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.

An Affair to Remember

Infidelity literally means unfaithfulness (from the Latin word infidelis, “not faithful”); the word can be used as unfaithfulness, disbelief or disloyalty to a moral obligation, to a religion or religious belief, or as current and relentless news stories have it, as a romantic or sexual relationship with someone other than one’s husband, wife, or partner. It’s certainly related to the hue and cry over sexual misconduct and the stories of sexual abuse dominating the current news environment.

How can we deal effectively with this topic, when it seems that daily lurid revelations are occurring about some highly-placed person’s infidelity or alleged sexual harassment.

“I told my wife the truth. I told her I was seeing a psychiatrist. Then she told me the truth: that she was seeing a psychiatrist, two plumbers, and a bartender!” — Rodney Dangerfield

While it is not our place to make judgments about this, there are some things we can say about psychiatrists’ and psychologists’ involvement in matters of sexual abuse and harassment.

In a British study of therapist-patient sexual contact among psychologists, 25% reported having treated a patient who had been sexually involved with another therapist.

Therapist sexual abuse is sexual abuse. Therapist rape is rape. They will never constitute therapy.

Psychiatrists and psychologists rarely refer to rape as rape. Instead, they downplay it as “sexual contact,” a “sexual relationship” or “crossing the boundaries” when one of its members sexually forces themselves on a patient, often with the help of drugs or electroshock. While psychiatrists account for only 6% of physicians in the country, they comprised 28% of perpetrators disciplined for sex-related offenses.

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the mental disorders section of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) have greatly assisted psychiatrists and psychologists in their efforts to avoid criminal proceedings for sexual abuse. The DSM decriminalizes illegal acts by defining criminal behavior as a biologically based aberration or “mental disorder.” In this way, dangerous criminals in psychiatry’s own ranks have been excused of all personal responsibility for their actions.

How did this come to be?

The family unit, long held sacred by religion, was purposely weakened by psychiatry’s World Federation for Mental Health, which considered it “the major obstacle to improved mental health.”

In 1993, Catholic psychologist William Coulson admitted that, “The net outcome of sex education, styled as Rogerian encountering [Carl Rogers’ therapy], is more sexual experience. Humanistic psychotherapy, the kind that has virtually taken over the Church in America … dominates so many forms of aberrant education like sex education.”

Considering that, according to William Coulson, the result of sex education is “more sexual experience,” there is no doubt as to psychologists’ intention or the direction of these courses.

Freudian theory developed in the 1890’s called for radical permissiveness in sexual mores. Freud taught that sexual repression was the chief psychological problem of mankind, which has been used to whitewash behavior that society has traditionally considered inappropriate, leading to excessive sexual permissiveness.

Psychiatrists and psychologists cannot be allowed to continue to determine the standards of conduct in any society, or society risks further degradation.

For more information, download and read the CCHR booklets about psychiatry assaulting religion and psychiatric rape.

Gaming Disorder – WHO’s the Loser?

The 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) is scheduled to be released in June, 2018.

The ICD, published by the World Health Organization (WHO), is the international standard diagnostic tool for epidemiology, health management, and clinical purposes. It is used for the identification of health trends and statistics and for reporting diseases and health conditions by its 194 member countries, although in the U.S. the DSM is used for mental health conditions. Think of WHO as Big Brother for Universal Health Care. With offices in over 150 countries, it is very big business.

The first version of the ICD was published in 1893. WHO took over publishing the ICD when it was formed in 1948. ICD-10 was adopted in 1990. The revision process for ICD-11 was begun in 2007 and has been working in earnest since 2015.

The Beta Draft of ICD-11 contains a new classification which we thought might be of interest to our CCHR STL supporters.

6D11 Gaming disorder
Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the Internet) or offline, manifested by:
1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context);
2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and
3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.

6D11 has three subdivisions:
6D11.0 Gaming disorder, predominantly online
6D11.1 Gaming disorder, predominantly offline
6D11.Z Gaming disorder, unspecified

Wait, there’s more.

QF02 Hazardous gaming
Hazardous gaming refers to a pattern of gaming, either online or offline that appreciably increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences to the individual or to others around this individual. The increased risk may be from the frequency of gaming, from the amount of time spent on these activities, from the neglect of other activities and priorities, from risky behaviours associated with gaming or its context, from the adverse consequences of gaming, or from the combination of these. The pattern of gaming often persists in spite of awareness of increased risk of harm to the individual or to others.

Basically, ICD claims that Gaming Disorder is an addictive behavior, and any form of addiction is a mental disorder. Other forms of addiction categorized by ICD are substance abuse, gambling, and other impulse control issues such as pyromania, kleptomania and promiscuity.

Infiltration into the gaming world on behalf of psychiatrists is not totally recent. They have been personally entering the online realm of WoW (World of Warcraft) for some time now, to supposedly deliver therapeutic services inside the game.

The DSM already has Gambling Disorder, more Substance Abuse disorders than you can shake a bong at, pyromania, kleptomania, and more sexual disorders than you can shake — well, you get the idea.

So what are these various behaviors if they are not mental illnesses? They’re called lapses in ethics and morals, and when treated as such there is hope that they can be corrected. Unfortunately, calling them “mental illness” and treating them with psychotropic drugs precludes any possibility of finding out the true root causes and effectively addressing those.

We think the whole thing comes back to what Professor Thomas Szasz originally had to say about this:
• “The term ‘mental illness’ refers to the undesirable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of persons. Classifying thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as diseases is a logical and semantic error, like classifying the whale as a fish.”
• “If we recognize that ‘mental illness’ is a metaphor for disapproved thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, we are compelled to recognize as well that the primary function of Psychiatry is to control thought, mood, and behavior.”

These so-called mental disorders are just what psychiatry and psychiatrists have inappropriately labeled as “undesirable behavior.” So, WHO is the Loser in this game? It’s you, if you buy psychiatry’s pronouncement of “mental disorder.”

Holiday Stress

We see a lot of news articles cropping up warning about stress during holidays.

Elf On A Shelf

Personally, we think a lot of it is motivated by some marketer’s bright idea, no doubt under the guidance of an “expert” psychologist or psychiatrist, about how to drum up business for the mental health industry.

Of course, you know what an “expert” is? An “ex” is a has-been; and a “spurt” is a drip under pressure.

Sometimes the advice given is just common sense; but other times the advice is dangerous. Beware, judgment may be in short supply when under a lot of stress.

The Missouri Magazine thinks it is essential to let us know this holiday season how to manage stress. Its advice is mostly common sense.

Medical News Today wants us to manage stress, also, but they recommend you “seek help from a healthcare professional.” Naturally; the marketer in action.

One psychologist recommends you seek help from the American Psychological Association. Naturally.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services even has a full-color brochure on how to handle holiday stress. They recommend, surprise, that you call the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s Crisis Intervention line.

Oh, and then there’s all the “research” about holiday stress. The Mayo Clinic thinks women tend to get more stressed during the holiday season. We’re pretty sure that a comprehensive search will find that some scientist, somewhere has reached pretty much any conclusion you care to name about this condition.

We wrote a whole blog previously about stress, you can review it here.

The DSM-V has several entries for stress:
– Acute stress disorder
– Unspecified trauma- and stressor-related disorder
– Other specified trauma- and stressor-related disorder
– Posttraumatic stress disorder
We’re pretty sure you already know our opinion about the DSM.

There are even articles about “stress-free recipes for the holidays”.

Our advice? Read what we have to say about stress, pass this along to your family, friends and associates, let us know what you think about this, and then have a happy, safe, stress-free holiday!

Psychs Poo-Poo Intelligence

deja poo

A study published 8 October 2017 by three psychologists and a neuroscientist surveyed 3,715 members of American Mensa (persons whose IQ score is ostensibly within the upper 2% of the general population), who were asked to self-report diagnosed and/or suspected mood and anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and autism spectrum disorder. There was no actual control group; instead they manipulated statistical data to simulate a control group.

[High intelligence: A risk factor for psychological and physiological overexcitabilities, Ruth I. Karpinski (Pitzer College) et al.]

Diagnostic criteria were taken from DSM-IV, a fraudulent list of so-called “mental disorders.” The main thrust of the survey was to try to link intelligence in some way with something they called the theory of “psychological overexcitability,” which has no basis in actual fact. Then they massaged the data with extensive statistical analyses in order to come up with the conclusion they favored, which was, “Those with high IQ had higher risk for psychological disorders.”

The basic flawed assumption of this piece of poo-poo is their statement that, “those with a high intellectual capacity (hyper brain) possess overexcitabilities in various domains that may predispose them to certain psychological disorders.” The implication being that a “treatment” for psychological disorders might be something that lowers a person’s IQ.

Then they quoted 160 references in order to overwhelm any readers of the study with its bona fides — it must be right because look how many references can be quoted.

Naturally, due to the inherent flakiness of the research, they concluded that further research was needed; and because of the particular methodology of this study, the results conveniently cannot be compared with any other studies about intelligence and health. The authors also recommended further studies with mice instead of people, as if those results could yield any useful information about human intelligence.

There are a number of limitations which cast doubt on the study results. The raw data was self-reported, so it is subject to interpretation, bad memory and bias. There are over 200 different IQ tests which applicants can use to apply for membership in Mensa, so IQ itself is subject to interpretation. All of the participants were American, which may or may not be a limitation depending on other demographic or environmental factors. The simulated control group statistics made exact comparisons challenging, to say the least.

Without an actual, clear-cut definition of intelligence, this kind of research is hopelessly convoluted and clueless; but nevertheless representative of what many psychologists think about the rest of us intelligent beings.

Consider this interesting quote from another source: “We would do well to recollect the early days of applied clinical psychology when culturally biased IQ testing of immigrants, African Americans and Native Americans was used to bolster conclusions regarding the genetic inheritance of ‘feeble-mindedness’ on behalf of the American eugenics social movement.”

Not to be outdone by psychologists, the psychiatric industry has a history of deliberately reducing their patient’s intelligence, evidenced by this 1942 quote from psychiatrist Abraham Myerson: “The reduction of intelligence is an important factor in the curative process. … The fact is that some of the very best cures that one gets are in those individuals whom one reduces almost to amentia [feeble-mindedness].”

Evidence that electroshock lowers IQ is certainly available. Also, psychiatrists have notoriously and falsely “diagnosed” the creative mind as a “mental disorder,” invalidating an artist’s abilities as “neurosis.” There is certainly evidence that marijuana lowers IQ (no flames from the 420 crowd, please) — and marijuana is currently being promoted by the psychiatric industry to treat so-called PTSD.

Psychotropic drugs may also be implicated in the reduction of IQ; what do you think? These side effects from various psychotropic drugs sure sound like they could influence the results when someone takes an IQ test while on these drugs: agitation, depression, hallucinations, irritability, insomnia, mania, mood changes, suicidal thoughts, confusion, forgetfulness, difficulty thinking, hyperactivity, poor concentration, tiredness, disorientation, sluggishness.

If you Google “Can IQ change?” you’ll find about 265 million results; so this topic has its conflicting opinions. And as in any subject where there are so many conflicting opinions, there is a lot of false information. Unfortunately the “research” cited above just adds more poo-poo to the pile.

Pay to Play Psychiatry

The second-highest-paying job in the St. Louis area, with an annual mean salary of $236,630, is “psychiatrist.”

The data was released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in summer 2017, and covers annual mean wages as of May 2016. It is the latest wage data available for the St. Louis metro area.

Nationally, “psychiatrist” is the eighth highest-paying job, at $194,740 median pay per year.

Considering that psychiatry by its own admission can produce no cures, and in fact harms more than it helps, one marvels that it is such a high-paying occupation. How could this be?

The coercive nature of psychiatric “treatments” is one answer. Fraudulently hospitalized citizens have been held until their mental health insurance benefits ran out. The psychiatric “diagnosis” was often changed to exhaust the insurance coverage. Mental health hospitals must be established to replace coercive psychiatric institutions.

Despite years of healthcare fraud investigations and convictions, psychiatrists and psychologists have not reformed the fraudulent practices that are rife within their ranks. Internationally, fraud in the mental health industry has been estimated to cost more than a hundred billion dollars every year.

Proper medical screening by non-psychiatric diagnostic specialists could eliminate more than 40% of psychiatric admissions. Medical studies have shown time and again that for many patients, what appear to be mental problems are actually caused by an undiagnosed and untreated physical illness or condition.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the key to escalating “mental illness” statistics and psychotropic drug usage. Untold harm and colossal waste of mental health care funds occur because of it. The unscientific and spurious nature of the DSM invites fraud. The DSM diagnostic system must be abandoned before real mental health reform can occur.

Ultimately, psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists and their hospitals must be made fully accountable for their funding, practices and treatments, and their results, or lack thereof. Pay a psychiatrist only for proven, workable treatments that verifiably and dramatically improve or cure mental health problems.

Psychiatry’s Reign of Terror

Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926), known as the “father of modern psychiatry” and original architect of what became the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), established the basic suppressive fundamentals of the Holocaust. The pattern was: Label someone with a false psychiatric diagnosis; Remove them from society; Put them into special camps or institutions; Destroy them.

Suppress: to put down by force or authority; to squash any attempt at betterment; an antisocial expression of antagonism toward life, living or attempts to do better in life.

Psychiatrists today, all over the world, use and apply the same basic suppressive fundamentals of Kraepelin in the mental health industry. Label someone with a false psychiatric diagnosis; Involuntarily commit them to a psychiatric facility, or put children into foster care, or put the elderly into a nursing home, or enforce psychiatric treatment on those incarcerated in prison; Forcibly give them harmful “treatments” such as psychiatric drugs, electric shock, or brain surgery which either cripples them or kills them.

A recently published article in the journal History of Psychiatry by three psychiatrists chronicles the Nazi’s use of electroshock treatment to eliminate mental patients and other “undesirables” from the population. The authors detail that in 1944 Dr. Emil Gelny, working at psychiatric hospitals in Gugging and Mauer-Öhling, Austria, began systematically killing patients with an ECT machine. Today, ECT is a big money-maker for the psychiatric industry.

The origin of psychiatric false data
In 1879, German psychologist Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) of Leipzig University provided the ultimate scientific “proof” for eugenics and racism, by arrogantly declaring that as man’s soul could not be measured with scientific instruments, it did not exist.

Kraepelin was a student of Wundt; in 1917 he founded the German Research Institute for Psychiatry in Munich (funded by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1924), which became the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Psychiatry during World War II, and after the War was renamed as the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry. This institute’s mission was, and is, to prove that mental disorders are just biological, genetic brain disorders. German psychiatrist Alfred Erich Hoche (1865-1943) in 1920 endorsed exterminating “life unworthy of living.” Swiss psychiatrist Ernst Rüdin (1874-1952) worked under Kraepelin for 18 years, and was instrumental in designing The Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring in 1933 (the “sterilization law”) which provided the legal basis for compulsory sterilization, which ultimately led to the euthanasia (killing) of six million Jews during World War II.

There were hundreds of psychiatrists in Germany directing and carrying out the atrocities prior to and during the Holocaust. Dr. Schmuhl said, “In my opinion, you cannot say that there are only a few bad apples within psychiatry who did National Socialism’s groundwork, but it is a problem with the entire profession.”

It wasn’t just during the War that these atrocities were perpetrated. Long before in 1905, psychiatrist Rüdin and eugenicist Alfred Ploetz were among the founders of the German Society for Racial Hygiene, a euphemism for eradicating undesirable traits in the population by removing those “undesirables” with sterilization or murder. Starting in 1934 under the sterilization Law, the number of people who were involuntarily sterilized may be as high as 400,000, with up to 5,000 who died as a consequence. Another 275,000 psychiatric patients were murdered, including an estimated 100,000 who starved to death in German mental hospitals. Starting in 1938 the “child euthanasia” program killed over 5,000 babies and children in 31 “pediatric wards” by the psychiatrists in various psychiatric hospitals.

Then in 1939 the first gas chamber killings began in Fort VII concentration camp in Posen, Poland. In 1940-1941, over 70,000 mental patients were killed by poison gas in six psychiatric centers. From 1942-1945 another 250,000 mental patients in psychiatric hospitals were killed. This was only the beginning of the psychiatric atrocities.

For more information, watch the CCHR Documentary The Age of Fear – Psychiatry’s Reign of Terror, which contains shocking personal testimony and revealing inside footage that tell the true story of psychiatry, whose reliance on brutality and coercion has not changed since the moment it was born in Germany.

The Age of Fear education package is also provided free of charge to historians, professors and human rights activists who give lectures and group instruction, teach school or university classes or run community learning programs.

Previous CCHR STL blogs on this subject

1. Psychiatrists-the Men Behind Hitler, by Dr. Thomas Röder and etc., Freedom Publishing, 1999.

2. Die Gesellschaft Deutscher Neurologen und Psychiater im Nationalsozialismus (The Society of German Neurologists and Psychiatrists in National Socialism), by Hans-Walter Schmuhl, Springer, 2015. Professor Schmuhl is a German historian who has published numerous history books, especially the history of euthanasia.

3. G Gazdag, GS Ungvari, and H Czech, “Mass killing under the guise of ECT: the darkest chapter in the history of biological psychiatry,” In History of Psychiatry, Sage Publications, 2017.

What is Happiness?

If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.

[Chinese Proverb]

What is happiness, really? Is it “happy pills?” Mother’s little helper? Is “happiness” the opposite of “depression,” so that an anti-depressant should make one happy? Unfortunately, what anti-depressants do is actually detach one from reality; and the only happiness accrues to pharmaceutical companies who rake in $80 billion a year worldwide for psychiatric drugs.

As is usual with English words, “happiness” has more than one definition: 1) transient pleasure; 2) overcoming not unknowable obstacles toward a known goal; 3) a condition or state of well-being, contentment, pleasure; 4) joyful, cheerful, untroubled existence; 5) the reaction to having nice things happen to one.

Psychiatry, however, redefines happiness as a manic or hypomanic indication (associated with a bipolar diagnosis) which occurs in 14 separate entries in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5.)

Manic: characterized by frenetic activity or wild excitement; excitement of psychotic proportions manifested by mental and physical hyperactivity, disorganization of behavior and elevation of mood.
Hypomanic: A mild form of mania, marked by elation and hyperactivity; a mood state characterized by persistent dis-inhibition and pervasive euphoria.

“Treatment” generally includes psychotropic mood stabilizers, unless the state is a result of drug abuse or drug side effects — in which case the “treatment” may include psychotropic sedatives. All of these psychotropic drugs are addictive, mess up the central nervous system, and can have many disastrous side effects including violence and suicide.

For more information about mood stabilizers such as Lithium, Depakote (sodium valproate), Depakene (sodium valproate), Lamictal (lamotrigine), Lamictin (lamotrigine), Lamogine (lamotrigine); download and read the booklet Mood Stabilizers — the facts about the effects.

One psychologist even overtly proposed happiness as a psychiatric disorder. [From the website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health]. One might think this was an April Fool’s joke, except that it was published in June.

Published in the Journal of Medical Ethics – J Med Ethics. 1992 Jun;18(2):94-8
“A proposal to classify happiness as a psychiatric disorder”
Richard P Bentall, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Liverpool in the UK:

“It is proposed that happiness be classified as a psychiatric disorder and be included in future editions of the major diagnostic manuals under the new name: major affective disorder, pleasant type. In a review of the relevant literature it is shown that happiness is statistically abnormal, consists of a discrete cluster of symptoms, is associated with a range of cognitive abnormalities, and probably reflects the abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. One possible objection to this proposal remains–that happiness is not negatively valued. However, this objection is dismissed as scientifically irrelevant.”

We think we can safely say this psychologist’s attitude is a misanthropic manifestation; the DSM-5 might call it “Adult antisocial behavior”, “Antisocial personality disorder”, or maybe just “Unspecified anxiety disorder”.

It is true that a euphoric condition is often associated with certain hallucinogenic drugs. We wouldn’t actually call that “happiness”, however; and the mania associated with many psychiatric drugs is not sustainable.

What would promote happiness is an actual cure for mental distress. The psychiatric industry itself admits it has no capacity to cure. We generally take cure to mean the elimination of some unwanted condition by some effective treatment. The primary purpose of any mental health treatment must be the therapeutic care and treatment of individuals who are suffering emotional disturbance. The only effective measure of this treatment must be “patients recovering and being sent, sane, back into society as productive individuals.” This, we would call a cure.

While it is illegal for FDA-regulated products to make cure claims, there are in fact many non-drug and non-psychiatric alternatives which may prove effective in handling traumatic conditions. The trick is in finding out what is really wrong and fixing that, not just suppressing the central nervous system with drugs so that one does not feel the bad emotions.

Click here for more information about alternatives to fraudulent and abusive psychiatric treatments.

Click here for the truth about psychiatric drugs.

Click here for The Way To Happiness, the first moral code based wholly on common sense, containing twenty-one basic principles that guide one to a better quality of life.

What Makes Special Education Special?

The Special School District in St. Louis County, Missouri has an annual budget over $400 Million for 7 schools, over 2600 teachers, and over 24,000 students.

The July 2002 President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education revealed the source of a deeply troubled Special Education system: 40 percent of kids are being labeled with “learning disorders” simply because they have not been taught to read. This finding leaves no doubt that the subjectivity of the term “learning disorder” must be a central point of Special Education reform.

Eighty percent of children (or 2.4 million) labeled as having a “specific learning disability” could be taught in a normal school setting but with greater emphasis on phonics and academic basics. We suspect that all children, not just special school district children, could benefit from this.

State and federal governments are already wasting $28 billion per year due to unscientific categories in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This money would be better channeled into providing more teachers and workable educational methods that get actual results.

The DSM-5 lists these ridiculous items of “mental illness”:

  • “Academic or educational problem”
  • “Specific learning disorder”
  • “Specific learning disorder, With impairment in mathematics”
  • “Specific learning disorder, With impairment in reading”
  • “Specific learning disorder, With impairment in written expression”

The primary purpose of Congress’ original IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act) law in 1975 was to provide a free and appropriate education for children with hearing, sight, speech and other physical handicaps. When the term “handicapped” was changed to “learning disabled,” children who fidget, interrupt their teachers, or simply fall behind academically were suddenly considered “disabled.”

Over the ensuing years, the funding has been largely funneled, instead, to children with “learning disorders,” a term so subjective that children who fidget, butt into line or interrupt their teachers are so labeled. In most cases the children were subsequently prescribed cocaine-like, mind-altering drugs. Many of these children simply have never been taught to read. Clearly, there is a critical need to provide an objective, scientifically based definition of “learning disability,” and this must be the central point of reforming IDEA.

Labeling a child with these “disorders” led to school personnel threatening parents to place their child on a psychiatric drug as a requisite to remaining in class, or face the child being dismissed from school.

Due to the hazards of these drugs, in order to receive federal funds under the IDEA, the “Prohibition on Mandatory Medication Amendment” (H.R.1350) was signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 3, 2004 and requires schools to implement policies that prohibit schoolchildren being forced onto psychiatric drugs as a requisite for their education. The law states, “The psychological/psychiatric system should not be able to abuse Special Education by diagnosing childhood and educational problems and failure as ‘mental disorders.'”

Email Special School District Superintendent Don Bohannon at and let him know what you think about this.

Click here for more information about mental health screening in schools.

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.