Archive for July, 2013

Common Core Controversy

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Common Core Controversy

The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) is a set of educational standards for each grade level (K-12) that are intended to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so that teachers and parents know what they need to do to help their students and children. There are currently only standards for Math and English, and they incorporate both content and skills standards.

The official authors, publishers and copyright holders of the Common Core State Standards are the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Since its inception in 2008, forty-five states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted the Common Core State Standards.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro, with the approval of the State Board of Education, signed a Memorandum of Agreement in 2009 permitting Missouri to work with other states on the development of the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics. The Missouri State Board of Education (not the Missouri legislature) adopted the Common Core State Standards on June 15, 2010 with full implementation expected during the school year 2014-15.

There will be a new set of assessment tests aligned with the Common Core Standards. Because the tests are computer-based, schools will need adequate computer technology and bandwidth available to conduct the assessments.

Both ACT and the SAT have announced that these tests will become aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

Missouri has allied itself with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to develop the Common Core assessment tests for Math and English, which will replace the current Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests for these subject areas.

There are a number of groups opposing this initiative for a variety of reasons, including ParentalRights.org, MissouriEducationWatchdog.com, MOAgainstCommonCore.webs.com, The American Principles Project, Concerned Women of America, National Coalition of Organized Women, UtahnsAgainstCommonCore.com, and PioneerInstitute.org.

While CCHR does not particularly endorse nor oppose CCSSI, there may be ramifications in the mental health field about which you may wish to know.

The main objection voiced that might relate to CCHR interests is that these standards raise the prospect of privacy violations and data mining of private student information. The fear is that this data could include such items as family income, religion, family voting history, mental health screenings, and disciplinary actions. (In fact, current data reporting already includes disciplinary actions.)

Currently the Missouri Department of Education collects 119 data points for each student. These are a combination of requirements from Missouri state law, Missouri state Department of Education, court rulings, federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, federal Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act, and federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

While the Common Core Standards officially do not contain data collection or reporting requirements, the means of assessing students and the data that results from those assessments are up to the discretion of each state. There is also a separate data collection effort called the Common Core of Data which is a program of the U.S. Department of Education, although this ostensibly uses aggregate statistics only and not individually identifiable information.

A less well-known, hard to find and disturbing bit of information comes from the CCSSI co-author Council of Chief State School Officers web site, which lists one of its prime principles as “Continued Commitment to Disaggregation,” referring to making the data collection and reporting systems provide more data that is tied to individuals rather than aggregated solely as statistics.

In a 2009 interview with Charlie Rose, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan advocated having healthcare clinics associated with schools. He also indicated that schools should be the center of community life and be open 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, 12 months a year. When not operating strictly as a school, they should be partnered with community service organizations to operate the facilities and hold various programs.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a Fact Sheet January 19, 2012 called “Unlocking the Power of Education Data for All Americans,” announcing a number of public and private data collection and reporting initiatives.

It is certainly no secret that the White House strongly supports mental health efforts in schools. Quoting from the White House blog:

“The budget supports initiatives to help teachers and other adults identify early signs of mental health problems and refer young people to services they may need, and to advance new state-based strategies to prevent young people ages 16 to 25 with mental health or substance abuse problems from falling through the cracks when they leave home. The budget will help 8,000 schools implement evidence-based behavioral practices to improve school climate and behavioral outcomes for all students.”

We’re not particularly prone to cry “where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” having stirred up enough fireless smoke ourselves. All we’re really saying here is, there might be something to watch about all this — dig a little deeper when the news media says how wonderful some new program is, especially if it involves an area already infiltrated by the psychiatric industry such as education.

For more information about harmful psychiatric influences in education, download the CCHR reportHarming Youth — Psychiatry Destroys Young Minds — Report and recommendations on harmful mental health assessments, evaluations, and programs within our schools.”

Nursing Home Abuses

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Nursing Home Abuses

The June 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine had this to say about antipsychotic drugs given to nursing home patients:

“These and related drugs are supposed to be used only for patients with diagnosed psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and not for disciplinary reasons such as quelling agitation in patients with Alzheimer’s dementia. In a large 2010 study, almost 30 percent of nursing-home residents had received an antipsychotic; of them, almost one-third had no identified indication for use. The drugs don’t help dementia and have been linked to other risks, including less functional improvement, longer nursing-home stays, and a greater chance of dying. A review published in March by the Cochrane Collaboration concluded that most older adults with dementia can successfully be taken off antipsychotic drugs.”

Nursing-home residents have human rights protected by law. The Consumer Reports article goes on to say that “some nursing homes disregard the law, and often they get away with it. One reason is that residents or their families might be reluctant to make a formal complaint because they fear the staff will retaliate.”

In Missouri the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program provides support and assistance with any problems or complaints regarding residents of nursing homes and residential care facilities. Complaints concerning abuse, neglect and financial exploitation should be reported to the Missouri Division of Senior Services Elder Abuse Hotline, 800-392-0210, email address LTCOmbudsman@health.mo.gov.

In the U.S., 65-year-olds receive 360% more shock treatments that 64-year-olds because at age 65 government Medicare insurance coverage for shock typically takes effect.

Indiscriminate use of psychiatric drugs, electric shock, and violent restraints on the elderly are responsible for much needless suffering.

This 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. For example, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) labels Alzheimer’s Dementia as a mental disorder, even though this is a physical illness and the proper domain of neurologists. Medical experts say that 99% of Alzheimer’s cases do not belong in psychiatric “care.”

In most cases, the elderly are merely suffering from physical problems related to their age, but psychiatry claims that they are manifesting symptoms of dementia which necessitates “treatment” in a nursing home or psychiatric hospital. This is then used to involuntarily commit the elderly to a psychiatric facility, take control of their finances, override their wishes regarding their business, property or health care needs and defraud their health insurance.

If an elderly person in your environment is displaying symptoms of mental trauma or unusual behavior, ensure that he or she gets competent medical care from a non-psychiatric doctor. Insist upon a thorough physical examination to determine whether an underlying undiagnosed physical problem is causing the condition.

Contact your local, state and federal representatives and let them know what you think about this. Forward this newsletter to your family, friends and associates and recommend they subscribe.

Hot Flashes? Take psych drugs!

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Hot Flashes? Take psych drugs!

A nonhormonal drug, paroxetine mesylate (brand name Brisdelle), was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) June 28, 2013 for hot flashes associated with menopause, despite an agency advisory committee having rejected it as too much risk for minimal benefit.

Paroxetine is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, the active ingredient in two drugs for depression and other psychiatric disorders, Paxil and Pexeva. Brisdelle’s label features a boxed warning about the increased risk for suicidality.

While Brisdelle and related antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions, there are many additional potential side effects such as nervousness, hallucinations, coma, or other changes in mental status; coordination problems or small movements of the muscles that you cannot control; racing heartbeat; high or low blood pressure; sweating or fever; nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; muscle rigidity; dizziness; flushing; tremors; seizures or convulsions; may increase your risk of bleeding or bruising; headache; weakness or feeling unsteady; confusion, problems concentrating or thinking or memory problems; higher risk of bone fractures; manic episodes; reckless behavior; unable to sit still or stand still.

So now menapause is a psychiatric disorder? We think we’d rather just suffer the hot flashes. Oh, and did you notice that hot flashes (“flushing”) are also one of the side effects of this concoction you’re supposed to take to suppress hot flashes!

What’s the point? Did you say greed? Ya think?

By the way, this thing about “side effects” … You do realize that these are the body’s natural response to having a chemical disrupt its normal functioning. One could also say that there are no drug side effects, these adverse reactions are actually the drug’s real effects; some of these effects just happen to be unwanted.

Psychotropic drugs may relieve the pressure that an underlying physical problem could be causing but they do not treat, correct or cure any physical disease or condition. The drugs break into, in most cases, the routine rhythmic flows and activities of the nervous system; the nerves and other body systems are forced to do things they normally would not do. Once the drug has worn off, the original problem remains. As a solution or cure to life’s problems, psychotropic drugs do not work.

Embrace the hot flashes! Contact your government representatives and suggest they stop funding psychiatric drugs.

ADHD Drugs Don’t Boost Kids’ Grades

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

ADHD Drugs Don’t Boost Kids’ Grades

Studies of Children With Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Find Little Change

New studies of children taking psychiatric drugs find that there is little evidence that the drugs actually improve academic outcomes.

A growing body of research finds that in the long run, achievement scores, grade-point averages or the likelihood of repeating a grade generally aren’t any different in kids diagnosed with symptoms called ADHD who take psychiatric drugs compared with those who don’t take such drugs.

A June, 2013 study looked at ADHD drug usage and educational outcomes of nearly 4,000 students in Quebec over an average of 11 years and found that boys who took ADHD drugs actually performed worse in school than those with a similar number of symptoms who didn’t. Girls taking the medicine reported more emotional problems, according to a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The results “suggest that expanding medication use can have negative consequences given the average way these drugs are used in the community.”

The reason this issue was studied by an economics research think tank is because a policy change in the province of Quebec, Canada greatly expanded insurance coverage for prescription medications; the change was associated with a sharp increase in the use of Ritalin relative to the rest of Canada.

If you agree that alternatives like good nutrition, effective non-psychiatric medical diagnosis and treatment, and teaching children how to read and study are preferable to harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs, clap your hands — and contact your local, state and federal representatives to tell them what you think. Ask them to stop funding psychiatric drugs for children.

Forward this newsletter to your family, friends and associates and suggest that they subscribe.

Military’s Use of Powerful Psychiatric Drugs

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

FOX Special Report Series

Military’s Use of Powerful Psychiatric Drugs

Last month FOX National News released a three-part series on the drugging of our nation’s military, produced by award-winning investigative reporter Douglas Kennedy, and assisted by CCHR International.

The first part of this series, “Military’s Reliance on Powerful Psych Drugs,” tells the story of Marine Corporal Andrew White who survived the 2005 war in Iraq, but unfortunately, says his father Stanley, he could not survive the drug cocktail prescribed to him by his caregivers at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Andrew was prescribed 19 different drugs from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA), and was on 5 drugs for insomnia when he accidentally died in his sleep in 2011. A cocktail that included the antidepressant Paxil, the anti-anxiety Klonopin and the anti-psychotic Seroquel. Click here for part one of this series.

The second part of this series, “Military Prescribing Powerful Anti-psychotics,” follows the tragic death of former Navy Corpsman, Kelly Greece, who overdosed on the cocktail of drugs she was prescribed by her doctor from the VA. She was prescribed Klonopin, Adderall, Seroquel, and at least 15 other powerful psychiatric drugs. Click here for part two of this series.

The third part of this series, “Drug Treatments for Vets Doing More Harm than Good?” tells the story of Iraqi war veteran Charles Perkins who, after returning home from Iraq, saw 13 different VA psychiatrists within one year, many of them giving him different diagnoses. Perkins ended up receiving 25 prescriptions for 25 different drugs. Once Perkins saw his own doctor, he was told “You are lucky to be alive.” Click here for part three of this series.

Parents Know Your Rights

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Parents Know Your Rights

Periodically we publish a piece about parental rights, particularly regarding parents’ rights when told they must or should put their children on psychiatric drugs.

We keep getting calls about this, so apparently we have not saturated the general public yet with this vital information. You can help us by forwarding this message to your own family, friends, and associates.

Parents are quite simply not being given accurate information about psychiatric labels (mental disorders) or the drugs being prescribed to “treat” their children. This is fact: There are no medical tests in existence that can prove ADHD or any other mental disorder is a physical abnormality, brain dysfunction, chemical imbalance or genetic abnormality.

There are non-harmful, non-drug medical alternatives to treating children’s problems with mood, attention and behavior that do not require a stigmatizing psychiatric label (not based on science or medicine but strictly on opinion) or a dangerous drug. You have the right to know about these, and to ask your doctor about non-drug treatments. You also have the right to get a second opinion.

Federal law prohibits school personnel from requiring you to drug your child.

The child drugging epidemic that has resulted in infants, toddlers, foster children, and a total of 20 million children on psychiatric drugs rests on one fraudulent premise: that mental disorders are biological “diseases” therefore justifying the administration of mind-altering drugs. The falsity of this premise is easily established by the fact that there is not one medical or scientific test that can prove any child has a mental disorder. Not one.

Behaviors are not diseases and drugs are not medication. This isn’t to say that children don’t have emotional or behavioral problems, it is saying that without evidence of disease—a physical disease—children are simply being drugged to change their behavior. Psychiatrists know this—they admit this, their own literature admits as much. But they like to keep these facts to themselves.

Read more about this by clicking here.

Ask us for a copy of our Parents’ Guide.