Chanting the Chantix Mantra

Recently there has been a gross increase in the TV ad campaign for Chantix, promoting this deadly drug for smoking cessation.

We’ve written about Chantix before, but we thought a repeat was in order due to this massive ad campaign.

In 2008 the Federal Aviation Administration banned Chantix for pilots and air traffic controllers, and reissued that decision in 2013.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) slapped a “Black Box” warning on Chantix (varenicline tartrate, made by Pfizer) in 2009 after receiving thousands of reports linking the drug to mental health issues, including suicidal thoughts, hostility and agitation.

In 2015, the FDA expanded the warning to note that the drug had also been linked to reduced alcohol tolerance leading to seizures.

However, in 2016 the FDA removed the Black Box warning, after heavy lobbying from Pfizer claiming that additional data showed that the benefits of Chantix outweighed its adverse side effects (oh, and since its sales had significantly dropped.)

But the adverse side effects did not go away; only the Black Box warning went away. One study found that Chantix had more cases of suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and homicidal thoughts than any other drug, by a more than three-fold margin. Pfizer’s prescribing information still warns about new or worsening mental health problems such as changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, or suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping Chantix.

We suspect that the recent spate of TV ads is related to the removal of the Black Box warning and the prior drop in sales. Also, the price of Chantix more than doubled between 2013 and 2018. In 2013, Pfizer paid out $273 million to settle a majority of the 2,700 state and federal lawsuits that had been filed over adverse side effects. Now the company is trying to grow the market with clinical studies for smokers age 12 to 19.

What is Chantix?

Chantix is a psychiatric drug — a benzodiazepine-based anti-anxiety drug, also called a minor tranquilizer or sedative hypnotic. Daily use of therapeutic doses of benzodiazepines are associated with physical dependence, and addiction can occur after 14 days of regular use. Typical consequences of withdrawal are anxiety, depression, sweating, cramps, nausea, psychotic reactions and seizures. There is also a “rebound effect” where the individual experiences even worse symptoms than they started with as a result of chemical dependency.

The exact mechanism of action of benzodiazepines is not known, but they affect neurotransmitters in the brain and suppress the activity of nerves, under the unproven theory that excessive activity of nerves may be the cause of anxiety. Chantix was developed to specifically affect nicotinic receptors in the brain, under the theory that this would reduce nicotine craving and block the rewarding effects of smoking. Messing with neurotransmitters in the brain is playing Russian Roulette with your mind.

Benzodiazepines are metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes, so a genetic lack of these enzymes can cause a buildup of harmful toxins and increase the severity of adverse side effects.

Psychiatric “best practices” consider that smoking is an addiction and recommend that psychiatrists assess tobacco use at every patient visit, since tobacco addiction is covered in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) as a “mental illness” under eight separate items, and disorders related to inhalant use have 33 entries. Smoking is not a mental illness and addiction cannot be fixed with psychiatric drugs.

The psychiatric industry considers that smoking cessation therapies are their territory, however this drug masks the real cause of problems in life and debilitates the individual, thus denying one the opportunity for real recovery and hope for the future. Treating substance abuse with drugs is a major policy blunder; contact your state and federal representatives and let them know you disapprove of this trend.

Recognize that the real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness”, and stigmatize unwanted behavior like smoking as a “disease.” Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax — unscientific, fraudulent and harmful. All psychiatric treatments, not just psychiatric drugs, are dangerous.

1 in 4 Elderly Americans Hooked on Xanax

One in four older Americans who use prescribed benzodiazepine drugs such as Xanax (generic alprazolam) for sleep issues, anxiety and depression end up becoming addicted, according to a recent study.

The study, published 10 September 2018 in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that for every 10 additional days of prescribed drugs, the patient’s risk for long-term usage nearly doubled over the next year.
[doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.2413]

This abusive assault on the elderly 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.

Long-term benzodiazepine users are more likely to develop anxiety or have sleep problems, the very things the drug was supposed to treat. The FDA recommends reporting adverse psychiatric drug reactions to the MedWatch program. 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.

The exact mechanism of action of benzodiazepines is not known, but they play Russian Roulette with neurotransmitters in the brain.

Daily use of benzodiazepines has always been associated with physical dependence. Addiction can occur after just 14 days of regular use. Withdrawal and addiction to benzodiazepines can be as traumatic as with heroin.

The typical consequences of withdrawal are anxiety, depression, sweating, cramps, nausea, psychotic reactions and seizures. There is also a “rebound effect” where the individual experiences even worse symptoms than they started with as a result of this chemical dependency.

Xanax is particularly obnoxious. After a patient stops taking Xanax, it takes the brain six to eighteen months to recover. Extreme anger, hostile behavior, violence and suicide are potential side effects.

Once they are taking the drug and have side effects they can be diagnosed with a fraudulent mental illness called “Sedative-, hypnotic-, or anxiolytic-induced anxiety disorder” and prescribed additional psychiatric drugs for the side effects. [Anxiolytic just means anti-anxiety drug.]

Then, once they are addicted and try to withdraw from the drug, they can be diagnosed with a fraudulent mental illness called “Sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic withdrawal” and prescribed additional psychiatric drugs for the withdrawal symptoms.

The real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness”, and stigmatize unwanted behavior as  “diseases.” Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax – unscientific, fraudulent and harmful.

CCHR recommends that everyone watch the video documentary “Making A Killing – The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging“. Containing more than 175 interviews with lawyers, mental health experts, the families of psychiatric abuse victims and the survivors themselves, this riveting documentary rips the mask off psychotropic drugging and exposes a brutal but well-entrenched money-making machine. The facts are hard to believe, but fatal to ignore. Watch the video online here.

Buds Worth Billions – Blinded by the Buds

The January 18-24 2019 edition of the St. Louis Business Journal extolled the virtues of making lots of money from medical marijuana.

Yes, we know that medical marijuana is now legal in Missouri; and yes, we know that the Business Journal‘s interest in local businesses motivates its attention.

On the other hand, a convincing argument can be made that, while legal and profitable, promoting marijuana is decidedly unethical.

“The Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association estimates $500 million in total economic benefit for the first year of the program.”

There are countless arguments for “medical benefits”; but those arguments seem to take second place after the arguments for how much money can be made.

There are also arguments for medical harm. Let’s take a look at the medical disadvantages, to get a sense of how promoting marijuana could be unethical.

Marijuana is a Drug

Make no mistake, marijuana (often called cannabis in an attempt to avoid the negative connotations of weed) is a drug.

Regardless of the name, this drug is a hallucinogen — a substance which distorts how the mind perceives the world.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the principal psychoactive component of marijuana, stays in the body for weeks, possibly months, depending on the length and intensity of usage. THC damages the immune system. In 2005, 242,200 emergency room visits in the U.S. involved marijuana. Nationwide, 40% of adult males tested positive for marijuana at the time of their arrest for a crime. Multiple studies have linked years of heavy marijuana use to brain abnormalities and psychosis. Cannabis is one of the few drugs which causes abnormal cell division which leads to severe hereditary defects.

Because a tolerance builds up, marijuana can lead users to consume stronger drugs to achieve the same effects.

People take drugs to get rid of unwanted situations or feelings. The drug masks the problem for a time, but when the “high” fades, the problem, unwanted condition or situation returns more intensely than before. Marijuana can harm a person’s memory — and this impact can last for days or weeks. Marijuana smoke also has all of the detrimental effects previously attributed to tobacco.

The use of marijuana is not only harmful to the person himself; he can also become a risk to society. Research clearly shows that marijuana has the potential to seriously diminish attention, memory, and learning. Users have more accidents, more injuries, and absenteeism than non-users.

Some will tell you that CBD (cannabidiol) is harmless because it does not contain THC. However, note that CBD and THC are structural isomers, which means they share the same chemical composition but their atomic arrangements differ. The proponents of CBD ignore the fact that it messes with the neurotransmitter serotonin when making claims for its safety and usefulness. There are very little long-term safety data available, but there is a lot of money riding on making this legal and ubiquitous; any bad effects are not going to be advertised or promoted. At higher dosages, CBD will deactivate cytochrome P450 enzymes, making it harder to metabolize certain drugs and toxins, particularly psychiatric drugs, leading to a toxic build-up of drugs and their subsequent adverse side effects.

How Drugs Work in the Body

Drugs are essentially poisons. The amount taken determines the effect. A small amount acts as a stimulant. A greater amount acts as a sedative. An even larger amount poisons and can kill. This is true of any drug.

Drugs block off all sensations, the desirable ones along with the unwanted ones. While providing short-term help in the relief of pain, they also wipe out ability and alertness and muddy one’s thinking.

Drugs affect the mind and destroy creativity. Drug residues lodge in the fatty tissues of the body and stay there, continuing to adversely affect the individual long after the effect of the drug has apparently worn off.

The Psychiatric Connection

In 2013 the American Psychiatric Association said, “There is no current scientific evidence that marijuana is in any way beneficial for the treatment of any psychiatric disorder.” The research was starting to show significant harm from cannabis use.

However, the psychiatric industry today has jumped on the cannabis bandwagon for several reasons. Psychiatrists are embracing all things marijuana because they are getting so many patients with marijuana-related problems such as addiction and psychosis. Marijuana addiction is such a significant problem that there are 31 entries in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) related to this addiction. Unfortunately, the last thing any psychiatric treatment has achieved is rehabilitation from addiction.

Since the 1950’s, psychiatry has monopolized the field of drug rehabilitation research and treatments. Its long list of failed cures has included lobotomies, insulin shock, psychoanalysis and LSD.

To the psychiatric industry, when they are not prescribing it as a “treatment”, cannabis use merely represents another pool of potential patients for other coercive and harmful treatments.

The history of psychiatry makes it clear that over many, many years they have been pushing dangerous drugs as “medicines.” We didn’t originally know about the long-term destructive effects of LSD, heroin, ecstasy, benzodiazepines, ritalin, and so on when psychiatrists first pushed them onto an unsuspecting society. Cannabis is no exception, as more and more psychiatrists are prescribing “medical” cannabis in spite of (or because of) the addiction problem. We think it’s the latter; the pool of potential psychiatric patients is increased by increasing cannabis use.

The Ethics of Promoting Marijuana Use

Ethics consists simply of the actions an individual takes on himself. A high level of ethics enhances one’s survival across all areas of life; it embodies rationality towards the greatest good for the greatest number. A low level of ethics, on the other hand, would be one’s irrationality toward bringing minimal survival, maximum harm or destruction, across all areas of life — or the least good for the fewest. An individual whose actions are harmful in society becomes subject to Justice. We leave it to each individual to observe for themselves the degree to which they and their associates are surviving well or poorly, and how marijuana may contribute to or obstruct the quality of their life.

In a statement issued January 13, 2019, the Cleveland Clinic announced that it will not be recommending medical marijuana to its patients. Dr. Paul Terpeluk, medical director of employee health services at the Cleveland Clinic, said, “There is little verified, published research that supports marijuana…as a medical treatment. … However, there is a significant amount of scientific literature that unequivocally shows that marijuana use has both short- and long-term deleterious effects on physical health.”

There are alternatives. We urge everyone embarking on some course of treatment to do their due diligence and undertake full informed consent.

More About Dopamine

Since we discussed Serotonin in a previous newsletter, we should also discuss Dopamine.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays several important roles in the brain and body. A neurotransmitter is a chemical released by neurons (nerve cells) to send signals to other nerve cells. Its chemical formula is C8H11NO2. It belongs to a family of chemicals with high psychoactive properties.

Dopamine was first synthesized in 1910, first identified in the human brain in 1957, and its function as a neurotransmitter was first recognized in 1958. The name comes from a contraction of chemicals in its synthesis.

The anticipation of rewards increases the level of dopamine in the brain, and many addictive drugs increase dopamine release or block its reuptake into neurons following release.

Dopamine has other effects around the body:

  • helps widen blood vessels
  • helps increase urine output
  • helps regulate insulin production
  • helps to protect the gastrointestinal tract
  • helps control motor function
  • helps regulate aggression

Because it seems to be involved in the anticipation of rewards, it is seen as a chemical of pleasure or happiness. Most antipsychotic drugs are dopamine antagonists which reduce dopamine activity. Decreased levels of dopamine have also been associated with painful symptoms. Like serotonin, dopamine levels must be strictly regulated since both an excess and a deficiency can be problematic.

Side effects of dopamine include lowered kidney function and irregular heartbeats, addiction, and an overdose can be fatal. Cocaine, methamphetamine, Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, MDMA (ecstasy) and other psychostimulants generally increase dopamine levels in the brain by a variety of mechanisms.

Dopamine and serotonin are both neurotransmitters; an imbalance of either one can have disastrous effects on health, mental health, digestion, sleep cycle, and so on. The serotonergic system has strong anatomical and functional interactions with the dopaminergic system. While they both affect a lot of the same parts of the body, they do so in distinct ways which are still not fully understood. In the brain in general, dopamine is an excitatory neurotransmitter and serotonin is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. The imbalance of these two chemicals can cause a number of disorders; thus, drugs which mess with either of these play Russian roulette with your brain.

Because both serotonin and dopamine are involved in regulating aggression in different ways, one can see that imbalances can lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors, which is a common side effect of drugs which mess with these neurotransmitters.

Researchers still only conjecture about any relationship between mental symptoms and dopamine, and they are coming to understand that the results do not support the hype.

Psychiatrists have known since the beginning of psychopharmacology that their drugs do not cure any disease. Further, there is no credible evidence that mental health is genetic or linked to dopamine transport; these are just public relations theories to support the marketing and sale of drugs. The manufacturers of every such drug state in the fine print that they don’t really understand how it works. Psychiatric drugs are fraudulently marketed as safe and effective for the sole purpose of earning billions for the psycho-pharmaceutical industry.

These drugs mask the real cause of problems in life and debilitate the individual, so denying him or her the opportunity for real recovery and hope for the future. This is the real reason why psychiatry is a violation of human rights. Psychiatric treatment is not just a failure — it is routinely destructive to the individual and one’s mental health.

Psychiatry and Cannabis

There is an abundance of research literature highlighting the harmful effects of cannabis (marijuana), yet a large number of psychiatrists still advocate for additional research in the hope that they can find some beneficial use for it.

Some Cannabis History

The demonization of cannabis was an extension of the demonization of Mexican immigrants in the early 1900’s. The idea was to have an excuse to search, detain and deport Mexican immigrants. The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 effectively banned its use and sales. While the Act was ruled unconstitutional in 1969, it was replaced with the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 which established Schedules for ranking substances according to their dangerousness and potential for addiction. Cannabis was placed in the most restrictive category (Schedule I.)

In 1967, a group of prominent psychiatrists and doctors met in Puerto Rico to discuss their objectives for psychotropic drug use on “normal humans” in the year 2000. In what could well be a sequel to Huxley’s novel — only it wasn’t fiction — their plan included manufactured “intoxicants” that would create the same appeal as alcohol, marijuana, opiates and amphetamines, producing “disassociation and euphoria.” The rise of such psychotropics was likely related to the illegality and relative unavailability of other psychedelic drugs.

Psychiatry Promoting Cannabis

Partly due to the questionable legality of marijuana, it was not generally available as a psychiatric treatment, although various psychiatrists have promoted it for such.

In the 1840’s French psychiatrist Jacques-Joseph Moreau promoted marijuana as a medicine. Psychedelic drugs were studied for mental health conditions in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and a renewed push for their research and use is currently underway. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), was founded in 1986 by Rick Doblin specifically to promote marijuana and psychedelics as “medicines.”

In 1992, Australian psychiatrists called for heroin, cocaine and marijuana to be sold legally in liquor stores.

Another example is the psychiatric research paper “Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids in Psychosis” from 2016.

This quote expresses the psychiatric hope for cannabis: “Australian psychiatrist Patrick McGorry, renowned for his debunked and dangerous theory that pre-drugging adolescents with antipsychotics can prevent psychosis, now plans to prescribe medical cannabis to treat ‘anxious’ 12 year olds.”

This quote expresses another point of view: “…medicinal marijuana research suggests a joint a day might keep your psychiatrist away,” said Dr. Jeremy Spiegel, a psychiatrist on the east coast.

Rachna J. Patel, a psychiatrist in California, treats patients with marijuana.

The Harm that Cannabis Does

However, in 2013 the American Psychiatric Association said, “There is no current scientific evidence that marijuana is in any way beneficial for the treatment of any psychiatric disorder.” The research was starting to show significant harm from cannabis use.

Here are some relevant quotes about the harmful effects of cannabis:

“There’s consistent evidence showing a relationship over time between heavy or repeated cannabis use (or those diagnosed with cannabis use disorder) and an experience of psychosis for the first time.”

“The heaviest users of cannabis are around four times as likely to develop schizophrenia (a psychotic disorder that affects a person’s ability to think, feel and behave clearly) than non-users. Even the ‘average cannabis user’ (for which the definition varies from study to study) is around twice as likely as a non-user to develop a psychotic disorder.”

Use of cannabis to treat depression appears to exacerbate depression over time.”

“Cannabis can activate latent psychiatric issues.”

Cannabis is not a safe drug. Depending on how often someone uses, the age of onset, the potency of the cannabis that is used and someone’s individual sensitivity, the recreational use of cannabis may cause permanent psychological disorders.”

Cannabis Addiction

Today, psychiatrists are embracing all things marijuana because they are getting so many patients with marijuana-related problems such as addiction and psychosis. “Marijuana-related problems fall well within the scope of psychiatric practice: many patients use marijuana, which is likely to affect their psychiatric symptoms and response to treatment.”

In fact, marijuana addiction is such a significant problem that there are 31 entries in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) related to this addiction:

Cannabis intoxication
Cannabis intoxication delirium
Cannabis intoxication delirium, With mild use disorder
Cannabis intoxication delirium, With moderate or severe use disorder
Cannabis intoxication delirium, Without use disorder
Cannabis intoxication, With perceptual disturbances
Cannabis intoxication, With perceptual disturbances, With mild use disorder
Cannabis intoxication, With perceptual disturbances, With moderate or severe use disorder
Cannabis intoxication, With perceptual disturbances, Without use disorder
Cannabis intoxication, Without perceptual disturbances
Cannabis intoxication, Without perceptual disturbances, With mild use disorder
Cannabis intoxication, Without perceptual disturbances, With moderate or severe use disorder
Cannabis intoxication, Without perceptual disturbances, Without use disorder
Cannabis use disorder
Cannabis use disorder, Mild
Cannabis use disorder, Moderate
Cannabis use disorder, Severe
Cannabis withdrawal
Cannabis-induced anxiety disorder
Cannabis-induced anxiety disorder, With mild use disorder
Cannabis-induced anxiety disorder, With moderate or severe use disorder
Cannabis-induced anxiety disorder, Without use disorder
Cannabis-induced psychotic disorder
Cannabis-induced psychotic disorder, With mild use disorder
Cannabis-induced psychotic disorder, With moderate or severe use disorder
Cannabis-induced psychotic disorder, Without use disorder
Cannabis-induced sleep disorder
Cannabis-induced sleep disorder, With mild use disorder
Cannabis-induced sleep disorder, With moderate or severe use disorder
Cannabis-induced sleep disorder, Without use disorder
Unspecified cannabis-related disorder

So there is a shift in psychiatry from treatment of mental health problems with cannabis to treatment of cannabis addiction. They go where the money is.

Psychiatrists and other behavioral health professionals need to better understand the relationship between cannabis and mental disorders so that they can respond to increasing medical and recreational marijuana use among their patients.”

Unfortunately, the last thing any psychiatric treatment has achieved is rehabilitation from addiction.

Since the 1950’s, psychiatry has monopolized the field of drug rehabilitation research and treatments. Its long list of failed cures has included lobotomies, insulin shock, psychoanalysis and LSD.

Due to their drug rehabilitation failures, psychiatry redefined drug addiction as a “treatable brain disease,” making it conveniently “incurable” and requiring massive additional funds for “research” and to maintain treatment for the addiction. This has led to Medication-Assisted Treatment, where the drugs used to treat addiction are as addictive as the original ones.

The Latest Bandwagon, CBD

Since there is so much harm done by the THC in cannabis, many psychiatric researchers are putting their bets on cannabidiol (CBD), which is a cannabinoid lacking THC — such as psychiatrist José Alexandre S. Crippa of Brazil, who says “that cannabinoids may, in the future, become an important option in the treatment of psychiatric symptoms and disorders.”

Research findings in “Cannabidiol (CBD) as an Adjunctive Therapy in Schizophrenia: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial” “suggest that CBD has beneficial effects in patients with schizophrenia.”

Diana Martinez, Columbia professor of psychiatry, said, “If cannabidiol is moved off of Schedule I, a lot more research will be able to happen.”

Robert D. McMullen, a psychiatrist in New York, “remains hopeful that we will be able to develop substances that are going to target types of anxiety and depression with these cannabinoids but we haven’t reached that point yet.”

“While there are trials that suggest potential benefit of cannabinoids for [various psychiatric conditions], insufficient conclusion could be made due to the low quality of evidence…” [November 30, 2017]

Again, expressing the psychiatric hope: “While it is still unclear exactly how CBD works, we know that it acts in a different way to antipsychotic medication, so it could represent a new class of treatment.”

The jury is still out about the science and any potential benefit (or harm) of CBD, but the competition to get there first is intense, due to the potential of billions of dollars in taxes, pharmaceuticals, research funds, and other economic and psychiatric vested interests.

Psychiatric Drug Pushers

The history of psychiatry makes it clear that over many, many years they have been pushing dangerous drugs as “medicines.”

LSD moved into psychiatric ranks in the 1950’s as a “cure” for everything from schizophrenia to criminal behavior, sexual perversions and alcoholism. Ecstasy was used in the 1950’s as an adjunct to psychotherapy. Benzodiazepine tranquilizers became known as “Mother’s Little Helper” in the 1960’s. The cocaine-like addictive stimulant Ritalin (known among children as “Vitamin R”) is still in use for childhood behavioral problems, and suicide is a major complication of withdrawal from this and similar amphetamine-like drugs.

Today at least 17 million people worldwide are prescribed minor tranquilizers. Coincidentally, the world today is suffering from massive social problems including drug abuse and violence. We don’t have enough data yet about CBD to know its long-term effects; but then, we didn’t originally know about the long-term destructive effects of LSD, Ecstasy, benzodiazepines, Ritalin, and so on when they were first pushed onto an unsuspecting society.

These drugs can only chemically mask problems and symptoms, they cannot and never will be able to solve problems. The true resolution of many mental difficulties begins, not with a checklist of symptoms, but with ensuring that a competent, non-psychiatric physician completes a thorough physical examination.

People in desperate circumstances must be provided proper and effective medical care. Medical, not psychiatric, attention, good nutrition, a healthy, safe environment and activity that promotes confidence will do far more than the brutality of psychiatry’s unproven drug treatments.

Are You A CryptoCurrency Addict?

You think we’re joking, right?

But a hospital in Great Britain has a website devoted to cryptocurrency as a gambling addiction.

Castle Craig Hospital in Peeblesshire, Scotland (near Edinburgh) has a handy ten-question screening test to help you determine if you have such a gambling addiction, and they would be happy to treat you for it. If you answer “yes” to just one of these questions, you are likely addicted and desperately need help.

The “screening test” sounds a lot like the fraudulent “depression screening” tests promulgated by unscrupulous psychiatrists eager to prescribe you psychotropic drugs.

The recommended treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), supplemented with an antidepressant to help you with low moods, and the publicly funded National Health Service in the United Kingdom would be happy to help you get treatment.

CBT, as we’ve remarked previously, is a form of psychotherapy that attempts to modify dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts — by evaluating for the person, challenging the person’s behaviors, and getting the person to change those behaviors, often in combination with psychiatric drugs.

This approach assumes addiction is a disease. This is patently false; such addiction is a moral failing. It cannot be cured with drugs.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) lists “Gambling disorder” as a mental disorder, but then it also lists “Religious or spiritual problem” as a mental disorder, so you can see that it is not really helpful, since the traditional and most effective treatment for gambling is religious or spiritual.

The World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases version 11, released 18 June 2018, has a number of entries for various addictions, which it also considers as diseases — new in this edition is Gaming Disorder. Other so-called addictive behaviors in ICD-11 are Gambling Disorder, and of course the two catch-all disorders for the rest of us, “Other specified disorders due to addictive behaviours” and “Disorders due to addictive behaviours, unspecified.”

If someone is exhibiting behavioral problems, there are many things that can be done besides the exclusive drug- and behavior modification-based options that are the backbone of mental health services today.

The entirety of these psychological and psychiatric programs are founded on the tacit assumptions that mental health “experts” know all about the mind and mental phenomena, know a better way of life, a better value system and how to improve lives beyond the understanding and capability of everyone else in society.

The reality is that these mental health programs are designed to control people towards specific ideological objectives at the expense of the person’s sanity and well-being. Do we really want to institutionalize mandatory psychiatric counseling and screening, which is where all this is heading?

By the way, if you’re clueless about cryptocurrency, you can find out more about it by clicking here, but please refrain from gambling on it.

Cannabidiol (CBD) – Can We Be Sure It’s Safe?

Every time we say “CBD” out loud we think Bidi Bidi and picture Buck Rogers’ Twiki the Robot.

But really, what is CBD, and is it harmful or helpful?

Derived from Cannabis (marijuana), CBD is one of many cannabinoids which are chemical compounds capable of binding to specific biological receptors in the brain or other sites in the body.

The theory is that when CBD binds to these brain receptors it seems to suppress or limit the immune system’s inflammatory signals.

Another cannabinoid, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, also called “The High Causer”), is the principal psychoactive component of marijuana, and when it binds to receptors in the brain it gets you high. We also know that THC damages the immune system, yet proponents of cannabis call it a “medicinal herb.” Click here for more information about the harmful effects of this “herb.”

CBD and THC are structural isomers, which means they share the same chemical composition but their atomic arrangements differ.

The claim is that CBD, unlike THC, is not hallucinogenic. Much of the research information so far available about CBD comes from animal studies.

Although it is a cannabinoid, CBD apparently does not directly interact with the principal receptors in the brain to which THC binds, and binds to many other non-cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

Basically, the research to date is unclear on exactly how CBD works, except that we know it affects the brain. We’d call these observations mostly anecdotal — that is, people have reported on their observations and feelings, but the double-blind human clinical trials are sparse.

Animal studies have demonstrated that CBD directly activates multiple serotonin receptors in the brain, and we know that in humans at least, psychiatric drugs which mess with serotonin levels in the brain are addictive and have some disastrous side effects. The manufacturers of every psychiatric drug so far which messes with serotonin in the brain say they don’t really know how it works.

CBD, LSD, mescaline, and other hallucinogenic drugs bind to the same serotonin receptors in the brain, so calling CBD totally non-intoxicating is a bit of a stretch. We think the insistence on calling CBD “non-intoxicating” or “non-hallucinogenic” is Public Relations for “Bidi bidi, gee, we can make a bundle with this.” While the anecdotal evidence claims no hallucinogenic effect for CBD, the fact that it affects serotonin in the brain makes it less attractive as a healthy alternative. Its long-term effects are simply unknown.

Some proponents promote taking THC and CBD together. We think this is a short path to becoming a bidi bidi robot.

At higher dosages, CBD will deactivate cytochrome P450 enzymes, making it harder to metabolize certain drugs and toxins, particularly psychiatric drugs.

What about CBD oil or cream (hemp extract) applied to the skin? Is there a difference between CBD derived from hemp and CBD derived from marijuana?

CBD is legally available in the United States, but it must be derived from imported high-CBD, low-THC hemp. CBD itself is not listed under the Controlled Substances Act, so it’s legal in all 50 states provided it’s not extracted from marijuana.

A huge amount of fiber hemp is required to extract a small amount of CBD, so researchers are focused on breeding plants with more CBD and less THC just for this purpose. It is important to note that all cannabidiol products are not approved by the FDA for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease.

CBD and THC both interact with the body through a vital nerve signaling system which regulates a wide array of functions, some of which include: pain, appetite, mood, memory, immune response, and sleep. There are still very little long-term safety data available. The proponents of CBD, whether for internal or external use, ignore the fact that it messes with serotonin when making claims for its safety and usefulness, so caution is advised. There is a lot of money riding on making these substances legal and ubiquitous; any bad effects are not going to be advertised or promoted.

At present, we’d prefer not to experiment with substances that tweak the brain in ways that are not fully understood, lest we become like bidi bidi Twiki. As always, your fully informed consent for any treatment is of paramount importance.

Nuedexta, PCP in Disguise

Nuedexta (dextromethorphan hydrobromide and quinidine sulfate) marketed by Avanir Pharmaceuticals is FDA approved for the treatment of PseudoBulbar Affect (PBA), a so-called neurological condition thought to cause involuntary, sudden, and frequent episodes of crying and/or laughing, observed with patients having amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), strokes, or traumatic brain injury. It was originally approved in 2010 by the FDA for such emotional instability.

Dextromethorphan may cause serotonin syndrome, a buildup of an excessive amount of serotonin in the body, and this risk is increased by overdose, particularly if taken with other serotonergic agents, SSRIs or tricyclic antidepressants.

Side effects of serotonin syndrome can be altered mental status, muscle twitching, confusion, high blood pressure, fever, restlessness, sweating, tremors, or shivering. Use of Nuedexta with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or tricyclic antidepressants increases the risk of these side effects.

These are not all the possible side effects.

The quinidine in the formula is used to suppress metabolism of the dextromethorphan in order to increase the bioavailability of the dextromethorphan, and is not part of the treatment for PBA. Dextromethorphan acts on the central nervous system, but the mechanism by which dextromethorphan exerts any therapeutic effects in patients with PBA is totally unknown — it’s just a guess from clinical observations that it might have such a symptomatic effect.

Dextromethorphan, derived from an opioid analgesic, is sometimes referred to as DXM or the poor man’s PCP (phencyclidine, or Angel Dust), and is also used recreationally — acting as a dissociative anesthetic producing hallucinogenic states, delusions, or paranoia. At high concentrations, DXM can result in a false-positive for PCP on a drug screen. It is a nonselective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Its previous primary use since 1958 is as a cough suppressant. Regular use over a long period of time can cause withdrawal symptoms. DXM is often used as a substitute for marijuana, amphetamine, and heroin by drug abusers, and its use as an antitussive (cough suppressant) is now known to be less beneficial than originally thought.

We think that part of the danger of this drug is that it can be prescribed for various symptoms in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) just because of its claims of symptomatic relief — in spite of the fact that its mechanism of operation is unknown, its use can be severely abused, and its side effects can be fatal; and the symptoms of its side effects as well as the original medical issues can lead to the prescription of other dangerous and addictive psychiatric drugs.

Examples of DSM diagnoses that may be involved are “Histrionic personality disorder”, “High expressed emotion level within family”, “Adjustment disorder, With mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct”, and “Unspecified mental disorder due to another medical condition”.

Nuedexta is not thought of or advertised as a psychotropic drug, but exposing its camouflage one can now see that essentially it is psychoactive and should be avoided — another example of a psychiatric drug disguised as a legitimate medical drug.

Click here for more information about dangerous psychiatric drugs.

Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit

The New York Times had an article April 7, 2018 discussing the fact that antidepressants are actually addictive and have withdrawal symptoms. Quotes are from this article.

“As far back as the mid-1990s, leading psychiatrists recognized withdrawal as a potential problem for patients taking modern antidepressants.”

On the other hand, CCHR has been making this known since 1969. Psychiatrists have been loathe to admit the addictive nature of antidepressants and other psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs, and euphemistically call the side effects of withdrawing from psychiatric drugs “discontinuation syndrome”.

Drug addiction in the 1960’s became an increasing problem, and when investigated it was found that psychiatrists were pushing drugs and addicting people as a “cure.”

“Long-term use of antidepressants is surging in the United States, according to a new analysis of federal data by The New York Times. Some 15.5 million Americans have been taking the medications for at least five years. The rate has almost doubled since 2010, and more than tripled since 2000.”

Nearly 25 million adults have been on antidepressants for at least two years, a 60 percent increase since 2010.

“Many who try to quit say they cannot because of withdrawal symptoms they were never warned about.”

We recommend Informed Consent. Protect yourself, your family and friends, with full informed consent. Courts have determined that informed consent for people who receive prescriptions for psychotropic (mood-altering) drugs must include the doctor providing information about possible side effects and benefits, ways to treat side effects, and risks of other conditions, as well as information about alternative treatments.

“Antidepressants are not harmless; they commonly cause emotional numbing, sexual problems like a lack of desire or erectile dysfunction and weight gain.”

“Patients who try to stop taking the drugs often say they cannot. In a recent survey of 250 long-term users of psychiatric drugs — most commonly antidepressants — about half who wound down their prescriptions rated the withdrawal as severe. Nearly half who tried to quit could not do so because of these symptoms.”

“The truth is that the state of the science is absolutely inadequate … We don’t have enough information about what antidepressant withdrawal entails, so we can’t design proper tapering approaches.”

Polypharmacy is another significant problem, wherein a patient is prescribed many, possibly negatively-interacting drugs, often by multiple doctors who might be unaware of each other’s prescription orders. Often, these are drugs that the patient has been taking for a long period; they may be affecting the patient’s health negatively or are simply no longer beneficial. This is often addressed by deprescribing, which is the process of reducing the medication burden of a patient who might no longer need one or more of their prescriptions. Deprescribing principles are intended to improve health care for the patient by minimizing the harm and costs associated with polypharmacy, and minimizing the withdrawal effects of stopping one or more drugs.

Medications that may be considered for discontinuation include drugs that are no longer indicated, drugs that pose a risk for untoward side effects, drugs that interact adversely, drugs that are given to mitigate the side effects of another drug, and addictive drugs that have withdrawal side effects. However, addictive drugs should never be discontinued abruptly, since the withdrawal side effects can be severe.

For more information about how to safely withdraw from these harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs, download and read the booklet Coming Off Psych Drugs Harm Reduction Guide.

Patients For Life

A leading cause of death in patients diagnosed with a serious mental condition (such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression) has been preventable medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes, metabolic disorders which are typical side effects of being treated with second generation (atypical) antipsychotics.

The majority of those who screen positive for these types of metabolic disorders do not receive treatment for these medical conditions. Even worse, the majority of patients being treated with these antipsychotics are not even screened, with simple blood tests, for these side effects.

A tremendous amount of effort, lasting over at least the last 15 years, has been expended in trying to change the U.S. medical system to implement simple blood test screening protocols for patients being prescribed antipsychotics. Many reasons have been given for this reluctance to change, but the most obvious reasons were not among them — the fact that no one knows how these drugs work, that they are addictive, harmful, and are causing side effects that produce continuing income from these patients for life, a life albeit shortened by the metabolic disorders caused by the drugs.

The general attitude of the mental health care industry is that mental disorders are comorbid with metabolic disorders. This means that there is a simultaneous presence of these two chronic conditions in a patient, with little thought given to the fact that metabolic disorders can be the side effect of the drugs being given for the mental disorder. Since the drugs are addictive, harmful, and have nasty side effects, the obvious solution is to stop prescribing the drugs and use one or more of the many non-drug alternatives. This, however, would deprive the industry of one of its top money-makers.

Patients already presenting with CVD or diabetes, or who have known risk factors for these, should not even be considered as candidates for antipsychotics, and should also be screened for any other undiagnosed and untreated medical conditions which may be causing mental symptoms.

A case could be made for malpractice if blood test screening for metabolic disorders is not being performed for patients vulnerable to these diseases, especially since the medications that psychiatrists prescribe increase vulnerability to metabolic syndrome. [Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of metabolic disorders, usually including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels — that occur together, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.]

Psychiatrists should be responsible for monitoring any potential side effects associated with the drugs that they prescribe; therefore, it is negligent if monitoring is not being done.

We are seeing a huge increase in the rate of antipsychotic prescriptions among younger pediatric patients, yet the younger one is, the lower one’s chances of being monitored.

Based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), statistics are touted about near “epidemic” rates of mental illness in order to demand more government funds and sell more harmful drugs, making people “patients for life” as the drug adverse events then require more drugs to handle these harmful side effects.

Contact your local, state and federal authorities and legislators and demand that funding for psychiatric promises be revoked until the mental health industry can prove its effectiveness with actual cures.