Chanting the Chantix Mantra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is Chantix?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hear This — Zone Out on Zonisamide

The March 15-21, 2019 issue of the St. Louis Business Journal noted a $10.5 million Army grant to the Washington University in St. Louis Medical School to study the epilepsy drug Zonisamide to see if it could prevent hearing loss from loud noises. This seemed like such an imaginative stretch that we decided to look into it in more detail.

The justification given is that Zonisamide is conjectured to protect hearing loss when given ahead of exposure to loud noises. We wondered how this came about. We also note that other epilepsy drugs are psych-related, so we wondered if there was a psych drug connection here as well.

In a rat study, researchers proposed using a substance that blocks calcium channels to see if it could prevent hearing loss against loud noises. Zonisamide also blocks calcium channels. Gee, maybe Zonisamide can prevent hearing loss.

Zonisamide is the generic name used in the United States for a seizure drug whose common brand name is Zonegran. It was first used in Japan in the early 1970’s to treat so-called psychiatric disorders, and has been used off-label by psychiatrists in the U.S. as a mood stabilizer. The FDA approved it for seizures in 2000, although it is totally unknown as to how it works to prevent seizures. The FDA notes that taking this drug may increase the risk of depression, psychosis and suicidal thoughts or actions.

Using Zonisamide during pregnancy may present a significant risk to the fetus due to the possibility of birth defects.

Zonisamide was first studied in Japan in the 1970’s during exploratory research on drugs for psychiatric disorders. The drug alters the concentration of dopamine in the brain, but is apparently dosage dependent — that is, different dosages can increase or decrease dopamine concentrations, leading to unpredictable results.

Zonisamide is metabolized in the liver by Cytochrome P450 enzymes, so its side effects can be magnified in those persons with a genetic lack of these enzymes.

Typically we see that the psychiatric research community makes a guess about re-purposing some old drug so it can be re-used for a new patient population, guesses how it might work in the rat brain, then guesses how it might work in the human brain, each time asking for more funding to make further guesses, eventually leading to the FDA approving a new use for an old drug even though they still don’t know how it “works.”

While medicine has advanced on a scientific path to major discoveries and cures, psychiatry has never evolved scientifically and is no closer to understanding or curing mental problems, thus must continually seek to find new uses for old treatments.

While medicine has nurtured an enviable record of achievements and general popular acceptance, the public still links psychiatry to snake pits, straitjackets, and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Psychiatry continues to foster that valid impression with its development of such brutal treatments as ECT, psychosurgery, the chemical straitjacket caused by antipsychotic drugs, and its long record of treatment failures including Zonisamide as a mood stabilizer.

In over 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.

The drugs prescribed for psychiatric conditions, such as using Zonisamide as a mood stabilizer, only exacerbate the conditions they are supposed to treat. And when these drugs are used for other non-psychiatric conditions, they continue having the same adverse reactions, such as depression and suicide when Zonisamide is used for epilepsy. It will have the same adverse reactions if it is ever used for hearing loss. And they will still not know how it “works.”

We suggest that funding only be provided for workable medical treatments that dramatically improve and cure health and mental health problems. For more information, download and read the CCHR booklet “Psychiatric Hoax – The Subversion of Medicine – Report and recommendations on psychiatry’s destructive impact on health care.

Knock Yourself Out with Spravato (Esketamine)

A nasal spray version of the anesthetic drug ketamine was approved by the FDA on March 5, 2019 for treatment-resistant depression.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals says that the cost for a one-month course of treatment for Spravato (generic esketamine) will be between $4,720 and $6,785.

Esketamine is the S-enantiomer of ketamine, which means that it is one of the two mirror images of the chemical structure of ketamine, S (for the Latin sinister) being the left image. It enhances glutamine release in the brain. Glutamine is an amino acid used in the synthesis of proteins, among other things. In the brain, glutamine is used in the production of neurotransmitters. It is believed that glutamine plays a role in raising or lowering aggression levels.

Treatment requires that doses be taken, in conjunction with an oral antidepressant, in a doctor’s office or clinic, with patients monitored for at least two hours, and their experience entered in a registry.

Because of the risk of serious adverse outcomes and the potential for abuse and misuse of the drug, it is only available through a restricted distribution system. At least you can’t take it home with you.

The Spravato labeling contains a Boxed Warning that cautions that patients are at risk for sedation and difficulty with attention, judgment and thinking (dissociation), abuse and misuse, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors after administration of the drug.

Basically, it knocks you out so you don’t feel so depressed anymore. You don’t feel much of anything, actually, since you’ve just taken an anesthetic in the snout.

There were four phase 3 clinical trials; two of them failed to show any statistical improvement, but the drug was approved anyway because it was on the Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy paths.

A 9/5/2018 update from Consumer Reports said, “All these drugs [Ketamine, Phenylbutazone, Chloramphenicol] are prohibited in beef, poultry, and pork consumed in the U.S. Yet government data obtained by Consumer Reports suggest that trace amounts of these and other banned or severely restricted drugs may appear in the U.S. meat supply more often than was previously known.”

Note that “depression” is not an actual medical illness; it is simply a symptom of some undiagnosed and untreated condition. A diagnosis of depression is a prime example of psychiatric fraud.

Any form of ketamine used to treat so-called depression is unethical and harmful, since it precludes the patient from finding out what is actually wrong and getting that treated. Psychiatrists pushing ketamine or esketamine are shameful drug pushers who are making a buck off people’s misfortune.

Go here for more information about alternatives to drugs.

Orilissa May Cause Suicidal Ideation

Orilissa (generic elagolix) is a drug from AbbVie Inc. and Neurocrine Biosciences, approved by the FDA in the summer of 2018, and prescribed for women with moderate to severe endometriosis pain. Endometriosis is a chronic disease in which uterine lining tissue grows outside the uterus. The drug shuts down the hormonal cycle, stopping the monthly menstrual period. It is currently being heavily advertised, with a list price of approximately $850 per month.

It caught our attention because some of the serious side effects are suicidal thoughts, actions, or behavior, and worsening of mood.

The prescribing information advises that patients with new or worsening depression, anxiety or other mood changes should be referred to a mental health professional. We urge caution, because a psychiatrist may misdiagnose such symptoms as a mental disorder rather than a drug side effect, and prescribe harmful psychotropic drugs instead of properly handling the side effects.

Suicidal ideation and behavior, including one completed suicide, occurred in subjects treated with Orilissa in the endometriosis clinical trials. Users had a higher incidence of depression and mood changes compared to placebo. Some of the most common adverse reactions in clinical trials included anxiety, depression and mood changes.

The drug is a gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist, which means it blocks the receptors of certain hormones in the brain’s pituitary gland, leading to the suppression of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, estradiol, and progesterone. Patients are advised to limit the duration of use because of bone loss; bone mineral density loss is greater with increasing duration of use and may not be completely reversible.

The drug is metabolized in the liver by cytochrome P450 enzymes, so a person genetically deficient in these enzymes, or who is taking other drugs that inhibit CYP450 enzymes, is at risk of a toxic accumulation of the drug leading to more severe side effects.

There does not appear to be any scientific data about exactly why suicidality and behavior changes are potential adverse reactions, but we might surmise that messing with hormones in the brain is not exactly a well-known precision science.

The major issue we see is that mood changes as a side effect from Orilissa are likely to be misdiagnosed. Since psychiatrists do not perform clinical tests and are wont to prescribe an antidepressant rather than get to the root of the problem, we want to be sure every candidate for this drug understands the issue and practices full informed consent to any psychiatric treatment.

Missouri child psychiatry project got federal grant

In November 2018, the St. Louis Business Journal wrote, “The Missouri Department of Mental Health was awarded a $425,000 federal grant to fund expansion of a state project to expand access to mental health care for children.”

“The Health Resources and Services Administration recently awarded $7.9 million combined to 18 states to integrate behavioral health into pediatric primary care.”

This effort targets young children by integrating the efforts of physicians, nurse practitioners, behavioral health clinicians, community health workers, home visitors, and other health care providers to funnel children into the mental health care system.

The Child Psychiatry Access Project in Missouri provides child psychiatry phone consultation to primary care providers in several counties, with a goal of providing these services statewide by October 2020.

The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration of the Department of Health & Human Services says, “State or regional networks of pediatric mental health teams will provide tele-consultation, training, technical assistance and care coordination for pediatric primary care providers to diagnose, treat and refer children with behavioral health conditions.”

Participating agencies are: University of Missouri School of Medicine, Behavioral Health Network, Assessment Resource Center, Behavioral Health Response, Washington University Pediatric and Adolescent Ambulatory Research Consortium, and the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

Why Do We Think This Is Bad?

No one denies that proper mental health care for children is a good thing. Unfortunately, the current state of mental health care for children is mostly prescribing them harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs for fraudulent “mental illnesses.”

They assert that up to 25% of children need this behavioral health care, which is patently false.

Health care providers do not require informed consent from the family to call and discuss a case with these behavioral health consultants.

The trouble is that psychiatric propaganda on the subject of children has thoroughly duped well-meaning parents, teachers and politicians alike, that “normal” childhood behavior is no longer normal; that it is a mental illness. And further, that only by continuous, heavy drugging from a very early age, can the “afflicted” child possibly make it through life’s worst.

Contrary to psychiatric opinion, children are not “experimental animals,” they are human beings who have every right to expect protection, care, love and the chance to reach their full potential in life. They will only be denied this from within the verbal and chemical straitjackets that are psychiatry’s labels and drugs.

Through massive promotion and marketing campaigns, psychiatric drugs are increasingly prescribed as the panacea for life’s inevitable crises and challenges. 17 million schoolchildren worldwide have now been diagnosed with so-called mental disorders and prescribed cocaine-like stimulants and powerful antidepressants as treatments.

Teen suicides have tripled since 1960 in the United States. Today, suicide is the second leading cause of death (after car accidents) for 15 to 24 year-olds. Since the early 1990s, millions of children around the world have taken prescribed antidepressants that U.K. and U.S. authorities have now branded as suicidal agents. In September 2004, a U.S. Congressional hearing into these drugs found that not only do studies show the drugs are ineffective in children; they can drive them to suicidal behavior and hostility.

Psychiatrists are still telling governments that they can deliver the world from delinquency at a huge cost. Psychiatry remains long on promise and short in fact empty on delivery.

Support legislative measures that will protect children from psychiatric interference. Write your legislators about this. In Missouri find your legislators here.

Rexulti Fails to Get Results

REXULTI (generic brexpiprazole) is a prescription psychiatric drug from Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company and Lundbeck pharmaceutical company. Although it failed Phase II clinical trials for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2015 as an atypical antipsychotic and prescribed for the fake “disease” schizophrenia.

Then in 2018 the FDA approved it to treat symptoms of depression when antidepressants alone do not relieve symptoms.

The cost for Rexulti oral tablet 0.25 mg is around $1,166 for a supply of 30 tablets. It has similarities to Abilify, and apparently it was developed to replace Abilify when that drug’s patent expired in 2014.

Brexpiprazole affects the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the brain. It is thought to reduce dopamine output when dopamine concentrations are high and increase dopamine output when dopamine concentrations are low. It also activates serotonin receptors to increase serotonin levels in a manner thought to reduce hallucinogenic effects, which is a problem with all drugs that mess with serotonin in the brain.

The metabolism of the drug — that is, the mechanism which eventually eliminates it from the body — is mediated by Cytochrome P450 enzymes; people who are known poor metabolizers, i.e. those with a genetic lack of these enzymes, should be instructed to take half the usual dose, although this is rarely done, since the patient must first be tested for this genetic condition. It is estimated that 10% of Caucasians and 7% of African Americans are Cytochrome P450 deficient. The consequences for someone with this deficiency who takes this drug are an increased risk for the accumulation of the non-metabolized drug in the body and the resultant increase in adverse side effects such as depression, violence and suicide.

Drugs like Rexulti can raise the risk of death in the elderly, and it is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis. This drug may also increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, or young adults within the first few months of treatment. It is not approved for the treatment of people younger than 18 years of age.

Rexulti may cause other serious side effects, including: compulsive, uncontrollable behaviors such as gambling, shopping, binge eating and sex (the same as with Abilify); stroke in elderly people; Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome; high fever; stiff muscles; confusion; sweating; changes in pulse, heart rate, or blood pressure; high blood sugar (hyperglycemia); weight gain; seizures; difficulty swallowing; uncontrolled body movements known as tardive dyskinesia. Tardive dyskinesia may not go away, even after one stops taking the drug, and tardive dyskinesia may also start some time after one stops taking the drug.

The real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness”, and stigmatize unwanted behavior as “diseases.” Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax – unscientific, fraudulent and harmful. All psychiatric treatments, not just psychiatric drugs, are dangerous. Find Out! Fight Back!

More About Dopamine

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

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

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

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

Dopamine has other effects around the body:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psychiatric Drugs, School Violence, and Big Pharma Cover-Up

A study published June 12, 2018 from the University of Illinois at Chicago suggests that more than one-third (37.2%) of U.S. adults may be using prescription drugs that have the potential to cause depression or increase the risk of suicide.
[JAMA. 2018;319(22);2289-2298. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.6741]

Information about more than 26,000 adults from 2005 to 2014 was analyzed, along with more than 200 commonly prescribed drugs. However, many of these drugs are also available over the counter, so these results may underestimate the true prevalence of drugs having side effects of depression.

In other words, the use of prescription drugs, not just psychiatric drugs, that have depression or suicide as a potential adverse reaction is fairly common, and the more drugs one takes (called polypharmacy), the greater the likelihood of depression occurring as a side effect. “The likelihood of concurrent depression was most pronounced among adults concurrently using 3 or more medications with depression as a potential adverse effect, including among adults treated with antidepressants.”

Approximately 15% of adults who used three or more of these drugs concurrently experienced symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts, compared with just 5% for those not using any of these drugs. Roughly 7.6% of adults using just one of these drugs reported a side effect of depression or suicidal thoughts during the study period, and 9% for those using two of these drugs. These results were the same whether the drugs were psychotropic or not. Depression was determined by asking nine questions related to the symptoms defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

“Commonly used depression screening instruments, however, do not incorporate evaluations of prescribed medications that have depression as a potential adverse effect.” In other words, so-called depression screening tests can register false positives when the person is taking one or more of roughly 200 prescription drugs.

We thought we should dig a little deeper into this phenomenon.

First, understand that there is no depression “disease”. A person can certainly have symptoms of feeling depressed, but this is not a medical condition in itself. An example of a medical condition with a symptom of depression would be a vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency. You don’t fix it with an antidepressant; you fix it with vitamin B1. There are hundreds of medical conditions that may have mental symptoms, just as there are hundreds of drugs that can cause or worsen these symptoms. Finding the actual causes with appropriate clinical tests and then fixing what is found is the correct way to proceed.

This leads to a topic known as CYP450, which stands for Cytochrome P450 enzymes. Cytochrome means “cellular pigment” and is a protein found in blood cells. Scientists understand these enzymes to be responsible for metabolizing almost half of all drugs currently on the market, including psychiatric drugs.

These are the major enzymes involved in drug metabolism, which is the breakdown of drugs in the liver or other organs so that they can be eliminated from the body once they have performed their function.

If these drugs are not metabolized and eliminated once they have done their work, they build up and become concentrated in the body, and then act as toxins. The possibility of harmful side effects, or adverse reactions, increases as the toxic concentration increases. The ballpark estimate is that each year 2.2 million Americans are hospitalized for adverse reactions and over 100,000 die from them.

Some people are deficient in CYP450 or have diminished capacity to metabolize these drugs, which may be a genetic or other issue. Individuals with no or poorly performing CYP450 enzymes are much more likely to suffer the side effects of prescription drugs, particularly psychiatric drugs known to have side effects of depression, violence and suicide.

These metabolic processes are immature at birth and up to three years old, and this may result in an increased risk for drug toxicity in infants and young children. Furthermore, certain drugs or certain excipients in vaccines may inhibit activation of CYP450 enzymes, again resulting in an increased risk for the accumulation of non-metabolized drugs and the resultant increase in adverse side effects such as depression, violence and suicide.

The side effects caused by a CYP450 deficiency and its subsequent failure to metabolize any one of hundreds of drugs can then be misdiagnosed as a mental illness, the patient then being prescribed more psychiatric drugs in a mistaken attempt to treat those side effects, further complicating the problems.

It is estimated that 10% of Caucasians and 7% of African Americans are Cytochrome P450 deficient.

The psychiatric and pharmaceutical industries have been aware of this phenomenon for some time, yet they have continued to push psychiatric drugs at an ever increasing rate, and the dramatic increase in symptoms of depression, suicide, and school violence is a direct result.

No one should be prescribed these types of drugs without adequate testing for a CYP450 deficiency, in order to determine their risk potential for adverse reactions. The test is not “standard of care” so one has to ask for it; but beware, they will still recommend an alternative drug if the original one cannot be easily metabolized. Better yet, stop prescribing all psychiatric drugs and find out with proper medical, clinical tests what the real problems are and treat those. Full informed consent is always indicated.

Any psychiatrist or pharmaceutical company that has knowingly withheld evidence about the relationship between CYP450 enzymes and drug side effects should be subject to both prosecution and litigation.

Medical students should be educated about these relationships.

For more information click on any of the links in this newsletter.

They’re Coming to Screen You

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention has released guidelines for suicide prevention (“Recommended Standard Care for People with Suicide Risk“).

The NAASP, a project of Education Development Center, is partially funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS).

Their main point of view is that suicide prevention should be managed by health care providers in the same way as prevention of common medical conditions.

The rate of suicide deaths in the U.S. rose significantly between 2000 and 2015 — from 10.44 per 100,000 to 13.26 per 100,000 — coincident with the increase of prescriptions for psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs.

“At least two thirds of suicide deaths occur within about 30 days of a medical contact, be that an emergency department (ED), a primary care practice, or a mental health professional” and up to 70% among the older male psychiatric population. This is not a good recommendation for seeing a psychiatrist.

They believe that suicide screening should be a standard action for all patients in the mental health care system. Mental health screening aims to get the whole population on drugs and thus under control. Contrary to how screening is presented by psychiatrists, there is no scientific evidence to substantiate these claims of screening for suicide risk.

The psychopharmaceutical industry has invented hundreds of mental health screening questionnaires devised from the fraudulent symptoms of “disorders” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), with drug companies paying for and copyrighting these. These questionnaires are all over the Internet, where any “lay person” can complete it, diagnose themselves and go ask their doctor for the drug recommended for it.

Unfortunately, they neglect to mention that the subjective questions used in these screenings are based on the DSM, which medical experts say is an unscientific and unreliable document. In 2004 the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts in primary care and prevention, “found no evidence that screening for suicide risk reduces suicide attempts or mortality.” It’s just a way to put more people on prescription drugs. Some suicide risk assessments are designed to fit hand-in-glove with the effects of these drugs, emphasizing the physical symptoms that most respond to psychiatric drugs.

One such screening test called TeenScreen went out of business after admitting that it had a large chance that 84% of children screened could be wrongly identified as suicidal. Screening and early intervention sounds like a great idea until you turn out to be the one being screened.

Since there is no laboratory test that can identify mental illness or suicide risk, the diagnosis of a mental disorder or of a suicide risk is entirely subjective. Basically, it is the opinion of a psychiatrist who has decided he does not like what a person is thinking or feeling.

There certainly should be more attention paid by health care providers to the risk of suicide; however, that attention should be directed toward finding and fixing actual medical conditions and getting patients off of harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs.

Click here for more information about the history of mental health screening and its fraudulent nature.

The White House Taking Action on Veteran Suicides

Presidential Executive Order on Supporting Our Veterans During Their Transition From Uniformed Service to Civilian Life (January 9, 2018)

Relevant quotes from the Presidential Executive Order:

“It is the policy of the United States to support the health and well-being of uniformed service members and veterans. … our Government must improve mental healthcare and access to suicide prevention resources available to veterans … Veterans, in their first year of separation from uniformed service, experience suicide rates approximately two times higher than the overall veteran suicide rate. To help prevent these tragedies, all veterans should have seamless access to high-quality mental healthcare and suicide prevention resources as they transition, with an emphasis on the 1-year period following separation.”

Mr. Trump’s order makes a wide range of mental health services available to all veterans as they transition back to civilian society.

It sounds nice; it sounds appropriate; it sounds like everyone would support it. What’s the “but?”

But, in this society at this time, “mental health services” generally means psychotropic drugs. “Psychotropic” means “acting on the mind; affecting the mental state,” meaning that that the drugs change brain function and result in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness or behavior. They don’t actually fix anything, they just suppress both good and bad feelings.

There is another “but” — these drugs also have serious adverse side effects, and three of the most troubling of these are addiction, violence and suicide.

So the preferred “treatment” for veterans’ mental health and suicide are drugs which have suicide as a side effect. Which came first? The drugs, of course.

The psychiatric industry protests that they have many services available, not just drugs. Well, let’s see —

  1. They can talk about it, which they call “cognitive-behavioral therapy” — which is when a therapist evaluates for the patient and tells them what behaviors they need to change.
  2. They can cut out part of the brain with surgery; like you’re going to let them do that to you.
  3. They can shock the brain with high-voltage electricity; and if you believe that is going to help, we’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn we know you’ll be eager to buy; and once you’ve had a course of electroshock treatments you won’t remember we told you so.
  4. They can wire your vagus nerve, which controls such things as heart rate, to send short bursts of electricity directly into the brain. Uh-huh.
  5. They can wrap a huge magnet around your head, called transcranial magnetic stimulation, and zap the brain with induced electric currents. You might as well just shoot yourself. Whoops, many veterans are already doing that.
And then there are all the other efforts to prescribe “breakthrough” drugs, since the normal psychotropic ones are so damaging — drugs like marijuana, magic mushrooms, MDMA (Ecstasy), Ketamine, etc. Talk about desperation!

What are the alternatives? What can the White House and the Veterans Administration do that would actually be effective help for veterans? If enough people tell the White House and the VA about the horrors of psychiatric treatments and the availability of workable alternatives, they might start to listen. Can you call the White House and make a comment about this?

Contact the White House at https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ and/or leave your comments at 202-456-1111. Contact the various key White House personnel mentioned in the President’s Executive Order as well, but WH musical chairs may make it difficult to nail down their names and contact information. Last we knew, here are some of the names:

Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council- Andrew Bremberg
Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council – either Paul Winfree or Lance Leggitt
Healthcare Policy- Katy Talento
Secretary of Defense – Gen. James Mattis, USMC
Secretary of Homeland Security – Kirstjen Nielsen
Secretary of Veterans Affairs – Dr. David J. Shulkin

You can reference the CCHR STL blog here for more information.