Posts Tagged ‘Mental Health’

Crisis Intervention Teams and your mental health

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Crisis Intervention Teams and your mental health

You may or may not be aware of a police function called a “Crisis Intervention Team” (CIT). There is a heavy ongoing push country-wide to train police officers to “handle” difficult situations involving “suspected mental illness.”

For example, someone calls 911 to report a domestic squabble. The police arrive. Tempers flair. Someone is going to be taken to a mental health facility for a “96-hour evaluation,” also called Involuntary Commitment or Civil Commitment.

Let us use the Saint Louis County Police CIT as an example, whose mission is “to deliver positive law enforcement crisis intervention service to people with mental illness in the St. Louis area.”

The CIT-trained officers are used primarily as a referral mechanism to local mental health hospitals and agencies. If they cannot defuse a potentially dangerous situation, they will forcibly transport the offending person to a local hospital emergency room and transfer the person into the mental health system, authorized by Missouri Statute 632.305 (“Detention for evaluation and treatment”.)

The CIT engages local hospitals, agencies and organizations in a cooperative effort (“community partnership”) to streamline this process. One of the primary goals of a CIT is to divert offenders from jail to the mental health system, reducing the burden on the criminal justice system.

In the St. Louis area, there are 20 cooperating mental health agencies, 9 cooperating hospital systems, and 58 local law enforcement agencies with CIT-trained personnel. There are 10 counties throughout Missouri with CIT programs.

In 1988, the Memphis Police Department joined in partnership with the Memphis Chapter of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, mental health providers, and two local universities (the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee) in organizing, training, and implementing a specialized unit for handling mental crisis events. This became the model Crisis Intervention Team subsequently exported to police departments across the country.

To be sure, no one disputes the need for police training, the safe and effective handling of potentially dangerous situations, and the temporary care for persons in crisis mode. One does, however, question the efficacy of mental health “treatment” in the current model of the psychiatric mental health system, where “treatment” generally means one or more abusive practices such as involuntary commitment, harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs, patient restraints, electroshock, and psycho-surgery.

Your mental health, and the mental health of your family, friends and associates, can be questioned by CIT-trained police. If this makes you uncomfortable, execute a Living Will (Letter of Protection from Psychiatric Incarceration and/or Treatment) and then express your opinion to your local, state and federal officials, and email the St. Louis Area Crisis Intervention Team Coordinating Council.

Behavioral Health in St. Louis

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Behavioral Health

It used to be called “mental health.”

The so-called “stigma” of mental health now prompts a name change, and they are starting to call it “behavioral health,” which just means how effectively one handles stress.

There isn’t any stigma, of course. Stigma is manufactured by the psycho-pharmaceutical industry so that there is a bad-sounding social issue for which research funds can be solicited and psychotropic drugs sold to unsuspecting victims, and for which reports can be written about how bad it all is.

We call it propaganda by redefinition of words, which is a way to mold public opinion by altering words to obtain a public relations advantage.

Behavior: The way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially toward others, or in response to a particular situation [late Middle English from be-have in the sense of "have or bear (oneself) in a particular way".]

The implication is that “behavior” is troublesome and must be corrected; one’s behavioral health, then, is amiss, requiring psychiatric treatment.

A primary strategy of behavioral health is the extension of services into the community — at home, school, workplace and other community settings.

Recently, the “crisis in Ferguson, Missouri” is a field day for behavioral health therapists. Misbehaving people (whether the police or the populace, take your pick) are thus desperately in need of treatment; and the stress of dealing with this misbehavior for the rest of us means we also need some “behavioral health” treatments.

One truly hopes you recognize tongue firmly in cheek here.

Misconduct or misbehavior exhibit a lack of environmental control by all parties concerned. Such control begins with the individual managing and controlling his own environment — his person, his things, his behavior. We usually just call this “competence.” When a group messes up to such an extent as witnessed in Ferguson, look to the sanity of their leaders, who have allowed those under their care to deteriorate to such an extent that they can no longer handle the stress of their environment.

Unfortunately, psychiatry does not have an answer here other than more drugs, further suppressing one’s ability to deal with stress in their environment.

What is the proper response? Put order into the environment. Locate and handle the insane ones who are provoking the stress, or just letting it happen. Locate and handle those pushing psychiatric solutions, such as the “behavioral health” people at local hospitals and universities who promote electro-convulsive therapy as a solution to behavior.

The Saint Louis Mental Health Board is a special tax district in the City of St. Louis as set forth by state statute, and consider themselves the mental health authority for the City of St. Louis, funding 48 different agencies with community programs, community projects, community partnerships and other initiatives that are supposed to help residents improve their behavioral health. Since their inception in 1992 they have proudly spent $111,769,998 on such programs. They financially support the publication of the Vision for Children at Risk “Children of Metropolitan St. Louis” report, which gathers statistics on 28 indicators of well-being for children under 18 by zip code; the primary zip code for Ferguson is 63135, in case you would like to review it.

Gee whiz, our children need a lot of behavioral health help!

Is it working?

Doesn’t appear to be.

But they sure know how to write reports!

Your task is to contact your local, state and federal officials and representatives, and let them know what you think about this. Provide your personal observations and experiences. Suggest that they stop funding failed psychiatric treatments, mental health programs, and behavioral health community initiatives — and do something effective, like teaching children to read.

California Medical Evaluation Field Manual

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

California Medical Evaluation Field Manual

In 1991, Dr. Lorrin M. Koran prepared the Medical Evaluation Field Manual at the request of the California legislature.

Quoting from the Introduction:


“This Field Manual shows California mental health program administrators and staff how to screen their patients for active, important physical diseases. The Manual explains how, where, and when to screen, how to initiate and staff a screening program, and how to maximize its cost-effectiveness. The Manual also includes a list of clinical findings that characterize patients whose mental symptoms are quite likely to be caused by an unrecognized physical disease.

“For several reasons, mental health professionals working within a mental health system have a professional and a legal obligation to recognize the presence of physical disease in their patients. First, physical diseases may cause a patient’s mental disorder. Second, physical disease may worsen a mental disorder, either by affecting brain function or by giving rise to a psychopathologic reaction. Third, mentally ill patients are often unable or unwilling to seek medical care and may harbor a great deal of undiscovered physical disease. Finally, a patient’s visit to a mental health program creates an opportunity to screen for physical disease in a symptomatic population. The yield of disease from such screening is usually higher than the yield in an asymptomatic population.”


The conclusions drawn in this manual are not theoretical; they were arrived at by extensive experimental evidence, and include such findings as:

“1. Nearly two out of five patients (39%) had an active, important physical disease.

“2. The mental health system had failed to detect these diseases in nearly half (47.5%) of the affected patients.

“3. Of all the patients examined, one in six had a physical disease that was related to his or her mental disorder, either causing or exacerbating that disorder.

“4. The mental health system had failed to detect one in six physical diseases that were causing a patient’s mental disorder.

“5. The mental health system had failed to detect more than half of the physical diseases that were exacerbating a patient’s mental disorder.”

The step-by-step procedures in this manual detected more physical diseases than the mental health programs had detected among 476 patients sampled, did so at a lower cost per diagnosed case, and can be performed by mental health personnel after very limited training.

Why Is This Important?

CCHR has always recommended a full, searching medical examination by a non-psychiatric health care professional, with appropriate clinical tests, to determine if there are undetected and untreated medical conditions that could be causing or contributing to mental distress.

The Missouri Department of Mental Health, with the recent passage of Senate Bill 716, is now instructed to develop guidelines for the screening and assessment of persons that address the interaction between physical and mental health to ensure that all potential causes of changes in behavior or mental status caused by or associated with a medical condition are assessed. This legislation goes into effect August 28, 2014.

One expects that this implies that those medical conditions found would then be medically treated, rather than simply passing out harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs, as is the more usual practice. We need to reinforce this expectation with our contacts, calls and letters to the Missouri DMH.

If you have professional expertise for helping to develop such guidelines, please volunteer your efforts to the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

If you would like to read the California Medical Evaluation Field Manual, you may download it from the CCHR St. Louis website.

Criminalization of Mental Health Care

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Prisons: America’s New Asylums

Reference: “The Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness in Prisons and Jails: A State Survey”, 8 April 2014, Treatment Advocacy Center.

Although the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC) is motivated primarily by psychiatric treatment and psychiatric drugs, they do present some interesting facts and viewpoints on mental health care in prisons and jails.

A major part of the treatment for prison inmates (used less for rehabilitation than for managing and disciplining inmates) is a regimen of powerful psychiatric drugs, despite numerous studies showing that aggression, violence and suicide are tied to their use. One study in California reported that 73 percent of prison suicides had a history of mental health treatment (meaning psychotropic drugs.)

The TAC report, of course, does not mention the violence and suicidal side effects of psychotropic drugs, preferring to push psych treatment and psych drugs instead.

Prisons and jails have become America’s new mental asylums. The number of individuals with serious mental symptoms in prisons and jails now exceeds the number of patients in state psychiatric hospitals tenfold. The cost of maintaining these inmates in prison skyrockets when psychiatric drugs are being used.

Notice we said “mental symptoms” instead of the popular press phrase “mental illness.” This is because, while people can indeed have debilitating mental trauma, this is not in fact a “mental illness”; it is a set of symptoms indicating some root cause which has not yet been found and handled. More than likely it is a legitimate medical problem that has not been diagnosed and treated, or it is the end result of illiteracy, or it is a side effect of taking drugs — legal or otherwise.

From 1770 to 1820 in the U.S., mentally traumatized persons were routinely confined in prisons and jails. This practice was inhumane, and it was replaced by housing such persons in hospitals until 1970. Since 1970 the earlier practice of routinely confining such persons in prisons and jails has resumed. So it has been known for almost 200 years that confining persons with mental trauma in prison is inhumane, yet this is now the current state of affairs.

In 2012, approximately 356 thousand inmates with mental health issues were confined in prisons and jails. On the other hand, only 35 thousand were in state psychiatric hospitals. In Missouri, it is estimated that 20 percent of the prison population has mental health issues, and this figure has apparently been steadily increasing.

TAC, in lockstep with the psycho-pharmaceutical industry, believes that providing appropriate treatment for inmates with mental health issues is the administration of psychiatric drugs.

Unfortunately, in TAC’s view, a prisoner can object to treatment with psychiatric drugs. Thus, the primary purpose of the referenced paper is to examine how psychiatric drugs can be forced on prison inmates without their permission. They call it “treatment over objection,” and it has its own mental diagnosis as justification.

This diagnosis is called “anosognosia,” from the Greek a + nosos + gnosis, meaning not + disease + knowing. In English terms, it means “ignorance of the presence of disease.” In other words, a person who refuses treatment (in this case a prison inmate refusing psychiatric drugs) is diagnosed with anosognosia as a justification for forcing treatment on the person against their will, since they are obviously ignorant of their own diseased condition.

In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court (Washington v. Harper) held that an inmate with mental trauma need not be imminently dangerous before being medicated against his or her will, and that such an authorization may occur by administrative hearing rather than a judicial one. Thirty-one states, including Missouri, implement prison policies that allow an administrative (not a court) proceeding to force an inmate to take psychiatric drugs.

The Missouri Department of Corrections allows non-emergency involuntary administration of psychiatric drugs in cases where no immediate danger exists but the inmate poses a future likelihood of harm to self or others without treatment. The committee that authorizes this is composed of a psychiatrist, the associate superintendent, and the regional manager of mental health services. County jails may also use the same process.

The responsibility for helping people with mental trauma has gone to prisons and jails. Their primary method of treatment is psychotropic drugs known to cause violence and suicide — both when taking the drugs and when withdrawing from them. Prison violence and suicide are increasing; prison costs are increasing as more drugs are used; coercive measures are used to increase the prison population taking psychotropic drugs.

Does anyone see a problem with this trend?

FIND OUT! FIGHT BACK!

Our MO State Government at Work

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Our MO State Government at Work

We thought you should know that the Governor of Missouri just signed a new law into effect in the area of mental health care.

HB1064 (House Bill 1064) removes references to the phrases “mentally retarded” and “mental retardation” from statute and replaces them with “intellectually disabled” and “intellectual disability”, respectively.

Unfortunately they did not enact any budget cuts to the Department of Mental Health. In fact, they raised the DMH budget from $1.6 billion last year to $1.8 billion this year. But our Missouri legislators have made sure that they are politically correct about it.

Raise your hand if you would like the DMH to show positive results for their $1.8 billion.

By positive results, we mean outcomes that are important to the patient, the patient’s family, and the social and work environments of the patient. We do not mean outcomes that are important for maintaining the budget and status quo of psychiatrists, psychiatric institutions, or the Department of Mental Health.

An example of a positive result (what we might call an Ideal Scene) would be: patients recovering and being sent, sane, back into society as productive individuals.

People in desperate circumstances must be provided proper and effective medical care. Medical care, not psychiatric “care”, attention, good nutrition, a healthy, safe environment and activity that promotes confidence will do far more than the brutality of psychiatry’s drug treatments. Housing and work will do more for the homeless than the life-debilitating effects of psychiatric drugs and other psychiatric treatments that destroy responsibility.

Now is the time to visit, call, write, email and otherwise contact your federal, state and local officials and let them know that they must start insisting on actual positive outcomes in exchange for their mental health budgets. Or lose their budgets. Call them out to show their results. And we don’t mean meaningless statistics like the number of prescriptions written or the number of patients involuntarily committed, or the number of gun permits issued or revoked; we mean the number of patients who have recovered from their mental trauma and are now home as productive members of society.

Do it now, please. And let us know the responses you get.

Mental Health Care Facts

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Mental Health Care Facts

In 2001 the U.S. spent $85 billion on mental health services.

In 2008 the U.S. spent $170 billion on mental health services.

In 2014 Missouri has budgeted over $1.8 billion on mental health services, of which over $1 billion comes from the Federal government.

In 2015 the U.S. is expected to spend $280 billion on mental health services.

The public, through Medicaid and Medicare programs, covers 60% of this cost.

These figures do not include the costs of SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) disability programs. The lifetime cost of caring for an 18-year-old who goes onto disability for mental illness can be expected to exceed $2 million.

In 1990 11.16 million people in the U.S. were treated for psychiatric disorders compared to 21.77 million people in 2003. In 1990 1.47 million people were on U.S. government disability roles compared to 3.25 million people in 2003.

This situation is not getting better. People are not getting well from psychiatric care. Perhaps you know someone on disability or who is in psychiatric treatment. Are they getting well?

The long-term recovery rate for schizophrenia patients is 30% better if they are not taking anti-psychotic drugs.

Virtually anyone at any given time can temporarily meet the criteria for bipolar disorder or ADHD.

120 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with mental disorders and placed on psychiatric drugs as “treatment.”

There are no medical or scientific tests that can prove mental disorders are medical conditions. Psychiatric diagnosis is based solely on opinion.

The fact is, there are many medical conditions, that undetected and untreated, can appear as psychiatric ‘symptoms. There are non-harmful, non-drug solutions to treating problems of mood, attention, behavior that do not require a psychiatric diagnosis or psychiatric “treatment” (drugs) but can be effectively treated with standard medical, not psychiatric, treatment.

CCHR has compiled all international drug regulatory warnings and studies about psychiatric drug risks into an easy to search psychiatric drug database.

Support CCHR St. Louis so that we may continue to spread the word about psychiatric fraud and abuse.

Amazon will now donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Citizens Commission On Human Rights of St. Louis when you shop at AmazonSmile.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights STL

Relieve the physical stress associated with mental stress

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

CCHR STL Public Seminar

No one denies that people can have difficult problems in their lives, that at times they can be mentally unstable. People in desperate circumstances must be provided proper and effective health care.
Learn about physical stressors that exacerbate mental symptoms.

Learn about health care alternatives to harmful psychiatric drugs and treatments.

This is not to say that mental troubles are physical. They are not. Psychiatrists argue that mental disorders are biologically based to justify using treatments that cause more physical stress and further overwhelm the mind.

Relieve the Stress!


You are invited to attend the next Citizens Commission on Human Rights of St. Louis FREE public seminar.

It is vital that our families, friends, and associates know about healthy alternatives to harmful psychiatric “treatment.” You need to know there are alternatives to psychiatric fraud and abuse.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Noon to 3:00 PM (lunch will be provided)

Location: 2nd Floor auditorium of the Church of Scientology of Missouri, 6901 Delmar Blvd., University City, Missouri 63130 — just west of the U City City Hall.

RSVP TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT NOW! Email your RSVP to CCHRSTL@CCHRSTL.ORG.

Feel free to forward this invitation and to bring others to the seminar.

ADHD and Fluoride

Monday, March 10th, 2014

ADHD and Fluoride

A recently published scientific study links various developmental disabilities with fluoride poisoning.

[Lancet Neurol 2014;13:330-38; February 15, 2014; "Neurobehavioral effects of developmental toxicity"]

Here are some salient quotes.

“Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, affect millions of children worldwide, and some diagnoses seem to be increasing in frequency. Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence. …epidemiological studies have documented…developmental neurotoxicants” including fluoride.

“Strong evidence exists that industrial chemicals widely disseminated in the environment are important contributors to what we have called the global, silent pandemic of neurodevelopmental toxicity. The developing human brain is uniquely vulnerable to toxic chemical exposures, and major windows of developmental vulnerability occur in utero and during infancy and early childhood. During these sensitive life stages, chemicals can cause permanent brain injury at low levels of exposure that would have little or no adverse effect in an adult.”

“…studies of children exposed to fluoride in drinking water…suggests an average IQ decrement of about seven points in children exposed to raised fluoride concentrations.”

“Developmental neurotoxicity causes brain damage that is too often untreatable and frequently permanent.”

“The antisocial behaviour, criminal behaviour, violence, and substance abuse that seem to result from early-life exposures to some neurotoxic chemicals result in increased needs for special educational services, institutionalisation, and even incarceration.”

“Our very great concern is that children worldwide are being exposed to unrecognized toxic chemicals that are silently eroding intelligence, disrupting behaviours, truncating future achievements, and damaging societies.”

We might also point out that fluorine is a significant component of Prozac (fluoxetine hydrochloride, C17H18F3NO•HCL) and Paxil (paroxetine hydrochloride, C19H20FNO3•HCl•1/2H2O), both common psychiatric antidepressants with rather damaging side effects.

Admittedly, fluorine in chemical combination may behave differently than fluorine or fluoride (an ion of fluorine) alone, and there are those who argue that this difference is significant. The actual evidence, however, indicates otherwise. Regardless of any effect fluoride may have on teeth, it is a toxic substance and should be treated with caution, especially as a major component of a psychiatric drug.

See also the articles “Neurological Impact of Fluoride Toxicity“; “Fluoride Facts: The Inconvenient Truths“; “Chinese Studies Link Fluoride to Low IQ Scores“. For more detailed information, download the book “Directory of Somatopsychic Diseases and Conditions” containing 1400 assorted diseases, medical conditions, and toxins that either cause, exacerbate, or are associated with psychiatric illness.

Stress

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Stress

Our research leading to the recent newsletter on Marijuana turned up many references to “stress” — the relief of stress by smoking pot; the stress caused by not having access to pot; the tension caused by opposing points of view on the use of pot; myriad stress-relief programs; the stress caused by adverse reactions, side effects and withdrawal symptoms of pot-smoking.

We thought it would be appropriate, therefore, to write about the subject of stress. It is obviously a term of great interest to psychiatry as well. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the billing bible of the mental health care industry, names it explicitly as a billable diagnosis.

  • Acute Stress Disorder (308.3, DSM-IV)
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (309.81, DSM-IV)
  • Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders (an entire chapter in DSM-5); including various manifestations of PTSD, acute stress disorder, adjustment disorders, and reactive attachment disorder.

There are even “DSM-5 Self-Exam Questions” with which you can diagnose yourself for stress-related symptoms.

Then there is ICD-10, the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision. This is a coding of diseases and signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances and external causes of injury or diseases, as classified by the World Health Organization. ICD-10 has its own classification of various stressors such as phobias, anxieties, adjustment disorders, and so on. The deadline for the United States to begin using Clinical Modification ICD-10-CM for diagnosis coding is currently October 1, 2014.

Let’s go over the basics, the dictionary definitions of the word “stress.” There are many; here are some:

  • a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in life or work
  • something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety
  • physical force or pressure
  • a constraining force or influence
  • the burden on one’s emotional or mental well-being created by demands or difficulties

[from Middle English stresse stress, distress, hardship, short for destresse which is from Anglo-French destresce, from Latin districtus, past participle of distringere to grip with force, to draw tight]

“Acute stress response” was first described by Walter Cannon in the 1920s as a theory that animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system. The response was later recognized as the first stage of a general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms (from Wikipedia.)

Here are some additional terms and phrases associated with the concept of stress that one might consider as either causes or symptoms:

  • suppression on one or more parts of one’s life
  • boredom
  • lack of a goal or purpose in life
  • exhaustion
  • overwhelm
  • physical or mental shock
  • exposure to someone antagonistic to oneself or one’s efforts
  • an accumulation in life of turmoil, distress, failure, pain, loss or injury

For comparison, here are some of the concepts encompassing opposites of stress (which we might generally just consider as an absence of stress):

  • survival
  • success
  • health
  • vitality
  • comfort
  • relaxation

We would like to make it very clear that STRESS IS NOT A MENTAL ILLNESS! It is the reaction to a stressor. It is not a deficiency of cannabis or Prozac, and cannot be fixed with a drug. It can only be fixed by finding and eliminating the causes of the stress. Notice we said “causes” plural; if you knew the one thing that was causing your stress, you would have already fixed it. Of course, there are many, many single things that, when found and fixed, could significantly reduce or eliminate those particular stressors.

Bodies also have their own forms of stress, for example chronic age-related diseases are linked to inflammation in the body; and oxidative stress occurs when the body is exposed to an excessive number of free radicals.

What’s keeping people from handling their stress?

Well, there are vested interests who want the general populace immobilized by stress. The psychopharmaceutical industry, for example.

Psychiatrists will not tell you that there are many safe and effective, non-psychiatric options for mental and emotional turmoil.

While life is full of problems, and those problems can sometimes be overwhelming, it is important to know that psychiatry, with its unscientific diagnoses and harmful treatments, are the wrong way to go. Their most common treatment, psychiatric drugs, only chemically mask problems and symptoms; they cannot and never will be able to solve life’s problems. Once the drug has worn off, the original problem remains, or may even deteriorate. Though psychiatrists classify their drugs as a solution to life’s problems, in the long run, they only make things worse.

According to top experts, the majority of people having mental problems are actually suffering from non-psychiatric disorders, which can cause emotional stress.

You can get a thorough physical examination from a competent medical—not a psychiatric—doctor to check for any underlying injury or illness that may be causing emotional distress.

It’s up to every individual to insist on it, and to insist on fully informed consent to any treatment.

Mary Jane comes to psychiatry

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Mary Jane comes to psychiatry

There has been a lot in the news recently about marijuana — “medical” marijuana, synthetic marijuana, legalizing marijuana, human interest stories about someone smoking marijuana, rants about the horrors of marijuana smoking — in short, every possible human reaction and little to none of the facts, especially how this brouhaha ties in to psychiatry.

Listening to a radio talk show today, we heard many cogent arguments both for and against legalizing marijuana with or without “medical use.” It was obvious there were not going to be any agreements made among those discussing the issues. However, this is not the real issue, which is hidden behind the psychiatric influence — or should we say, the issue IS the hidden psychiatric influence. Suddenly we have an entirely new crop of potential psychiatric patients, ripe for “stress relief” programs, “substance abuse” programs, psychiatric drugs to “treat” the side effects of smoking pot, and mental health “research” projects about how pot smoking affects mental health or vice versa.

A Google search for “marijuana” produced nearly 62 million results. The NFL is debating marijuana use. About 20 states and the District of Columbia allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Various factions within Oregon, Colorado, Nevada and Washington are either extolling or condemning its virtues. Around 25 million people in the U.S. are active marijuana users. The U.S. marijuana business is worth $113 billion. Marijuana is a Schedule I drug according to the FDA, meaning the drug has “no currently accepted medical use” and a “high potential for abuse.” The heat is on to change the FDA’s mind. Even Saturday Night Live has jumped into the fray.

Over 60% of Americans in drug treatment programs (of which 19% are aged 12 to 17) need treatment for marijuana. According to a National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, kids who frequently use marijuana are almost four times more likely to act violently or damage property. They are five times more likely to steal than those who do not use the drug.

Marijuana is often more potent today than it used to be, due to growing techniques and selective breeding. The THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana) concentration has increased by as much as 12% over the past 30 years. Correspondingly, there has been a sharp increase in the number of marijuana-related emergency room visits by young pot smokers. Even pets are showing up in veterinary emergency rooms with marijuana intoxication.

Because a tolerance builds up, marijuana can lead users to consume stronger drugs to achieve the same high. When the effects start to wear off, the person may turn to more potent drugs to rid himself of the unwanted conditions that prompted him to take marijuana in the first place. Marijuana itself does not lead the person to other drugs; people take drugs to get rid of unwanted situations or feelings. The drug masks the problem for a time. When the high fades, the problem, unwanted condition or situation returns more intensely than before. The user may then turn to stronger drugs since marijuana no longer “works.”

Short-term Effects
Loss of coordination and distortions in the sense of time, vision and hearing
Sleepiness, reddening of the eyes, increased appetite, relaxed muscles
Sped up heart rate, up to five-fold in the first hour after smoking
Reduced performance through impaired memory and lessened ability to solve problems
Long-term Effects
Psychotic symptoms
Damage to heart and lungs, worsening the symptoms of bronchitis and causing coughing and wheezing
Reduction of the body’s ability to fight lung infections and illness
Addiction

How Do Drugs Work?

Drugs are essentially poisons. The amount taken determines the effect. A small amount acts as a stimulant. A greater amount acts as a sedative. A still larger amount poisons and can kill. This is true of any drug. Only the amount needed to achieve the effect differs.

Drugs block off all sensations, the desirable ones along with the unwanted ones. While drugs might be of short-term value in the handling of pain, they wipe out ability, alertness, and muddy one’s thinking. One always has a choice between being dead with drugs or alive without them.

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

How is psychiatry involved?

Stephen Hinshaw, professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, said marijuana is a “cognitive disorganizer” that produces roughly the same effect in users as those associated with ADHD. However, psychiatrists are now starting to prescribe medical marijuana for children and adults diagnosed with ADHD.

Heavy marijuana users are more likely than non-users to be diagnosed with schizophrenia later in life, placing them squarely into the mental health care system. A recent study found that people who had used marijuana more than 50 times before the age of 18, had a threefold increased risk of developing symptoms diagnosed as schizophrenia later in life. Once diagnosed with schizophrenia, they are prescribed anti-psychotic drugs. Never mind that schizophrenia is a fake disease; the symptoms are decidedly uncomfortable.

Smokeable herbal products, so-called synthetic marijuana, have been marketed as being “legal” and as providing a marijuana-like high. These products consist of plant material that has been coated with research chemicals that claim to mimic THC. Brands such as “Spice,” “K2,” “Blaze,” and “Red X Dawn” are labeled as herbal incense or bath salts to mask their intended purpose. Emergency room physicians report that individuals that use these types of products experience serious side effects such as anxiety attacks and other psychotic behavior. Psychiatrists may fraudulently diagnose these symptoms as a mental illness and prescribe psychotropic drugs.

Psychiatrists already have a name for marijuana addiction, “Cannabis Use Disorder.” A recent British study published in Schizophrenia Bulletin claims that mental illnesses are triggered six years earlier in patients who have smoked high-strength cannabis every day. Dr. Marti Di Forti, who led the study, wrote: “Daily use, especially of high-potency cannabis, drives the earlier onset of psychosis in cannabis users.”

Let’s not forget the withdrawal symptoms, which are similar to those of withdrawal from smoking and include irritability, sleep difficulties and anxiety, all of which can be mistaken for psychiatric symptoms leading to the prescription of psychotropic drugs.

We are already seeing many more articles discussing the chicken or egg question — that is, which came first, the mental illness or the marijuana? Of course, this wrong target ignores the real reason for drug use, described above as an unwanted condition, situation or feeling.

We are already seeing massive wasted research dollars going to psychiatrists to investigate the connections between marijuana and schizophrenia, or between marijuana and bipolar, or between marijuana and PTSD, or between…you get the idea.

The psychopharmaceutical industry is already salivating over the new crop of “Cannabis Use Disorder” patients who will be needing “substance abuse treatment.”

What do we do?

Rather, what do YOU do? What CAN you do? Something can ALWAYS be done about it!

Find Out! Fight Back!

That’s right. Educate yourself, your family, your friends, your associates, your school board, your church, your Chamber of Commerce, your Lions Club. Spread the word. Forward this newsletter. Challenge the proliferation of false information. Distribute the CCHR booklets and DVDs on the dangers of psychotropic drugs. Have a CCHR DVD party and show a DVD to your peers. Donate to CCHR so that we can continue to distribute the true information — CCHR St. Louis needs donations to give Missouri legislators CCHR documentary DVDs. Write letters to your local, state and federal officials. Write Letters to the Editor of your local radio, TV, and newspapers. Come to the CCHR St. Louis Public Seminars and bring your friends.

Or, you could always just do nothing, and watch this nation’s children grow up smoking pot and becoming patients for life in the mental health care system.