Fifty-four suicides have been linked to the side-effects of Accutane, a powerful acne medication, but many people are still risking compromised mental health for clear skin. Writing for the New York City-based newswire Children's Express, Shara Davis, 15, Simone Denny, 12, Nazli Kfoury, 15, Eva Russel, 15, and Ruth Solow, 10, explore the controversy surrounding the drug. Accutane can cause a host of maladies, such as liver failure, jaundice, and depression. Before getting a prescription for the medication, female patients must agree to regular pregnancy tests due to the high rates of birth defects that have been reported by pregnant women taking the drug. All patients receive regular blood tests. Still thousands of Americans take the treatment every year. However, Rosanna, 14, opts not to. "Obviously it's pretty potent stuff, and I'm not sure if I want to mess around with changing the chemical makeup of my body just for my face."
--Sara V. Buckwitz