DR. RUDORFER:  Thank you.

              Speaker 36.

                        Noah Wright Smith

             MS. SMITH:  My name is Noah Wright Smith

   and I am a 15-year-old victim of legalized drug

   abuse.  My mother had me put on Ritalin when I was

   5.  I felt sick all the time on Ritalin and it was

   just the beginning of bad things happening to me

   because of drugs.

             My grandparents won custody of me last

   year.  When they won, they got upset because I was

   in bad shape and on a lot of drugs.  They picked me

   up at Broughton Mental Hospital in Morganton, North

   Carolina, and learned I was on 1,000 milligrams of

   drugs a day.  In my lifetime, I have been on 16

   psychotropic drugs including Zoloft, Paxil, and

   Effexor, and all of them made me feel sick and do

   very bad things.

             I wasn't a bad kid.  I was a badly abused

   kid, abused by my mother and my stepfather.  The

   Department of Social Services knew I was being

   abused, but they didn't do anything except put me

   on more drugs.

             The drugs made me sick and do bad things

   like trying to stab my teacher with scissors.

   Sometimes it made me want to kill my parents, and I

   told them that, and was put in a mental hospital.

             Some drugs made me have bad nightmares, so

   I tried very hard not to sleep every night, so they

   gave me drugs to make me sleep.  Some of the drugs

   made me want to kill myself.  I couldn't stop

   thinking about killing myself.  When I told the

   doctors, they sent me to still another mental


             One day I tried to jump off a very high

   railing to kill myself.  I was put in a mental

   hospital again for doing that, but I really wanted

   to die.  I really did want to, and I was so scared

   and mad, too.  In those mental hospitals, they kept

   giving me more drugs, and I got depressed.  I got

   diabetes and high blood pressure.

             My grandparents won my custody and took me

   to a new psychiatrist.  We have worked hard

   together and he found I really don't need any

   drugs.  Last year he took me off all of them, one

   at a time.  No more nightmares or wanting to hurt

   or kill other people, and I don't want to kill

   myself anymore.

             Drugs almost ruined my life and almost

   killed me. What about the kids that have to take

   these drugs?  I don't want kids to kill themselves.

   Who is taking care of them? Who really cares about

   us kids?  I don't even know if you care, do you?

   Somebody had better listen to kids who say the

   medicines make them want to kill themselves, and

   make them sick, and do bad things, because they are

   telling you the truth.

             Thank you for listening to me.  Now,

    please, help the other kids, so that they don't get

   hurt by drugs, and so they don't kill themselves.

   I almost killed myself and I am glad I am alive.