditation
  8. Exploring and satisfying spiritual/existential crises
  9. Develop meaningful passions and interests
  10. Psychotherapy: various forms and techniques
    1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy
    2. Supportive, interpersonal therapy
    3. Art therapy
    4. Family therapy, including improving parenting skills

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