Just in time for a holiday treat, we read an encouraging article in The Concordia Concordian (Concordia, Lafayette County, Missouri).
This December 7th article reports that the federal government Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General Daniel Levinson proposed to Congress that Medicare force nursing homes to pay for drugs prescribed inapproriately.
“Government inspectors told lawmakers Wednesday [12/7/2011] Medicare officials need to do more to stop doctors from prescribing powerful psychiatric drugs to nursing home patients with dementia, an unapproved practice that has flourished despite repeated government warnings.”
It seems these harmful drugs are given to hundreds of thousands of elderly nursing home patients to pacify aggressive behavior related to dementia, in spite of FDA warnings that these drugs increase the risk of death in seniors with dementia.
A report from HHS issued last May found that 83 percent of Medicare claims for antipsychotics were for nursing home residents with dementia, and 14 percent of all nursing home residents were prescribed antipsychotics.
While doctors are allowed to prescribe drugs for such off-label uses, it is illegal for drug companies to promote off-label use. Yet this alarming practice continues to bilk Medicare for unapproved drugs, which is another example of psychiatric fraud.
What is the alternative to psychotropic drugs?
Not only do psychiatrists not understand the cause of any mental disorder, they cannot cure them. Though psychiatry may have given up on effective mental healing, this is fortunately false. Mental problems can be resolved, and without harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs.
The first and most obvious action to take with someone mentally disturbed is to Do No Harm. That means ensuring that they are not subjected to psychiatric treatments that use force and harm in an attempt to control behavior. More than anything, the person needs rest, security, good nutrition, exercise, and attention to the real underlying, possibly undiagnosed, medical problems.
We do understand that a nursing staff faced with a seriously disturbed and irrational resident can become desperate in their attempts to resolve the behavior. The psychiatric industry has suppressed workable methods of helping such individuals.
There are far too many workable non-psychiatric alternatives to list them here. As a brief guide, always help a person with quiet, food, rest, and only if necessary to achieve rest, a mild drug so that he or she can rest properly and sufficiently. Never turn someone who is mentally disturbed over to people who use force, seclusion, or physically damaging practices and “treatments.” Ensure that a full and searching medical examination is conducted to determine any undiagnosed and untreated medical conditions. Always find the cause of the person’s problems. Never be satisfied with a mere explanation of the symptoms.
While sanctioning nursing homes that defraud Medicare is certainly a step in the right direction, there is truly only one way to reform the field of mental health and that is to remove psychiatry’s monopoly of it that has led only to upwardly spiraling mental illness statistics and no cures.
Click here for more information about alternatives to abusive psychiatric drugs and treatments.