Archive for March, 2012

Missouri HB 1987 TAKE ACTION

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

We are delighted to report that Missouri State Representative Mike Leara (Republican, District 095 – Sunset Hills, Crestwood, Fenton and Grantwood Village in St. Louis County) introduced House Bill 1987 with the stated purpose to establish requirements for parental consent for mental health screenings in school and the use of psychotropic medications with children in the custody of the Department of Social Services.

The full text of the bill can be read here. Here are some pertinent quotes:

“The use of educational settings to screen children and adolescents for mental disorders has led to parents not being given sufficient information about the purpose of such screenings, the ramifications if they consent, such as mandatory psychological or psychiatric treatment for their child and family, thereby violating the recognized requirements and standards regarding full informed consent.”

“Based on the subjective nature of the mental health diagnostic system and mental health screenings, millions of children are prescribed antidepressants or stimulants recognized by leading drug regulatory agencies as causing suicidal behavior, suicide, violence, hostility and in the case of stimulants, the potential for strokes and heart attacks.”

“The department of elementary and secondary education shall prohibit the use of schools for any mental health or psychological screening or testing of any student, whether a nonemancipated minor or emancipated minor without the express written consent of the parent or guardian.”

“On or before January 1, 2013, the department of social services shall promulgate rules or amend any current rules to establish and maintain standards and procedures to govern the administration of psychotropic medications.”

ANALYSIS

This is a particularly valuable piece of legislation as it reflects the growing awareness and concern of parents about the harm done to their children by mental health screenings and psychotropic drugs in schools, and the indiscriminate administration of harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs to children in the foster care system.

TAKE ACTION

Please thank Representative Leara for his efforts and let Representative Leara know that you support this legislation, and write your own Missouri State Representative urging them to bring it through Committee and to a vote on the floor.

If you do not live in Missouri, then forward this proposed legislation to your own state representatives and urge them to sponsor and enact similar legislation.

FURTHER INFORMATION

For more information about the harm caused by mental health screenings and psychotropic drugs, visit the CCHR STL web site.

Hypnotics Causing Death

Monday, March 19th, 2012

A recent British Medical Journal article explores the connection between hypnotic drugs and excessive death. “An estimated 6%–10% of US adults took a hypnotic drug for poor sleep in 2010. This study extends previous reports associating hypnotics with excess mortality.”

This particular study was quite extensive and well-done (over 33,000 people followed for an average of two and a half years), with dramatic conclusions. Great care was taken in this study to eliminate arbitrary factors such as pre-existing conditions or other risk factors.

First, though, what is a “hypnotic” drug? The word comes from a Greek word for “to put to sleep” and means “inducing or tending to induce sleep.” The common hypnotic drugs examined in this study were zolpidem (Ambien), temazepam (Restoril), eszopiclone (Lunesta), and zaleplon (Sonata), and other benzodiazepines, barbiturates and sedative antihistamines.

Temazepam is a benzodiazepine; zolpidem, eszopiclone and zaleplon are non-benzodiazepines that apparently operate similarly to benzodiazepines in the body. All of these drugs appear in the CCHR booklet on psychiatric drug side effects.

This class of drugs should be familiar to CCHR supporters, as they are minor tranquilizers commonly prescribed as an anti-anxiety psychiatric drug. They are majorly addictive and have many nasty side effects.

The main conclusion of this study can be paraphrased thusly: Receiving hypnotic prescriptions was associated with a greater than threefold increased hazard of death, even when prescribed for less than 18 pills per year.

The authors go on to say that, “The meagre benefits of hypnotics, as critically reviewed by groups without financial interest, would not justify substantial risks.”

This study supports and extends the findings in the CCHR booklet “The Side Effects of Common Psychiatric Drugs“, available for free download here.

From a psychiatric fraud and abuse point of view, the continued prescribing of these anti-anxiety drugs by psychiatrists and doctors, often disguised as “sleep” drugs, is harmful and unethical, to say the least. Alert your local, state and federal officials to this abuse.

It could be dangerous to immediately cease taking psychiatric drugs because of potential significant withdrawal side effects. No one should stop taking any psychiatric drug without the advice and assistance of a competent medical doctor. Report any adverse psychiatric drug effects to the FDA’s MedWatch program at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/.

Go here for information on alternatives to psychiatric drugs.

[Study citation: Kripke DF, Langer RD, Kline LE. Hypnotics’ association with mortality or cancer: a matched cohort study. BMJ Open 2012;2:e000850.]

The Mental Health in Schools Act of 2011

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Our U.S. Government at Work

U.S. House of Representatives bill H.R. 751, the Mental Health in Schools Act of 2011, was sponsored in Congress 2/17/2011 by Rep. Grace Napolitano (California, D-38) and acquired 52 co-sponsors.

The stated purpose of this bill is “To amend the Public Health Service Act to revise and extend projects relating to children and violence to provide access to school-based comprehensive mental health programs.”

Representatives Russ Carnahan (D-3) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-5) of Missouri are co-sponsors. The bill is currently in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health.

To read the bill for yourself, go to the Library of Congress (http://thomas.loc.gov) and search for “H.R. 751”.

The bill summary says, “Amends the Public Health Service Act to revise a community children and violence program to assist local communities and schools in applying a public health approach to mental health services, including by: (1) revising eligibility requirements for a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement; and (2) providing for comprehensive school mental health programs that are culturally and linguistically appropriate and age appropriate. Makes only a partnership between a local educational agency and at least one community program or agency that is involved in mental health eligible for such funding.”

The rationale for this outrageous bill comes from fraudulent statistics provided by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The bill says that approximately 1 in 5 children have a diagnosable mental disorder, and approximately 1 in 10 children have a serious emotional or behavioral disorder, thus requiring intervention by every school “to respond to the mental health needs of its students.”

While this bill is abhorrent in itself, the real target is not just defeating such blatant trolling for patients by the psychopharmaceutical industry, but should be removing all mental health funding from the educational system, and returning the care of children’s mental health to their families, religious institutions, and legitimate health and medical professionals.

Find your U.S. Representatives and their contact information at http://www.house.gov/representatives/. Let them know what you think.

For more information, read our blog posts on these subjects:

http://www.cchrstl.org/wordpress/2012/01/02/federal-funds-for-learning-disorders/

http://www.cchrstl.org/wordpress/2011/08/17/the-parental-consent-act/

http://www.cchrstl.org/wordpress/2011/08/13/dc-0-to-3/

http://www.cchrstl.org/wordpress/2011/03/20/you-paid-for-it-missouri/

Profiting from mental ill-health

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Profiting from mental ill-health

There’s a reason psychiatrists prescribe drugs rather than talking therapy: the latter makes no money for pharmaceutical firms

Psychotherapist Harriet Fraad of New York City lambasts psychiatric drugs:

“Do these psycho pharmaceuticals work to restore mental health? Actually, the evidence is overwhelming that they fail. Antidepressants, the most popular psycho-pharmaceuticals, work no better than placebos. They work 25% of the time and stop working when the user stops taking them. In addition, they may actually harm patients in the long run. They disrupt brain neurotransmitters and may usurp the brain’s organic soothing functions.

“All 30 of the available antidepressants have suffered lawsuits within five years of their appearance on the market. These suits are often settled with large payments and gag clauses. … Every major company selling anti-psychotics – Bristol Meyers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca – has either settled investigations for healthcare fraud or is currently being investigated for it.

“Experts agree that there is no long-term improvement in children’s lives from taking anti-psychotic drugs. In fact, these drugs have a substantiated pattern of metabolic problems and rapid weight gain that often leads to diabetes. The use of bipolar diagnoses and bipolar medications is one small example of how market-driven mental healthcare works in the United States. It illustrates the transformation of US healthcare into a system dominated by some of the richest corporations in the world.

“Caring about profit is first, and that is why psychiatry has turned to drug therapy.”


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Of course, we do not recommend psychiatric treatment of any kind, drugs or talk therapy. There are good reasons why we do not recommend psychiatric treatment. We do recommend informed consent, and sound medical diagnosis and treatment. For more information, download and read the free CCHR booklet, “Psychiatric Hoax — The Subversion of Medicine.”

Depression drugs causing falls in elderly

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Depression drugs ‘causing falls’

Elderly people with dementia are more likely to suffer falls if they are given anti-depressants

The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology reports that the risk of injuries from falls was tripled when elderly patients are given SSRI anti-depressants.

“Even at low doses, SSRIs are associated with increased risk of an injurious fall in nursing home residents with dementia. Higher doses increase the risk further with a threefold risk…”

Elderly Abuse is a common psychiatric human rights violation. For more information about the way the psychiatric industry harms the elderly, download and read the free CCHR booklet, “Elderly Abuse — Cruel Mental Health Programs — Report and recommendations on psychiatry abusing seniors.”

The reality of nursing home and aged–care center life today is often far from the stylized image of communicative, interactive and interested elderly residents living in an idyllic environment. By contrast, more often than not, the institutionalized elderly of today appear submissive, quiet, somehow vacant, a sort of lifelessness about them, perhaps blankly staring or deeply introspective and withdrawn.

If not by drugs, these conditions can also be brought on by the use of electroconvulsive or shock treatment (ECT) or simply the threat of painful and demeaning restraints.

Rather than this being the failure of nursing hospital and aged care staff generally, this is the legacy of the widespread introduction of psychiatric treatment into the care of the elderly over the last few decades.

In the United States, 65–year–olds receive 360% more shock treatment than 64–vear–olds because at age 65 government insurance coverage for shock typically takes effect.

Such extensive abuse of the elderly is not the result of medical incompetence. In fact, medical literature clearly cautions against prescribing tranquilizers to the elderly because of the numerous dangerous side effects. Studies show ECT shortens the lives of elderly people significantly. Specific figures are not kept as causes of death are usually listed as heart attacks or other conditions.

The abuse is the result of psychiatry maneuvering itself into an authoritative position over aged care. From there, psychiatry has broadly perpetrated the tragic but lucrative hoax that aging is a mental disorder requiring extensive and expensive psychiatric services.

The end result is that, rather than being cherished and respected, too often our senior citizens suffer the extreme indignity of having their power of mind heartlessly nullified by psychiatric treatments or their lives simply brought to a tragic and premature end.