Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Today Tonight -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) do you think you're up to!?! (yelling) What the bloody hell every time they get behind the wheel. fear being attacked and how one out of two drivers Plus, road rage is costing you. and what you don't know into dentists, Also, our undercover investigation That story shortly. antidepressants like lollies. and the doctors prepared to hand out antidepressants like lollies. who can't cope The blame rests with parents We are overmedicating. and it's all perfectly legal. drugged up to the eye-balls Kids as young as five Tonight, our hidden shame. I'm Naomi Robson. Hello, and welcome to Today Tonight.

for ritalin, a drug for ADHD. in the number of scripts silver and bronze medal-holders Australia are the gold, while ignoring the cause. that they only treat the symptoms with seemingly little concern in huge numbers dexamphetamines like ritalin doctors are handing out out-of-control kids, Desperate to calm supposedly worried. which have child health experts here But it's not just antidepressants labelled with youth suicide warnings. In America, some drugs are now and actual death through suicide. of course, are suicidal ideations in children, The most most serious side effects structure by using those with kids. So we're actually changing the brain social withdrawal behaviours. they develop actual depression, as an adult, then when you withdraw them, on antidepressants, If you put the developing brain like clinical depression. by doctors treating grief with antidepressants they've been drugged to the eyeballs By the time many get to him, children at their lowest ebb. He's a grief counsellor who sees it's doing harm. is actually abusive, with no history of depression to bereaved kids Prescribing antidepressants He says it is legalised child abuse. witnesses the drug taking frenzy. Mal McKissock for any kids is effective. that antidepressants anywhere in the world, in fact, There is no evidence and lazy doctors. parents, troubled teachers and the pushers are desperate in most school playgrounds The evidence can be seen Australia's kids are on a drug binge. Glenn Connley takes up the story. many of them don't even need them. And what's truly tragic is that for behavioural problems. are on prescription drugs half a million Australian children But first, a frightening fact - It's a little bit over-the-top. in search of the perfect body. And gym junkies, as young as 10, Bloody cut me off twice. Putting your ---- make-up on!

right, we are overmedicating. then what you're saying is quite unnecessary, that is probably in many instances that is probably in many instances treatment is to give kids medication because if our first line of Well, you could well say that dietary alternatives to drugs. He favours neurotherapy and for new treatments for ADHD. Dr Jacques Duff is leading the search should be treating not the symptoms. It is the brain function that we Yes, sometimes. Yeah, absolutely. physical battles? Were there physical problems, at some points, as well. Almost tendencies to be violent like, very colourful language. Abusive, "No, I'm not doing it." he'd dig the heels in - If he didn't want to do something he'd say white. Like if you said black, Disruptive, very oppositional. Instead, it had the opposite effect. behaviour. like explosive, violent or defiant which was meant to suppress symptoms she agreed to try the pill, against her better judgement, His mum Therese says, the advice of his school and doctor. Joshua Head was prescribed ritalin on when he was about seven years old. about three months and that was across we saw things go from bad to worse We put him on the ritalin and in most Western countries. is much more the attitude in most Western countries. of a "quick fix" and the catch phrase virtually turned on its head this sequence or cycle has been In the last 10 years to 15 years, are being handed out like lollies. Drugs which were once a last resort a similar rise. Antidepressants have seen a last option. rather than as they should be, given almost as a first option Many of these drugs are, in fact,

and see the consequences the first issue is to recognise that this is a problem. This is not normal, this is a historical fashion statement. Fashion statements fortunately eventually change, to ever younger children mind-altering, mood-altering drugs, of prescribing drugs - of the generational effects Once we look at the seriousness a generation of children. before we permanently damage of solving everything with a pill to change the culture but say we urgently need to change the culture These experts know the risk they're taking by speaking out, our health care dramatically. we could actually improve a lot of this stuff by not prescribing in pharmaceutical benefits The money we could save they need it to get out there. advertising their material, $5 billion per annum When drug companies spend pharmaceutical interests. is sponsored by pharmaceutical interests. and a lot of the research so a lot of the training so a lot of the training by pharmaceutical interests is so heavily driven The mainstream pharmaceutical model by our kids. who profit from every pill swallowed by the big drug companies is controlled throughout the world is that the business of medicine The other, more cynical, fear here too busy or distracted to notice. that mums and dads might be about what is actually going on the child's communicating something Maybe and they should listen to the child. wear and tear, the stresses, look at themselves and the daily and the development of the child, look at their child their family situation, They should look at and get some medication for it. and go to the doctor on the child Instead, it's easier to blame it for the benefit of the child. and how they interact with the child to look at their own dynamics Many families are not prepared That's correct. at school and at home. a bit of love or understanding little more than a bit of discipline, they're being given to kids who need drugs are not only being misused But now rebel doctors say can't cope. because parents or teachers are being force-fed drugs Ultimately, many of these kids

unfortunately perhaps not before a lot of damage is done on the way. It's not an easy decision for any parent, I am sure, to put their children on these drugs. It certainly wasn't for us, it wasn't an easy decision. Was it an easy decision to take him off them? Yes, definitely. It was an easy decision to make to take him off it. And details on the drugs shown in that story and additional medical information can be found on our web site. Glenn Connley reporting there. Now to the madness on our roads. Abusive drivers cutting in and out of lanes, hogging the road, blowing the horn and even resorting to physical attacks. It's called road rage and, sadly, it's got to the stage where half of Australia's drivers are now scared every time they get behind the wheel. Here's Chris Simond. I think there are a lot of things that make people snap out there. I think most people relate to being annoyed and frustrated about other drivers. Young men, no respect about the older man. Road rage - it's what Australian motorists fear most. Road rage is very much on the increase all because people aren't allowing time to get their trip done in a safe and proper manner. Tailgating, lane hogging, leaning on the horn - a new survey by the Australian Automobile Association found 48% of drivers cite this kind of behaviour as their No.1 safety concern. Other drivers' behaviour is the key concern of motorists. Anne Morfort, public policy adviser for the NRMA, says a lot of frustration on the road comes from the fact that we are spending more time stuck in traffic when we have less time than ever to spare. People leave too tight a timeframe to get to their destination. We suggest people plan their trips more. factor in traffic congestion and time delays so they're not stressed when they're in the car. The most recent sickening example of road rage was the savage assault on this Sydney grandfather just last week. Somebody shouting for me. I go, "What's wrong?" He just spit on my jacket and my face here. 62-year-old Presbyterian minister Kang Wan Ko was spat on and brutally bashed over a near miss in Campsie last Friday. I go to somebody, a young man, "What's wrong?" My arm... and he hit me on side and my neck - very, very surprised. He was punched more than 10 times in the head and chest and grabbed by the throat, all while his terrified four-year-old grandson watched from the passenger seat. Out there in the motoring public we are confronted by lots of different people, lots of different ethnic cultures and so forth, different beliefs and different driving standards and some people aren't as skilled as operating a motor vehicle and that causes huge problems and the consequences of that can be very, very dangerous indeed. Driver safety trainer Ian Luff says the roads are a dangerous place to be and people should be constantly on their guard against motorists who may be about to snap. An example of someone affected by road rage was the father teaching his daughter to drive was confronted with a situation, ended up in Westmead Hospital with a screwdriver through his chest because he got out of the vehicle confronted the two people and that was the scenario. Motorists like that have no consideration for other drivers. Straight into reverse gear - "I've seen the parking spot" and not caring about the motorists behind them. Is it any wonder we have road rage. No indicator. Unbelievable! Ian says many drivers bring Ian says many drivers bring a lot of the aggro on themselves. the profile of a road rager A lot of people ask me who fits or a road ragee and really it's any motorist out there because it's like a lot of things. It's sort of something as simple as not indicating or jumping on the brakes early or even flashing the lights or even getting aggressive on the horn, that can create a problem that can create a problem with other drivers. lose their cool behind the wheel Anne Morfort says people about to lose their cool behind the wheel should think seriously about the consequences of their actions. The consequences of losing your cool in a car are fairly dramatic. You could kill someone You could kill someone on the footpath or another driver, or another driver, other road users. You need to be paying attention. As for Mr Ko, police are still hunting his attacker. For people who are tending to lose their cool behind the wheel If someone is being a problem on the road, let it slide, pull over. Now, we've had an incredible response to our story last night on curfews for children and how community trials have been successful in stopping kids from running amok after dark. And we asked you, our viewers, whether night curfews should be imposed on children under the age of 14 and 7,000 viewers voted overwhelmingly in favour of curfews. And still to come, junior gym junkies as young as 10 searching for the perfect body. And after the break, our undercover investigation into dentists and how you might be paying for dental work you really don't need. I thought my teeth were in good condition. Whoever did your fillings, are not real good. I'll be very careful about trusting dentists in future. Everyone is into Asian soups. They taste great and they're so easy. For a laksa, just separate some noodles, OK? Chop up some chillies - really, really fresh ones. Alright? Then, move... Hello! Um, it's probably a good time to rinse your hands in some water. Give yourself a spritz. Great. Now... Ow! Whoa! It's probably best at this point just to leave the laksas to the experts. Thank you. Yep. Campbell's - the experts in soup. Wow, that's very good. I might just pop off to the hospital. Dentists would have to be considered among the most trustworthy professionals around but unfortunately as our undercover investigation reveals, in some cases that trust would be somewhat misplaced because, it seems, some of them are ripping us off. As Karryn Cooper reports, the dentists you're about to meet are so unscrupulous, they even manage to find cavities in perfectly healthy teeth. And I just thought it didn't feel right. I just didn't feel that I actually needed all these fillings. Malcolm Burrows says he will never trust dentists again. I was a little surprised because I didn't have any tooth pain. I thought my teeth I thought my teeth were in good condition. The 38-year-old went to the dentist with a chipped filling but was told he needed hundreds of dollars worth of work. He examined my full set of teeth and said I need to replace that filling and I have two other holes, I need two other fillings. Suspicious of the prognosis, Malcolm consulted a second dentist. So I went to the other dentist and he then cleaned my teeth and examined them and said, "You don't need a filling." I referred him to the specific tooth where they said there was a problem and he said, "No, you don't need a filling, it's fine." dentists in the future. I'll be very careful about trusting dentists in the future. Rachel Dunne found her dentist on the back of a shopper docket which entitled her to a free dental exam and X-ray. Well, I'm heading off on an overseas trip and I hadn't had a check-up for about six months so I thought I'd go and get a check-up. What Rachel thought would be a routine visit turned disastrous when the dentist told her she needed a number of fillings. I went in, he gave me a quick five-minute to ten-minute check-up. He said I didn't need X-rays, they weren't required, and then he told me I needed three fillings. Unconvinced, Rachel sought a second opinion. He said that I had no problems, a slight discoloration at the back. We did X-rays and he still said that I didn't need any fillings, I was fine to go. For many of us, dentists are like doctors. We all tend to believe what they say. But are they telling the truth or conning us or conning us out of hundreds of dollars? We decided to investigate by putting dentists to the test. We sent one of our researchers to Rachel and Malcolm's dentists, plus six others we randomly selected. The results were startling. Is there any concern with your teeth? Her family dentist gave her the all-clear and this report proves it. But when she visited Rachel's dentist, she too was told her teeth were full of holes. And the cost of having these phantom repairs - $450. About 20% of your teeth are in good condition. Our second dentist's prognosis was more outrageous. He claimed our researcher needed a complete oral overhaul. He even ridiculed her regular dentist. So whoever did your fillings, they're not real good at it. Not good? No, they're not good, they're a bit rough around the edges, and that's why the food's collecting there, they're not smooth enough. Now remember, her teeth are perfect, but he wants to charge her almost $1,000 for treatment she doesn't need. Next stop was Malcolm's dentist. Malcolm's dentist claimed our researcher needed a filling and insisted on taking X-rays that would have set her back a total of $180. But not all the dentists we visited were dishonest and out to make a quick buck. I've got no doubt that the majority of dentists are completely honest. Concerned with the results of our investigation, senior vice-president of the Australian Dental Association Dr Robert McClay though has defended his profession. He says dentistry in Australia is world-class, but patients clearly need to be aware. Patients shouldn't see dentistry as anything different to normal consumer shopping. They need to compare, they need to ask questions about what they're being told. They need to be actively involved in their treatment. It's a case of building up a trusting relationship with someone they feel comfortable with. Dr McClay says there are mechanisms in place to resolve disputes between patients and dentists and the dental board also investigates complaints. You have to get second opinions all the time and then make up your own mind when you're dealing with a professional person. There's either a hole or there isn't. Which one is it? And now an update on one of our hobbyhorses. We've long been critical of those cheap airfare adverts with the asterisk at the bottom which often hides the real cost, and here's an example. I had a $4 fare down, and $68 fare home T bill came to $175. So the fees and charges were on top of that I think it is false advertising Why did something that cost me less than $1 hub cost me $175? Well, the good news is that under proposed new legislation the true price will have to be shown with the taxes and charges included in that price. So instead of ridiculous fares advertised for as low as $9 which really cost you closer to $60 the total cost, after taxes and charges, will have to be shown. Honesty in advertising - now, that's an interesting concept. And after the break, the junior gym junkies who are obsessed with their body image and some of them are as young as 10 years old. I feel stronger and my biceps are getting bigger. It's a little bit over-the-top. GIRL: I've got Mother's Day all wrapped up, That's 25% off active wear, Hurry in for great Mother's Day gifts. (Giggles) Until June 30, every new Commodore, Monaro, Statesman and Caprice comes with an extended 5-year factory warranty. It means you're covered until 2010! Holden means a great deal to Australia. This is ridiculous. Now to the children, some of them as young as 10, who are so obsessed with their body image that they're spending hours in the gym, day after day. Now, these junior gym junkies don't want to lose weight. They're pumping iron to achieve muscle tone and definition, just like mum and dad. Here's Sophie Hull. I would like larger biceps. I just want to be stronger. This is a revolution in children's fitness. It's not something you see in the gym every day - kids as young as nine working out, pumping iron, crunching, dipping, sweating, pushing. But, in an Australian first, a gym called Next Generation is targeting its next generation of gym junkies, installing weight machines once restricted to adults now modified for growing bodies. They get fitter. And if they want to do sport, they'll get faster. We don't put animals in gyms to grow strong and become social within their group. But we expect that of young children. Dr Geraldine Norton is a professor in paediatric exercise science at the Australian Catholic University. She can't believe children are being encouraged to sweat it out in a gym. I think if was scale down gyms, do we then scale down cars and let them drive around? Goodness me, we're fast-tracking these kids so much into adulthood. At a time when line between childhood and adulthood is more blurred than ever, kids gyms are part of a worrying trend. We've seen padded bras and G-strings for young girls. This one is pretty cool. I like it. That one's one of my favourite ones. And a growing beauty obsession. I can't wait to be an adult. Now, hitting the newsstands this week, Vogue Girl, a publication which encourages young girls to buy designer accessories worth thousands of dollars and teaches them how to walk in stilettos. From a movement perspective, I would think that is just plain nonsense. It seems financially a bit ridiculous to be able to think that families can afford that sort of luxury for their adolescents but it stills keeps marketing and I just wonder what it's doing to the self-esteem of girls who really want to be their best. This maybe taking it to the extreme but it's images like Little Hercules in the US that has child experts concerned about opening gyms up to nine year olds. Although for children with weight problems, weightlifting is better than lying idle. I'm very worried about her weight, always have been. She's a child that likes to come home and sit in front of the TV, sit in front of the computer and not do anything, so I'm always forever trying to find something for her to do. Now they do it together. While mum Danielle Alverson pounds the treadmill, daughter Rachel stretches with her new network of friends. For both, the gym has been a Godsend. I'm thrilled that she's doing it because I finally found something she enjoys doing so it's not coming home and saying to me, "why do I have to do it?" She's understanding. She's at an age now, she's 13, that she's understanding her body and she wants to do something about it. I love lifting weights, doing stretches, playing games. I think gyms for kids are potentially really quite a good thing. Not the perfect thing, they're not the only answer, but they're certainly a useful component. Particularly for kids already significantly overweight. Child obesity expert Dr Michael Booth approves. For a generation of fatties, he says these gyms might just be the key. We desperately need to find every possible way to get kids active.

Up and down, remember the keep breathing. He doesn't see a problem with weight resistance and growing bodies. Resistance exercise should be fine for kids as long as it's not too heavy because they're still going through puberty, the bones are still developing. So they wouldn't want to heavily load their bodies but light resistance should be just fine. The Jills have opened in Sydney and Perth and hope to expand across the country I don't think I will stop unty I move out or something. Sophie Hull with that report. And coming up, toxic fish - the top-selling fillets laced with poison and how they're making you sick, from heart disease and headaches to fatigue. GIRL: I've found the perfect Mother's Day gift, Including the Living with Deborah Hutton range, Seagrass door mat - only $2. Pack of ten 60-watt light globes - just $3.98. Arlec lantern battery - a low $8.80. Portable halogen floodlight - a hot $8.96. Pack of six garden gloves - just $6. 450g gap seal - two for only $4. Plastic bucket - just 89 cents. Lowest prices are just the beginning. ..has now gone through the roof That's 25% off active wear, beautiful knits, greatcoats and more. Now a look ahead to one of our stories tomorrow night on toxic fish. We expose Australia's unhealthiest catch of the day - the top-selling fillets found to be laced with poison which is making us sick and causing all kinds of ailments from heart disease and headaches to fatigue. When you go in and buy a piece of fish, you don't know you're playing Russian roulette with your life. It's, in fact, one of the most potent toxins known to medical science. Our bodies simply, almost cease to function. That's among the stories I'll have for you tomorrow night. So until then, I hope you enjoy your evening. Please take care, and goodnight. Captioned by Seven Network Email -