Posts Tagged ‘Missouri’

Patients With Mental Disorders Get Half Of All Opioid Prescriptions

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

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.

What Makes Special Education Special?

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

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 dbohannon@ssdmo.org and let him know what you think about this.

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

Doctors in Schools

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Through psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, false explanations, easy-seizure commitment laws and often brutal, depersonalizing “treatments” and deadening, mind-altering drugs, thousands needlessly fall into psychiatry’s coercive system every day all over the world. It is a system which exemplifies human rights abuse.

“In the Australian state of Victoria, a state program kicked in at the beginning of 2017 to mandate that children as young as 12 should see a doctor in school at least once a week, to receive drugs and medical treatment without parental consent.”

“Select Victorian Government secondary schools will work together with local general practices to enable primary health care services to be delivered on school premises.

One suspects that this “Doctors in Schools” program is actually intended to consolidate government control over children and line the pockets of pharmaceutical corporations. You know that these doctors will be prescribing psychiatric drugs to these schoolchildren.

In his 1932 novel, Brave New World, Aldous Huxley depicts a “utopian” but totalitarian society, one that is insane and bent on control. It is a controlled civilization, using, as Huxley stated, the “technique of suggestion – through infant conditioning and, later, with the aid of drugs.”

In 2003 the release of the U.S. New Freedom Commission on Mental Health Report recommended that all 52 million American schoolchildren be “screened” for “mental illness,” claiming – without proof – that “early detection, assessment, and links with “treatment” could “prevent mental health problems from worsening.” “Treatment” ultimately means drugs – usually the most expensive ones that effectively create lifetime mental health patients – for which the government and insurance agencies can be billed.

Children worldwide are under extremely dangerous assault. Today, parents and teachers are also deceived in the name of improved mental health and better education.

In the U.S. alone, 1.5 million children and adolescents on antidepressants are at risk of known, drug-induced violent or suicidal side effects.

In Missouri, Medicaid spends $16 Million per year on psychiatric drugs for roughly 20,000 children in state foster care. Foster care babies less than a year old are being given barbiturates to make them sleep. The side effects of barbiturates include addiction, depression, disorientation, hallucinations, kidney disease, and liver disease.

This information is not easy, comfortable reading. Ultimately the harshest reality you will have to face is that children urgently need our help and protection. Without that, the future for one and all is at serious risk.

For more information on harmful mental health screening, assessments, evaluations and programs within our schools, go to http://www.cchrstl.org/screening.shtml.

The Medicalization of Addiction

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

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.

Missouri Foster Care Class Action Lawsuit

Monday, June 12th, 2017

LANDMARK FEDERAL LAWSUIT CHARGES MISSOURI WITH PERVASIVE FAILURE TO MONITOR THE PRESCRIPTION AND ADMINISTRATION OF POWERFUL PSYCHOTROPIC MEDICATIONS TO FOSTER YOUTH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS CONTACTS:
Holly Aubry; haubry@childrensrights.org; 646.943.0541
Lewis Cohen; lcohen@youthlaw.org; 510.835.8098, ext 3045
Jessica Lillie Ciccone: lillieciccone@slu.edu; 314.977.7248

JUNE 12, 2017 – JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – Watchdogs Children’s Rights, National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) and Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics have today filed a landmark, civil rights complaint against Jennifer Tidball, Acting State Director of the Missouri Department of Social Services and Tim Decker, Director of the Children’s Division of DSS, on behalf of all minor children and youth who are or will be placed in Missouri’s foster care custody.

The first class action lawsuit to shine a federal spotlight solely on the overuse of psychotropic medications among vulnerable, at risk populations – such as Missouri’s 13,000 children in foster care – the complaint alleges longstanding, dangerous, unlawful and deliberately indifferent practices by the defendants, including:

  • Failure to ensure that powerful psychotropic drugs are administered to children safely and only when necessary
  • Failure to maintain complete and current medical records for children in foster care and to provide those records to foster parents and health providers to ensure effective and well-informed treatment
  • Failure to maintain a secondary review system to identify and address high risk and outlier prescriptions to children when they occur
  • Failure to assure and document meaningful, informed consent in relation to the administration of these drugs

“Children in Missouri foster care are routinely being placed on psychotropic drugs without adequate safeguards in place. The foster care system’s abject failure to oversee and closely monitor the use of these powerful drugs exposes Missouri’s most vulnerable citizens to serious, and even permanent injury,” explains Sara Bartosz, Deputy Director of Litigation Strategy at Children’s Rights. “It’s a systemic violation of children’s constitutional right to be free from harm while in state custody. Missouri must do far better by its children.”

According to Bill Grimm, Directing Attorney of Child Welfare at NCYL, “For foster children, psychotropic medications, especially antipsychotics, are often used as chemical restraints and not to treat the limited illnesses for which the FDA has approved their use in children. Few children, even those children and adolescents in foster care, suffer from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder – the predominant diagnoses for which antipsychotics have FDA approval for use with children. Yet antipsychotics are some of the most frequently prescribed drugs given to foster children. This is what we’re seeing in Missouri. It’s an outlier, and children’s lives are at risk.”

Given the lack of research on the safe and appropriate use of psychotropic medications in children, it is of particular concern when children are exposed to “outlier” prescribing practices: being given medications that are not approved by the FDA for use in children, combining multiple psychotropic medications, dosages that exceed recommended amounts, or given these drugs at a very young age.

“The lack of oversight and coordination of care in Missouri is disturbing,” adds co-counsel, John Ammann, professor and supervisor in the Legal Clinics at SLU LAW. “Foster youth endure incomprehensible trauma and abuse, but rather than receiving therapeutic counseling and mental health support to treat underlying issues, they are too frequently given powerful psychotropic medications to control their behavior. The foster children of Missouri deserve better.”

“These children are being prescribed too many powerful and potentially dangerous drugs, at unacceptable dosages and at too young an age. The federal government has cautioned strongly against these practices. It’s time that Missouri is held accountable to the children in its care it promised to protect,” states Sara Bartosz.

###

ABOUT CHILDREN’S RIGHTS
Fighting to transform America’s failing child welfare, juvenile justice, education and healthcare systems is one of the most important social justice movements of our time. Through strategic advocacy and legal action, Children’s Rights holds state governments accountable to America’s most vulnerable children. A national watchdog organization since 1995, Children’s Rights fights to protect and defend the rights of young people, because we believe that children have the right to the best possible futures. For more information, please visit www.childrensrights.org.

ABOUT NATIONAL CENTER FOR YOUTH LAW
The National Center for Youth Law is a non-profit law firm that helps low-income children achieve their potential by transforming the public agencies that serve them. For more information, please visit www.youthlaw.org.

ABOUT SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW LEGAL CLINICS
For more than for 40 years the Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics have created a tradition of social justice by providing invaluable legal services to the greater St. Louis community. Dedicated to the University’s Jesuit mission of advocating for the disadvantaged and the betterment of the community at large, the Legal Clinics provide unique and challenging opportunities in a supportive experiential learning environment for every student who desires a clinical experience, please visit law.slu.edu/clinics.

[http://www.childrensrights.org/press-release/landmark-federal-lawsuit-charges-missouri-with-pervasive-failure-to-monitor-the-prescription-and-administration-of-powerful-psychotropic-medications-to-foster-youth/]

Path to Restoring Lives

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Independence Center (IC) is a St. Louis nonprofit organization which “helps adults with mental illness access services to live and work in the community, independently and with dignity.” It is a mechanism to help end homelessness.

IC had revenue over $9.7 million in 2016, with expenses of $8.3 million (88% of which went to Program Services.) IC received a grant of $201,620 from the City of St. Louis Mental Health Board (MHB) in 2016. MHB is a special tax district which administers public tax revenues for support of vulnerable people in St. Louis City. The majority of individuals served (33%) were diagnosed with schizophrenia, followed by 24% diagnosed with depression, 19% with bipolar, 15% schizoaffective, and 9% some other diagnosis.

This is the Independence Center “Path to Restoring Lives”:
1. Independence Center social worker meets person discharging from hospital.
2. Schedules appointment at Midwest Psychiatry to start treatment plan and medication management.
3. Receives employment services at Independence Center’s Clubhouse and starts part-time job.
4. Collaborates with Independence Center social worker to locate safe, affordable housing.
5. Lives independently and with dignity in the community.

This Path is amazing on several levels.

IC counts success with their psychiatric programs as “Successfully managing symptoms,” as indicated by the percent of those receiving Medical Doctor or Advanced Practice Nurse services who did not report a psychiatric hospitalization or emergency department visit (94% and 89% respectively, out of 603 total unduplicated services provided.) In 2016, they counted 323 individuals enrolled in the Healthcare Home wellness program, 116 individuals who secured employment, and 78 individuals “Living independently and with dignity” as a result of their services.

If you spotted the second Path item above as the subject of our scrutiny, very well done. Let’s take a closer look at that item. Apparently according to Independence Center, the path to independence and dignity cannot occur without psychiatric drugs.

Because of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), psychiatrists have deceived millions into thinking that the best answer to life’s many routine problems and challenges lies with the “latest and greatest” psychiatric drug.

No one denies that people can have difficult problems in their lives, that at times they can be mentally unstable, subject to unreasonable depression, anxiety or panic. Mental health care is therefore both valid and necessary. However, the emphasis must be on workable mental healing methods that improve and strengthen individuals and thereby society by restoring people to personal strength, ability, competence, confidence, stability, responsibility and spiritual well–being. Psychiatric drugs and psychiatric treatments are not workable.

The larger problem is that the biological drug model (based on bogus mental disorders) is a disease marketing campaign which prevents governments from funding real medical solutions for people experiencing difficulty. There is a great deal of evidence that medical conditions can manifest as psychiatric symptoms, and that there are non–harmful medical treatments that do not receive government funding because the psychiatric/pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars on advertising and lobbying efforts to counter any medical modality that does not support the false biological drug model of mental disorders as a disease.

Because the general public has been so misled by the psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries about the actual dangers of psychotropic drugs, CCHR has created the psychiatric drug side effects search engine. Visit it to Get the Facts! Fight Back!

Missouri Foster Care Proposed Legislation

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

[See our previous newsletter on drugging foster care children in Missouri.]

Here is another piece of proposed legislation for protecting foster care children from being needlessly poisoned by psychiatric drugs. Contact your state legislators about this. (This applies to any state, not just Missouri.)

FOR THE STATE OF MISSOURI

PROPOSED REGULATION

Entitled: “CHEMICAL ABUSE: ENDANGERING THE HEALTH OF A CHILD OR YOUTH IN FOSTER CARE.”

WHEREAS: Child endangerment refers to an act or omission that renders a child subject to psychological, emotional or physical abuse. The child who is subjected to such endangerment is called an abused child or a neglected child. Endangerment that results in serious physical illness or injury is a felony.1

WHEREAS: Reckless Endangerment consists of acts that create a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. The accused person isn’t required to intend the resulting or potential harm, but must have acted in a way that showed a disregard for the foreseeable consequences of the actions.2

WHEREAS: The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2010 (CAPTA) defines “child abuse and neglect” as meaning, “at a minimum, any recent act or failure to act,” which “results in death, serious physical or emotional harm…”3

WHEREAS: Psychotropic medications have adverse effects including: stroke,4 pancreatitis5, obesity, with children taking atypical antipsychotics adding eight to fifteen percent to their weight after the drugs for less than 12 weeks.6 A variety of drugs targeted towards the central nervous system are associated with cardiac side effects, including arrhythmia and sudden death.7 Type 2 diabetes is associated with some atypical antipsychotics.8 Symptoms of psychosis or mania, particularly hallucinations, are linked to methylphenidate (ADHD) drugs9, suicidality10, violent behavior11, agitation, hostility and impulsivity in antidepressants12, akathisia (drug-induced restlessness) in antidepressants and antipsychotics13, tardive dyskinesia (permanent impairment of voluntary movement) and other movement disorders14, and gynecomastia (female breast growth in boys prescribed the antipsychotic Risperdal).15 Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a severe iatrogenic and potentially fatal complication of antipsychotics.16 At least 20 psychotropic drugs have been linked to violent behavior, with reports of homicide, physical assaults, cases indicating physical abuse, homicidal ideation, and cases described as violence-related symptoms.17 Mood stabilizer drugs are associated with behavioral problems, including aggression and hyperactivity.18

WHEREAS: Foster children are being given cocktails of these powerful drugs and federal inspectors found more than half the children nationwide were poorly monitored.19 The Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that between 20 and 39 percent of foster care children are prescribed psychotropic drugs.20 The Congressional Research Service found the number of children in foster care taking a psychiatric drug was more than four times the rate among children overall.21 One in nine children in foster care is prescribed antipsychotics, with potential life-debilitating and life-threatening effects.22

RECOMMENDATION

AMEND: Foster Care regulations to protect foster children and youths from the prescription of psychotropic drugs that can result in physical abuse or injury or endanger the child’s health.

The regulation addresses any child or youth under the care of state Child and Family Services in respect to: i) psychotropic drugs prescribed and administered them, ii) off-label prescribing, and iii) the observation of serious adverse effects of the prescribed psychotropic drugs and neglecting or failing to discontinue the medication, and where such acts result in disfiguring, physically damaging or life-threatening injury or effect to the child or youth. Therefore:

a) Such an act shall be considered chemical abuse.

b) Chemical abuse shall constitute “child abuse,” punishable in accordance with state child abuse laws.

 

References

1 “Child Endangerment Law and Legal Definition,” https://definitions.uslegal.com/c/child-endangerment/

2 “Reckless Endangerment Law and Legal Definition,” https://definitions.uslegaLcom/r/reckless-endangerment/

3 http://www.childsworld.ca.gov/res/OCAP/CAPTA-FactSheet.pdf

4 http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/lawsuit/adderall.html#.UzJJqs7Xlqw

5 “Pancreatitis Risk Seen in Schizophrenia Drugs,” The New York Times, 2 Sept. 2003, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/02/health/pancreatitis-risk-seen-in-schizophrenia-drugs.html

6 Duff Wilson, “Weight Gain Associated with Antipsychotic Drugs,” The New York Times, 27 Oct 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/business/28psych.html

“Drugged as Children, Foster-Care Alumni Speak Out, Use of Powerful Antipsychotics on Youths in Such Homes Comes Under Greater Scrutiny,” The Wall Street Journal, 23 Feb 2014, http://online.wsj.com/news/artic!es/SB10001424052702303442704579361333470749104

7 http://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/0301/p617.html; “Psychotropic Drugs, Cardiac Arrhythmia, and Sudden Death,” J Clin Psychopharmacol, 2003;23: 58-77; http://resources.childhealthcare.org/resources/Psychotropic_Meds__Arrhythmia_and_Sudden_Death.pdf

8 http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/PUarticles/antipsychdiabetes.htm; http://www.jabfm.org/content/16/3/251.full.pdf

9 https://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/06/briefing/2006-4210b_11_01_AdverseEvents.pdf

10 https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/UCM173233.pdf; https://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/06/briefing/2006-4210b_11_01_AdverseEvents.pdf

11 https://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/06/briefing/2006-4210b_11_01_AdverseEvents.pdf

12 “Worsening Depression and Suicidality in Patients Being Treated with Antidepressants Medications,” US Food and Drug Administration Public Health Advisory, 22 Mar. 2004.

13 “Worsening Depression and Suicidality in Patients Being Treated with Antidepressants Medications,” US Food and Drug Administration Public Health Advisory, 22 Mar. 2004.

14 “Anti-Psychotic Drugs Like Risperdal Overprescribed in Foster Children,” The Legal Examiner, 6 May 2014, http://newyork.legalexaminer.com/fda-prescription-drugs/anti-psychotic-drugs-like-risperdal-overprescribed-in-foster-children/

15 http://www.drugwatch.com/risperdal/

16 “Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome in Children and Adolescents on Atypical Antipsychotic Medication: A Review,” J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2009 Aug; 19(4): 415-422, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2861947/

17 Thomas J. Moore, Joseph Glenmullen, Curt D. Furbert, “Prescription Drugs Associated with Reports of Violence Towards Others,” Public Library of Science ONE, Vol. 5, Iss. 12, December 2010.

18 Elisabetta Patorno, et al., “Anticonvulsant Medications and the Risk of Suicide, Attempted Suicide, or Violent Death,” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 303, No. 14, April 14, 2010; http://jama.jamanetwork.com/articJe.aspx?articleid=185674 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20388896.

19 “Federal study finds alarming use of antipsychotics among nation’s poor children, foster kids,” CalNews.com., 30 Mar. 2015, https//calnews.com/2015/03/30/federal-study-finds-alarming-use-of-antipsychotics-among-nations-poor-children-foster-kids/

20 Kelly Patricia O’Meara, “Congress Saying Foster Kids are ‘Over-drugged’ is Like Saying Nuclear Waste is ‘Overly-toxic,’” 3 June 2014, http://www.cchrint.org/2014/06/03/congress-saying-foster-kids-are-over-drugged-is-like-saying-nuclear-waste-is-overly-toxic/

21 Op. Cit., Kelly Patricia O’Meara, “Congress Saying Foster Kids…”

22 “New study finds that drugs for schizophrenics are regularly dispensed to foster kids,” Business Insider, 9 June 2016, http://www.businessinsider.com/many -foster -kids-medicated-with-antipsychotics-2016-6

Take Action – Missouri Legislature – Involuntary Commitment

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Periodically we let you know the progress of various proposed legislation making its way through the Missouri General Assembly and suggest ways for you to contribute your viewpoint to your state Representative and state Senator.

You can find your Representative and Senator, and their contact information, by entering your 9-digit zip code here.

This time, we’d like to discuss Senate Bill SB221, “Authorizes legal counsel for the Department of Mental Health to have standing in certain hearings involving a person unable to stand trial due to lack of mental fitness”, sponsored by Senator Jeanie Riddle (R, District 10).

“This act provides that after a person accused of committing a crime has been committed to the Department of Mental Health due to lack of mental fitness to stand trial, the legal counsel for the Department shall have standing to participate in hearings regarding involuntary medications for the accused.”

First off, we’d like to say that Involuntary Commitment (also called civil commitment) is a crack in the door of constitutional freedoms, and should be abolished.

This bill would modify Section 552.020, RSMo (Missouri Revised Statutes) which establishes this type of involuntary commitment in the state. The main topic of this statute states, “No person who as a result of mental disease or defect lacks capacity to understand the proceedings against him or her or to assist in his or her own defense shall be tried, convicted or sentenced for the commission of an offense so long as the incapacity endures.” Instead, the person is incarcerated against their will in a psychiatric facility. In effect, they are put in jail without a trial. This is often called NGRI, “Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity.”

Here (in italics) is the main requested change in the law: “If the court determines that the accused lacks mental fitness to proceed, the criminal proceedings shall be suspended and the court shall commit him or her to the director of the department of mental health. After the person has been committed, legal counsel for the department of mental health shall have standing to file motions and participate in hearings on the issue of involuntary medications.

In other words, once the person becomes an involuntary ward of the state in a psychiatric facility, then the Department of Mental Health can force the person to be placed on psychiatric drugs by petitioning the court.

When any psychiatric facility has full legal power to cause your involuntary physical detention by force (kidnapping), drug you senseless, subject you to physical pain and mental stress (torture), leave you permanently mentally damaged (cruel and unusual punishment), with or without proving to your peers that you are a danger to yourself or have committed a crime (due process of law, trial by jury) then, by definition, a totalitarian state exists.

Because of their ubiquity and far–reaching powers, involuntary commitment laws lay a truly concrete foundation for totalitarianism. And they are not, it must be stressed, a threat of what might be, but a present danger — representing America’s gaping breach in the otherwise admirable wall of individual Constitutional rights.

Involuntary commitment laws hike federal, state, county, city and private health care costs under the strange circumstance of a patient–recipient who cannot say no.

And we have not even mentioned yet that the involuntary psychiatric drugs that this proposed change in the law sanctions are harmful and addictive, and are known to cause violence and suicide.

The person who pleads NGRI to a crime needs effective justice and rehabilitation, not psychiatric drugs.

Contact your Missouri state Representative and Senator, and let them know what you think about this.

For more information click here.

Washington University in St. Louis Shocks Pregnant Women

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Mark Wrighton, the Chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL), wrote in the Spring 2017 Washington magazine, “One of the [Leading Together fund raising] campaign’s priorities is to advance human health.”

This is a laudable goal, but it is belied by the University’s strong support of the psychiatric industry and the reprehensible actions of psychiatrists on the university payroll.

The WUSTL interest in Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) and other harmful psychiatric “treatments” [Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), and Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)] is not superficial, it is widespread throughout the psychiatric department, and is a primary area of education for medical students.

Approximately 150,000 people get ECT every year in the US, with 2,000 shock treatments being done every year by WUSTL psychiatrists at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Complications after treatment usually increase with the age of the patient; small surprise there. WUSTL psychiatrists say that, “ECT is considered a safe treatment modality in pregnant women in whom a number of medications may be associated with risk to the fetus.”

“The main inpatient psychiatry facility has 48 beds and is divided into three locked units — intensive care floor, step-down floor and a geropsychiatry floor. The units are located on the 15th floor of the main Barnes-Jewish teaching hospital and are closely integrated into all of the specialty care inpatient units (e.g., surgery, internal medicine, neurology) of the hospital. The 15th floor also houses an ECT suite where approximately 2,000 treatments are done each year.”

Medical Residents are trained in these procedures. “A major emphasis of our program is intensive clinical training underscoring diagnostic skills, somatic treatments including psychopharmacology, ECT, and experimental procedures such as rTMS and VNS.”

“Residents evaluate patients referred to the Treatment-resistant Depression and Neurostimulation Clinic and work on the ECT service at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, providing ECT consults to the inpatient psychiatric services and to outpatients referred by their outpatient psychiatrist.”

These procedures are subjects of intensive research. “Faculty and staff of the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine conduct federally funded and industry-sponsored research through the Center for Mood Disorders.” — These procedures include ECT, TMS, and VNS.

Dr. Charles Zorumski says, “Our clinical studies are examining the benefits and risks of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in various groups of patients with psychiatric disorders, including the use of ECT as a maintenance therapy.”

Dr. Pilar Cristancho boasts that she won an award in 2008 at the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society, 6th Annual Colloquium of Scholars for “Electroconvulsive Therapy for treatment of severe major depression during pregnancy.” She also conducts research for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation on pregnant women.

Dr. Michael Jarvis expresses his interest in “suicide and treatments for significant psychiatric illness such as Electroconvulsive Therapy and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.”

ECT can cost between $300 and $2,500 per session, there is apparently no set standard; a primary cost driver would be how much hospital support is required for the patient. With eight as the average number of treatments per patient, this means a course of ECT treatment will cost between $2,400 and $20,000. Medicare allowed charges are roughly $88 per session.

A TMS patient will usually have 20-30 treatments, typically in the range of $400-500 per session for a total cost of about $15,000.

The cost of implanting a VNS device is approximately $30,000 and up.

Predictably, the psychiatrists of WUSTL insist that ECT is safe and effective. Realistically, would you stick your finger in an electrical socket on purpose? Let alone your brain?

A prominent constitutional attorney was presented with a Human Rights Award at the 48th Anniversary celebration of the mental health watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). The event, held in Los Angeles on March 4th, included hundreds of guests from around the world honoring the awardees for their work in the field of mental health reform. Among his accomplishments, Constitutional attorney Jonathon W. Emord is currently challenging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration‘s (FDA) bizarre and dangerous proposal to reduce the risk classification of the electroshock treatment (ECT) device, which would make the brain-damaging procedure more widely used, including endangering children.

In accepting the award, Mr. Emord said, “ECT devices are a throw-back to an age of primitive torture, of ignorance and barbarism, where bludgeoning those with depression and psychoses into a lack of consciousness and awareness was considered therapeutic. This past year CCHR has done more than any other organization to fight against FDA’s indefensible proposal to make Electroshock Therapy devices far more available for psychiatric use, a move that would expand the horrors and compound the problems facing patients in need…Electroshock must be banned.”

Click here for more information about ECT and other horrifying psychiatric treatments.

This is Your Brain on TMS

Monday, March 6th, 2017

TMS is now available in St. Louis, according to local TV commercials promoting this crippling form of brain stimulation.

Techniques such as “transcranial magnetic stimulation” (TMS) are psychiatry’s latest experiment in treatment of the “mentally ill.”

In TMS, a magnetic coil is placed near the patient’s scalp and a powerful and rapidly changing magnetic field passes through skin and bone and penetrates a few centimeters (up to 2.5 inches) into the outer cortex (outer gray matter) of the brain and induces an electrical current. Repetitive TMS (rTMS) can cause seizures or epileptic convulsions in healthy subjects, depending upon the intensity, frequency, duration and interval of the magnetic stimuli.

With ECT and psychosurgery under intense critical public scrutiny, psychiatry is now feverishly searching for a new “breakthrough miracle” – and TMS is one of the new catch phrases.

The TMS St. Louis web site (http://www.tms-stlouis.com/) says “Deep TMS Therapy is an FDA-cleared depression treatment for patients with depression who have not benefited from antidepressant medications.” Well, that makes every patient in mental health care eligible for TMS, since patently none of them have benefited from the drugs.

Why do some people say it “works”?

No one denies that people can have difficult problems in their lives, that at times they can be mentally unstable. Unfortunately, not only do psychiatrists not understand the etiology (cause) of any mental disorder, they cannot cure them. In effect, psychiatrists are still saying that mental problems are incurable and that the afflicted are condemned to lifelong suffering.
Psychiatric treatments such as TMS, however, are unworkable and dangerous, and while they may temporarily mask some symptoms they do not treat, correct or cure any physical disease or condition.

TMS may temporarily relieve the pressure that an underlying physical problem could be causing but it does not treat, correct or cure any physical disease or condition. This relief may have the person thinking he is better but that relief is not evidence that a psychiatric disorder exists. Ask an illicit drug user whether he feels better when snorting cocaine or smoking dope and he’ll believe that he is, even while the drugs are actually damaging him. Some depression treatments can have a “damping down” effect. They suppress the physical feelings associated with “depression” but they are not alleviating the condition or targeting what is causing it.

The brain is your body’s most energy–intensive organ. It represents only three percent of your body weight but uses twenty–five percent of your body’s oxygen, nutrients and circulating glucose. Therefore any significant metabolic disruptions such as TMS can impact brain function.

The brain stimulation breaks the routine rhythmic flows and activities of the nervous system. The nerves and other body systems are forced to do things they normally would not do. The human body, however, is unmatched in its ability to withstand and respond to such disruptions. The various systems fight back, trying to process the disruption, and work diligently to counterbalance its effect on the body.

But the body can only take so much. Quickly or slowly, the systems break down. Human physiology was not designed for this type of brain stimulation. Tissue damage may occur. Nerves may stop functioning normally. Organs and hormonal systems may go awry. This can be temporary, but it can also be long lasting, even permanent. Like a car run on rocket fuel, you may be able to get it to run a thousand miles an hour, but the tires, the engine, the internal parts, were never meant for this. The machine flies apart.

Side effects (adverse reactions) of TMS may include headache, scalp discomfort, facial muscle spasms, lightheadedness, fainting; altered endocrine, immune or neurotransmitter systems; loss of consciousness; seizures; mania; hearing loss; and, if the patient is depressed, the “treatment” may induce or exacerbate suicidal feelings. Adverse reactions are often delayed – i.e. may appear long after the patient has left the doctor’s office.

You may hear that TMS is called “noninvasive”, but it does impact the brain in ways that are not fully understood. One could say it is “noninvasive” in the same way that ECT is noninvasive – i.e. it doesn’t break the skin. Scorch marks not included. Little is known about the long-term side effects. Cognitive impairment has also been observed in some cases. Using different stimulation intensities and/or patterns may also have significant effects on the long-lasting outcomes.

Typical treatment involves a 40-minute session, five days a week, for four to six weeks. The cost can range from $6,000 to $10,000.

Physically intrusive and damaging practices such as TMS violate the doctor’s pledge to uphold the Hippocratic Oath and “Do no harm.”

New high-tech “treatments” for the brain will continue to be used to create the appearance of scientific progress, but in the end, psychiatry will be no closer to identifying any causes or effecting any cures; instead, their betrayal and brutality in the name of mental health continues. Psychiatry has proven only one thing — without the protection of basic human rights, there can only be diminished mental health.

Persons in desperate circumstances must be provided proper and effective medical care. The correct action on a seriously mentally disturbed person is a full, searching clinical examination by a competent medical doctor to discover and treat the true cause of the problem. Mental health facilities should have non-psychiatric medical experts on staff and be required to have a full complement of diagnostic equipment, which could prevent more than 40% of admissions by finding and treating undiagnosed physical conditions.

Click here for more information about the brutal reality of abusive psychiatric practices such as electroshock, TMS, deep brain stimulation, and psychosurgery.