The suicide rate climbed 18 percent from 2003 to 2004 for Americans under age 20, from 1,737 deaths to 1,985. Most suicides occurred in older teens, according to the data — the most current to date from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.So, SSRI prescriptions were essentially unchanged in 2004 (less than 1% decrease) among older teens, who are much more likely to commit suicide than youger children. Logically, how could a less than one percent decrease in SSRI prescriptions among older teens lead to a significant increase in suicides? Seriously, folks!
Data from Verispan, a prescription tracking firm, show that 3 million antidepressant prescriptions were written for kids through age 12 in 2004, down 6.8 percent from 2003. Among 13- to 19-year-olds, the number dropped less than 1 percent to 8.11 million in 2004.
I thank the Seattle Times for at least presenting some data, as other sources (such as ABC News) have just taken it as fact that SSRI prescriptions plummeted without presenting any information.
See a prior post on this topic here, which cites somewhat different data, but essentially comes to the same conclusion that there is no scientific data that link the 2004 increase in suicides to decreasing SSRI prescriptions.
Note: Please see the comments. A couple of readers provided some additional information that was very interesting. Note that my conclusion on this matter remains unchanged.