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.

Smoking is So Last Year

“Given the disproportionate burden of tobacco health harms in psychiatric patients, e-cigarettes are being considered as a potential tool for harm reduction.”

E-cigs are battery-powered devices that typically contain nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. The liquid is heated into an aerosol that the user inhales. The use of an electronic cigarette is colloquially called “vaping” as a contraction of the inhaled “vapor”. More than 2 million middle and high school students were current users of e-cigarettes in 2016. While E-cigs are not tobacco, the fact that they generally contain nicotine means that they are often considered as tobacco products. In fact, as of 2016 the FDA considers “Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems” as regulated tobacco products, although the deadline for regulatory compliance has been extended.

Within an 18-month tobacco-treatment clinical trial with smokers with serious mental illness over a five-year period, electronic cigarette use by those recruited for the trial increased over time, from 0% in 2009 to 25% in 2013. From this data the authors concluded that serious study should be given to the use of e-cigs as a psychiatric treatment for smoking cessation and/or mental disorders.
[“E-Cigarette Use among Smokers with Serious Mental Illness“, Judith J. Prochaska & Rachel A. Grana, 11/24/2014]

Psychiatric “best practices” recommend that psychiatrists assess tobacco use at every patient visit, since tobacco addiction is covered in the DSM-V under eight separate items, and disorders related to inhalant use have 33 entries. Therefore, the psychiatric industry considers that smoking cessation therapies are their territory, which now extends into vaping.

The DSM considers that addiction is a mental illness. It is not a mental illness and cannot be fixed with psychiatric drugs. This debunked medical model of mental distress is what justifies the prescription of harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs. There is certainly such a thing as addiction and mental distress. There can be physical addiction, which requires physical detoxification; and the mental distress, resulting from a lapse of ethics and morals and not from some hokey chemical imbalance in the brain, requires its own effective treatments.

We’ve written previously about harmful psychotropic drugs being used as smoking cessation therapies. One would expect there to be new psychiatric initiatives to use these for vaping addiction, since it opens up a new class of potential [-victims-] patients for the psychiatric industry. Don’t be fooled. There are non-drug methods to stop smoking or handle other forms of addiction, including addiction to psychiatric drugs themselves. 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.

GAO Will Review PTSD Treatment in the VA

U.S. Representatives Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) requested the Government Accountability Office to study how heavily the Veterans Administration relies upon psychotropic drugs to treat their patients for so-called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The GAO agreed September 27, 2017 to conduct the review.

Many people are concerned that the use of psychotropic drugs is a contributing factor to the alarming rate of suicides among veterans.

Express your concern about this by contacting:
Rep. Mike Coffman – https://coffman.house.gov/contact/ and jeremy.lippert@mail.house.gov
Rep. Ann McLane Kuster – https://kuster.house.gov/contact/email-me and lisbeth.zeggane@mail.house.gov
GAO – contact@gao.gov; youngc1@gao.gov; congrel@gao.gov; spel@gao.gov

Today, PTSD has become blurred as a catch-all diagnosis for some 175 combinations of symptoms, becoming the label for identifying the impact of adverse events on ordinary people. This means that normal responses to catastrophic events have often been interpreted as mental disorders when they are not.

The favored “treatment” for PTSD is psychotropic drugs known to cause violence and suicide.

According to the CCHR documentary The Hidden Enemy: Inside Psychiatry’s Covert Agenda, all evidence points in one direction: the soaring rates of psychiatric drug prescribing since 2003. Known drug side effects of these drugs such as increased aggression and suicidal thinking are reflected in similar uptrends in the rates of military domestic violence, child abuse and sex crimes, as well as self-harm.

Pull the string further and you’ll find psychiatrists ever widening the definitions of what it means to be “mentally ill,” especially when it comes to PTSD in soldiers and veterans. In psychiatry, diagnoses of psychological disorders such as PTSD, personality disorder and social anxiety disorder are almost inevitably followed by the prescription of at least one harmful and addictive psychiatric drug.

Psychiatrists know that their drugs do not actually cure anything, but merely mask symptoms. They are well aware of their many dangerous side effects, including possible addiction. If you are in the military, a veteran, a member of a military or veteran support group, or family or associate of a member of the military or a veteran, you quality for a free Hidden Enemy DVD.

Also watch the documentary online here.

Patients With Mental Disorders Get Half Of All Opioid Prescriptions

A June 26, 2017 article on Kaiser Health News by Vickie Connor presents the information that, “Adults with a mental illness receive more than 50 percent of the 115 million opioid prescriptions in the United States annually.”

Not surprisingly, it also says that while the opioids are prescribed primarily for pain, patients with mental illness find that the drugs alleviate their mental issues, too. We don’t know about you, but if we’re in severe pain our mental health suffers. Then again, you’ve probably heard of the “hammer effect” — if you’re having symptoms of mental trauma, smack your finger smartly with a hammer and we guarantee that you won’t be thinking about your mental troubles for a while. (This is one of those “please don’t try this at home” pieces of advice.)

Understand that when news media say “mental illness,” we read “mental symptoms,” since the symptoms are real but the illness is not. There may indeed be some physical, medical illness; but the fact is, there is no such thing as a “mental illness” the way the psychiatric industry touts it. In 40 years, “biological psychiatry” has yet to validate a single psychiatric condition/diagnosis as an abnormality/disease, or as anything neurological, biological, chemically imbalanced or genetic.

In any case, the best treatments for chronic pain are not opioids, but finding the underlying causes for the pain, learning how to deal with those, and treating those with workable, non-psychiatric methods. See also “The Medicalization of Addiction” for more information about the current craze of treating opioid addiction with more addictive drugs.

Opioid addiction and related deaths have become such an issue in Missouri that  Missouri Attorney General Joshua Hawley filed a lawsuit June 21, 2017 in the Circuit Court of St. Louis City against several pharmaceutical companies. Opioid sales now generate nearly $10 billion in sales per year, while countless individuals have become addicted to opioids as a result of the use of opioids for chronic-pain treatment, often with tragic results.

“Missouri faces an urgent public-health crisis. Each year, hundreds of Missourians die from opioid overdoses, while tens of thousands more are hospitalized or require emergency treatment. Opioid addiction and abuse have destroyed the lives of countless Missourians and ravaged communities across the State. This opioid epidemic is the direct result of a carefully crafted campaign of deception carried out by Defendants. For years, Defendants fraudulently misrepresented the risks posed by the drugs that they manufacture and sell, misleading both doctors and consumers.”

We don’t really know which came first — the mental trauma or the physical pain; but it doesn’t really matter which comes first. The bottom line is that neither opioids nor psychiatric drugs are workable treatments. Click here for more information about workable treatments.

The Medicalization of Addiction

Most early addiction treatment programs were abstinence-based. Today, the psycho-pharmaceutical industry has convinced insurance carriers and government agencies to fund and promote “medication-assisted treatment” (MAT), in which the treatment drug is as addictive as the original one.

Nearly half a million Americans died of drug overdoses from 2000 to 2014, mostly from opioid painkillers and heroin. The treatment of drug addiction by administering yet more potentially addictive drugs isn’t just profoundly counterintuitive; it is also a case of bad science and flawed policy, since it inhibits alternative forms of comprehensive treatment and often the drug-free treatment programs are not covered by insurance — already in Maryland, which suffers from some of the highest rates of drug addiction and alcoholism in the nation, drug-free addiction treatment programs that refuse to accept patients using MAT are being denied subsidized state funding.

Welcome to medication-assisted treatment, an increasingly influential and controversial paradigm in the world of medicine that, among other things, considers addiction a chronic “brain disease” rather than a condition that can be treated by addressing the social and spiritual aspects underlying addiction.

A typical prescription for an opioid painkiller might as well read, “80 mg OxyContin daily until you graduate to heroin.”

More than 710 people in the St. Louis region died from opioid overdoses in 2016. Nationwide, prescription opioids and heroin killed more than 33,000 people in 2015. In Missouri, opioid-related deaths have increased more than 7 times for young adults age 25 to 34 from 1999 to 2014.

The response of businesses who are affected by substance abuse is to refer employees to an “employee assistance program” (EAP) which is a euphemism for a mental health care provider. The EAP then refers the addict to a MAT program.

As an example, methadone, which is used today by more than 250,000 Americans, making it the most widely used medication for treating heroin addiction, carries a high risk of death from accidental overdose, especially during the initial stages of treatment, because it tends to suppress the respiratory system. In fact, it is the prescription of methadone for pain —- not methadone from maintenance clinics —- that has been a major contributor to the nation’s high opioid painkiller overdose death rates over the past two decades.

Another major step toward the growing medicalization of addiction occurred in 2013, when the American Psychiatric Association issued its fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) which insurance companies rely on for billing purposes. There are now 73 disorder diagnoses related to some kind of substance abuse, with another 20 disorders related to withdrawal symptoms. Disorders mentioning opioids number 38.

All of these so-called disorders can be prescribed a psychotropic drug for “treatment”, in addition to whatever street drug, prescription opioid, or addiction treatment drug was being used or abused.

Perhaps the most publicly visible display of Big Pharma’s political connections in recent memory occurred this past December, when, in a 94-5 vote, the U.S. Senate approved the “21st Century Cures Act,” one of the largest bills ever aimed at reforming the FDA. The $6.3 billion law, which President Obama signed before leaving office, calls for greater use of MAT and includes $1 billion for opioid prevention and treatment programs in 50 states over two years.

What can you do about this? Here’s a thought — contact your Missouri State Senator and Representative and ask them to remove all references to the DSM from Missouri State Law.