Antipsychotic Drugs Dangerously Used In Nursing Homes

Risk Of Potentially Deadly Side Effects For Dementia Patients

An investigation by the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) found that nursing homes are giving many elderly residents powerful antipsychotic drugs that put their lives at risk, according to a new report.

The report was critical of the widespread use of atypical (second-generation) antipsychotics with patients with dementia.  In 2005 the Food and Drug Administration issued a public health advisory, warning that atypical antipsychotic drugs increase the risk of death in elderly patients with dementia.

Yet the recent investigation found that 88% of the Medicare claims in 2007 for atypical antipsychotics were for individuals with dementia.

In a statement accompanying the report, HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson faulted drug companies for aggressively and illegally marketing these drugs to doctors for treatment of dementia and other off-label uses.  It also held the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services responsible for failing to properly monitor the use of the drugs.

The Inspector General notes that the many financial payments the drug companies have made in settling lawsuits  against them for illegal marketing practices do not make up for the risks to which nursing home residents have been exposed.  “Money can’t make up for years of corporate campaigns that market drugs with questionable benefits and potentially deadly side effect for vulnerable, elderly patients,” he said.

With 210 nursing homes and convalescent facilities listed for Colorado in the www.medicare.gov database, and 38 listed for Wyoming, the number of the elderly exposed to the dangers of antipsychotics in our region is of great concern.

If someone you know has been wrongly drugged with antipsychotics or other psychiatric drugs in a nursing home, you can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.  We also welcome your comments below.

For more information about the dangers to the elderly of antipsychotics and other classes of psychiatric drugs, and about how psychiatric drugs are used as chemical restraints on the elderly in nursing homes, click here.

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Pueblo Grand Jury Returns Findings In Death of State Hospital Patient

Part of the ongoing series:
You Be The Judge

A Pueblo grand jury has found official wrongdoing, but no criminal conduct in the death of a patient at the Colorado Institute of Mental Health at Pueblo (CMHIP) last August. Troy Geske, who was obese and suffering from a respiratory infection, suffocated while being restrained face down and left unattended in a seclusion room at the facility after refusing to take psychiatric drug(s) prescribed to him.

According to the grand jury report, staff at the institution committed “misfeasance and malfeasance with regard to a governmental function, and abused their authority resulting in the death of Mr. Geske.” Malfeasance includes the failure to perform a legal duty or the violation of state laws or rules. But the grand jury declined to hand down any indictment, which could have included a charge of criminal negligence.

Geske reportedly was taken to a seclusion room after he resisted taking prescribed psychiatric drug(s). There he was put facedown in prone restraint, with leather straps binding his arms and legs to a  gurney, and an additional leather strap across his torso to hold him down. He was then left alone in the room and was improperly monitored by staff outside the room. He slowly suffocated during nearly 10 minutes of struggling to breathe while in restraint.

While it is not known what psychiatric drug(s) Geske had refused, he reportedly had been re-admitted to CMHIP from a community placement in July for hallucinations, confusion, passive-combative behavior and depression. All of these conditions are common and well-known side effects of drugs routinely prescribed to psychiatric patients. (For more information on the dangerous side effects of psychiatric drugs, click here.) It is unknown what psychiatric drugs he was taking when he was readmitted, what increased dosages or additional drugs he may have been prescribed after being readmitted, or what side effects may have led him to refuse to take the drug(s).

The incompetence and extreme indifference of CMHIP staff towards Geske in the final minutes of his life were cited in the grand jury report, according to Denver’s 7News and the Pueblo Chieftain:

• “The staff member controlling the patient’s torso was using a disapproved control technique by using his forearm to apply pressure to the patient’s back during the entire restraint process,” while at the same time “Mr. Geske appeared to be struggling by trying to lift his head and torso off the bed” to breathe.

• “During the process of applying the restraints, a staff member used inappropriate pressure to the back of the patient’s head, holding his face at or near the surface of the mattress” on the gurney.

• Once restrained and unable to move or breathe sufficiently, Geske was left alone in the room, with staff failing to monitor him carefully: “It is apparent that Mr. Geske was not under direct observation at all times.”

• When staff finally realized Geske had stopped breathing, they rushed into the room but had difficulty undoing the restraints, losing precious time before CPR was started and a defibrillator used, both ultimately unsuccessful.

• Metal shears that were supposed to be available in the room to cut the leather restraints were not used “because staff either were unaware of their location or believed the shears were locked at the nursing station.”

• When staff tried giving Geske oxygen, the oxygen tank was empty. The report said, “CMHIP policy mandated oxygen tanks be tested every shift and documentation showed the tank in use had been checked off as full during the previous shift.”

• The report stated that “it appeared that no one had authority to assume – or did not assume – control of the efforts to revive Mr. Geske.”

The grand jury report concludes that “there was a systematic failure to adequately train staff, to insure staff followed policies for seclusion and restraint and patient safety related thereto, and to disseminate safety information concerning restraint procedures that was readily available, and if put into practice would have prevented the death of Mr. Geske.”

While insufficient funding or staffing continue to be blamed for ongoing problems at CMHIP, the grand jury report “finds the problems leading to Mr. Geske’s death could have been corrected with little or no impact” to CMHIP’s budget.

The grand jury also found overarching failures at CMHIP: “Public servants of the CMHIP breached their duty of care to adequately train its employees,” to “effectively communicate,” “effectively document evidence for patient care,” and “effectively investigate the death of Mr. Geske.”

CMHIP’s own investigation of the incident was reportedly carried out by a member of the facility’s public safety department, who himself had taken part in the restraint of Geske. While two top officials of the public safety department testified they didn’t believe the investigator had a conflict of interest, the grand jury disagreed. It found that the investigator never interviewed all the staff involved in the incident and did not even review the video surveillance of the incident before completing the investigation report.

Prone restraint had been banned by the Colorado Department of Human Services in its Division of Developmental Disabilities, but the rest of the divisions within the department were not notified that the procedure was banned until after Geske’s death. Other state departments, including the Department of Corrections and the Department of Education, have not banned prone restraints.

The grand jury found no criminal wrongdoing, so no one involved in the incident has been criminally charged.

Linda Stephens, mother of Troy Geske, made it clear that no one person could be blamed for her son’s death because they were all responsible. “It was the system [at CMHIP] that killed my son.”

What do you think? Did the Pueblo grand jury come to the right conclusion?

Restraint “procedures” are the most visible evidence of the barbaric practices that psychiatrists choose to call therapy or treatment. For more information on restraints, click here.

If you or someone you know was put in restraints in a psychiatric facility or has been harmed by psychiatric drugs, you can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225. All information will be kept in the strictest confidence. We welcome your comments on this article below.

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Brain-Injured Colorado War Vet Turns To Music As Alternative To Medications

Estimates of the number of traumatic brain injuries sustained by soldiers since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan range as high as 400,000 troops.

All too often the mental symptoms of these brain injuries are misdiagnosed as mental disorders and treated with psychiatric drugs, which are known to induce suicide and violence among long lists of other negative side effects.  (See Psychiatry’s All-Out Assault on the U.S. Military: The Unprecedented Rate Of Military Suicides Parallels Troops’ Use of Psychiatric Drugs).  But alternative treatments exist for those living with brain injuries.

After serving eight years in the U.S. Army, including deployments to Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, William Rist returned to Colorado with a traumatic brain injury.  According to a report by Colorado’s 9News, Rist took prescription medications for years to treat the symptoms caused by his injuries.  But the drugs caused additional problems for him and his family.  “It actually affected every aspect of my life,” said Rist.

To reclaim his life and his family, Rist set out to find a workable alternative to the drugs and found it in learning to play the guitar.  He is now asking the Colorado VA hospital to make music therapy available at the facility.  Click here for the entire 9News report.

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Psychiatry’s All-Out Assault On The U.S. Military: The Unprecedented Rate Of Military Suicides Parallels Troops’ Use Of Psychiatric Drugs

More U.S. military personnel than ever before are taking psychiatric drugs that are linked to suicides.  And more of them than ever before are killing themselves.

In fact, more troops are dying by their own hand than in combat, according to an Army report issued last July, entitled “Health Promotion, Risk Reduction, Suicide Prevention.” What’s more, a full 36% of the reported suicides were by troops who had never been deployed.

In looking for causes of these suicides, the Army report considered the economy, the stress of nine years of war, family dislocations, repeated moves, repeated deployments, troops’ risk-taking personalities, waived entrance standards, and many aspects of Army culture.  What it barely considered are the antidepressants, antipsychotics and anti-seizure drugs, with their known links to suicide, whose increase in use exactly parallels the increase in U.S. troop suicides since 2005.

According to a 2008 investigative report in Time magazine entitled “America’s Medicated Army,” about 12% of combat troops in Iraq and 17% of those in Afghanistan were taking prescription antidepressants or sleeping pills. These psychiatric drugs carry warnings of the increased risk of suicide.

It is no surprise, then, that the Time article reported that nearly 40% of Army suicide victims in 2006 and 2007 took mind-altering psychiatric drugs — overwhelmingly, the newer class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), like Prozac and Zoloft.

“The high percentage of U.S. soldiers attempting suicide after taking SSRIs should raise serious concerns,” says Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, who teaches psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

The practice of prescribing numerous drugs simultaneously, known as polypharmacy, also increases the risk of death.  The Army’s own internal review of fatalities at its most closely supervised medical units, the Warrior Transition Units (WTU), concluded that the biggest risk factor to those patients may be polypharmacy.

WTUs were supposed to be restful havens, where injured soldiers could recuperate from physical and mental trauma.  Thirty-two such units were created in the aftermath of the scandals about substandard care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  These transition units serve about 7,200 soldiers, with nearly 500 soldiers at the WTU at Fort Carson, just south of Colorado Springs.

Army Spec. Michael Crawford sought treatment at Fort Carson’s WTU upon his return from Iraq, where he had suffered two concussions from roadside bombs and watched members of his platoon burn to death.  He was prescribed a laundry list of drugs for anxiety, nightmares, depression and headaches that made him feel listless and disoriented.  Several months later, he attempted suicide.  In a scathing front-page New York Times article about the WTUs in April 2010, Crawford is quoted as saying, “It is just a dark place. Being in the WTU is worse than being in Iraq.”  The Times reported that at least four soldiers in Fort Carson’s WTU had committed suicide since 2007, the most of any WTU.

Undiagnosed brain injuries could also contribute to the unprecedented level of suicides.  A soldier with an undiagnosed brain injury can have the mental symptoms of his injury misdiagnosed as mental illness and treated with psychiatric drugs, which are linked to suicides.

Officially, the military says about 150,000 soldiers have suffered some form of brain injury since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.  But a 2008 Rand study suggests the toll is much higher, perhaps more than 400,000 troops.  The most common type are mild traumatic brain injuries, or concussions.  Studies show that between 5% and 15% of those suffering concussions may suffer long-term physical and mental problems.

A joint NPR and ProPublica investigation into how the military handles brain injuries focused on Fort Carson.  In results published last June in an article entitled “Military Still Failing to Diagnose, Treat Brain Injuries,” as many as 40% of Fort Carson soldiers were found under more thorough examination to have mild brain injuries that were missed during the Army’s post-deployment health assessment.  As a result, some received psychiatric drugs for their mental symptoms instead of proper rehabilitative therapy for their brain injuries.

The Army has launched a three-year, $17 million study into more effective suicide assessment and prevention for those who serve in the military.  We strongly urge them to start with an investigation of the psychiatric drugs being prescribed to our troops.

It’s the drugs, stupid!

If you or someone you know was misdiagnosed with a mental disorder instead of a brain injury or has been harmed by psychiatric drugs, you can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.  We welcome your comments on this article below.

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The Real Lesson of Columbine: Psychiatric Drugs Induce Violence

Filmmaker Michael Moore Weighs In On Why Columbine Happened

On this 12-year anniversary of the shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, let us not forget the real lesson of Columbine:  psychiatric drugs induce violence.

Shooter Eric Harris was taking the antidepressant Luvox at the time he and Dylan Klebold opened fire at Columbine High School, killing 12 students and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves.  At least one public report exists of a friend of Klebold who witnessed Klebold taking the antidepressants Paxil and Zoloft and urged him to come off them.  Officially, Klebold’s medical records remain sealed.

Luvox, Paxil and Zoloft are in a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).  Among the international regulatory agencies issuing warnings on these antidepressants, the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory in 2004 warning that “anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, akathisia [severe restlessness], hypomania [abnormal excitement] and mania [psychosis characterized by exalted feelings, delusions of grandeur and overproduction of ideas] have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants.”  (For further information on international studies and warnings about antidepressants, go to CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.)

Luvox, Paxil and other antidepressants also made the top 10 list of violence-inducing prescription drugs in a report from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, which was based on data from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (see “Study Reveals Top Ten Violence-Inducing Prescription Drugs [– Eight Are Psychiatric Drugs]”).

Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, executive director of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness and author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare, is an expert consultant in cases like Columbine in which antidepressants are involved.

Dr. Tracy says the Columbine killers’ brains were awash in serotonin, the chemical which causes violence and aggression and triggers a sleep-walking disorder in which a person literally acts out their worst nightmare.  Harris became obsessed with homicidal and suicidal thoughts “within weeks” after he began taking Zoloft, according to Dr. Tracy.  Due to his obsession with killing, Harris was switched to Luvox, which was in his system at the time of the shooting, according to his autopsy. However, the change from Zoloft to Luvox is like switching from Pepsi to Coke, Dr. Tracy said.

A growing number of school shootings and other shooting rampages were committed by individuals under the influence of, or in withdrawal from, psychiatric drugs known to cause mania, psychosis, violence and even homicide. Consider this list of 13 massacres over the past decade or so, resulting in 54 dead and 105 wounded – and these are just the ones where the psychiatric drugs are known. In other cases, medical records were sealed or autopsy reports not made public or, in some cases, toxicology tests were either not done to test for psychiatric drugs or not disclosed to the public. But this is what we do know about the mental health “treatment” of those who committed these acts of violence:

  • Dekalb, Illinois – February 14, 2008: 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people and wounded 16 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amount of Xanax in his system.
  • Omaha, Nebraska – December 5, 2007: 19-year-old Robert Hawkins killed eight people and wounded five before committing suicide in an Omaha mall. Hawkins’ friend told CNN that the gunman was on antidepressants, and autopsy results confirmed he was under the influence of the “anti-anxiety” drug Valium.
  • Jokela, Finland – November 7, 2007: 18-year-old Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School in southern Finland, then committed suicide.
  • Cleveland, Ohio – October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon had been placed on the antidepressant Trazodone.
  • Blacksburg, Virginia – April 16, 2007: 23-year-old Seung Hui Cho shot to death 32 students and faculty of Virginia Tech, wounding 17 more, and then killing himself. He had received prior mental health treatment, however his mental health records remained sealed.
  • Red Lake, Minnesota – March 2005: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, on Prozac, shot and killed his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation where he shot dead 7 students and a teacher, and wounded 7 before killing himself.
  • Greenbush, New York – February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano strolled into his high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher Michael Bennett was hit in the leg. Romano had been taking “medication for depression”.
  • El Cajon, California – March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, on the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor, opened fire on his classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School.
  • Williamsport, Pennsylvania – March 7, 2001: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was taking the antidepressant Prozac when she shot at fellow students, wounding one.
  • Conyers, Georgia – May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with antidepressants when he opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates.
  • Columbine, Colorado – April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris and his accomplice, Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves. Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox. Klebold’s medical records remain sealed.
  • Notus, Idaho – April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin.
  • Springfield, Oregon – May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 22. Kinkel had been taking the antidepressant Prozac.

Filmmaker Michael Moore, who directed the documentary “Bowling for Columbine,” has said this, following his extensive look at the Columbine tragedy:

“In Bowling for Columbine,” we never really came up with the answer in terms of why this happened. I think we did a good job of exposing [that] all the reasons that were given were a bunch of B.S. ….And none of it really made any sense. That’s why I believe there should be an investigation in terms of what…prescribed pharmaceuticals these kids were on….

“It just would be shocking…to the millions of parents who prescribe this for their kids if it was finally explained to them, if this is the case, that this perhaps occurred for no other reason other than because of these prescriptions. “Imagine what that would do, imagine how people would totally re-think things – grasping for every little straw they can to explain why something like Columbine happens, when in fact it may be nothing more than this. How else do you explain two otherwise decent kids, very smart, no history of violence to other kids in the school – why them, why did this happen? It’s an extremely legitimate question to pose, and it demands an investigation.” (See the video clip of Michael Moore here.)

Given the growing list of shooters who were on psychiatric drugs, given the fact that 22 international drug regulatory agencies warn these drugs can cause violence, mania, psychosis, suicide and even homicide, and given the fact that a major study was just released confirming these drugs put people at greater risk of becoming violent, CCHR International asserts:  “Any recommendation for more mental health ‘treatment,’ which [inevitably] means putting more people and more kids on these [psychiatric] drugs, is not only negligent, but considering the possible repercussions, criminal.”

If you or someone you know has been harmed by psychiatric drugs, you can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.   We welcome your comments on this article below.

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Ann Barbara Seig: Did The Colorado Medical Board Discipline This Psychiatrist Appropriately?

Part of the ongoing series:
You Be The Judge

Englewood, Colorado psychiatrist Ann Barbara Seig is the subject of disciplinary action by the Colorado Medical Board for unprofessional conduct. According to a Second Stipulation and Final Agency Order dated March 10, 2011 and publicly posted on the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) website, psychiatrist Seig (referred to in the document as “Respondent”) did the following:

“Respondent treated patient C.H. from approximately November 2006 through April 2009. C.H. presented with panic attacks, alcohol use and a history of delirium tremens. Respondent began treatment of a previously untreated hairline fracture of C.H.’s heel with Percocet, without data to support the diagnosis. Respondent doubled C.H.’s dose of Percocet within one week. Respondent doubled patient C.H.’s dose of Percocet in the following six months, adding Vicodin to 120 mg. daily doses, and refilled prescriptions by telephone, without office visits. In August 2007, Respondent made a note in patient C.H.’s medical record that the patient was emaciated, but made no plan to evaluate. In December 2007, patient C.H. continued to prescribe narcotics, but did not make any referral to or consultation with an orthopedist or podiatrist. After Respondent surrendered her DEA [U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration] registration, Respondent changed her diagnosis of patient C.H. from panic disorder to bipolar disorder, despite continued alcohol use and symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal. Respondent proceeded to treat patient C.H. with a combination of two antipsychotic medications, mood stabilizers, antidepressants and anticonvulsants.”

More unprofessional conduct with other patients is also detailed in the Second Stipulation and Final Agency Order. You can read the whole document here. (If the DORA login page appears, select Division of Registrations Board/Program Action Documents, click Login, and the document will appear.)

The disciplinary actions available to the Medical Board include suspending, revoking, placing on probation or otherwise restricting, limiting or placing conditions on a medical license. They also include a letter of admonition or other letter of reprimand.

So what did the Medical Board’s Panel of Inquiry decide to do with this psychiatrist? Answer: her license remains active with conditions, including five years of probation, an education program and practice monitoring, as detailed here. (If the DORA login page appears, select Division of Registrations Board/Program Action Documents, click Login, and the document will appear.)

What do you think? Did the Medical Board act appropriately under the circumstances?

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The Easy Job of Pitching Drugs to Psychiatrists

A Former Drug Sales Representative Slams Psychiatrists

Sales of psychiatric drugs are big business.  How big?  Worldwide sales of antidepressants, stimulants, antianxiety and antipsychotic drugs top $82 billion a year and fuel the $330 billion psychiatric industry – all  while failing to produce a single cure.

Though there are no lab tests, brain scans, or any other type of medical tests or other physical evidence to prove the existence of any mental disorder, psychiatrists continue to label millions of Americans with “mental illnesses” and to prescribe dangerous, mind-altering drugs to “medicate” diseases that are not there.  These psychiatric drugs cause 700,000 adverse drug reactions and an estimated 42,000 deaths each year, and the numbers continue to climb.

CCHR International documented the unholy alliance between psychiatry and the pharmaceutical companies in its award-winning documentary, “Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging,” which can be viewed online.

Essential to this highly entrenched, well-greased money-making machine are the pharmaceutical sales representatives who pitch the drugs to doctors.  Gwen Olsen is a former top-level pharmaceutical rep for some of the biggest drug companies in the industry. Through personal experiences, including the suicide of her niece while in withdrawal from prescribed psychiatric drugs, Olsen turned whistleblower and is now exposing the deception and corruption prevalent in this industry.

Concerning selling drugs to psychiatrists, Olsen says this in part in a recent interview:

“The pharmaceutical industry makes so much fun of the psychiatric profession that it’s not even funny. They actually refer to psychiatrists as ‘drug whores’…. because they have no loyalty to any one company or product, it’s whoever is paying them at the time.

“…[T]hey were not held in very high regard. My colleagues and I looked down on them as though they were a ‘lower class’ quasi-physician.  Because we knew that they didn’t do anything scientifically, it was all subjective diagnosis in nature, dependent on third-party observation of symptoms.

“So they were easy to sell drugs to.”

If you or someone you know has been harmed by a psychiatrist or other mental health worker, please contact us privately by clicking here or call 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

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“ADHD” Just Keeps Getting Busted: Study Finds Changes In Diet Alone Calmed Two Out Of Three Antsy Kids

vegetables
Image by Junior Libby

A new study by Dutch researchers confirms what many parents have already discovered:  changes in diet can have a profoundly calming effect on a child’s behavior.  The study, reported last month in The Lancet, found that for two-thirds of the children studied, changes in diet alone led to the elimination of the fidgety behavior so profitably labeled by psychiatrists as “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,“ or ADHD.

In no uncertain terms, the study’s lead author underscores diet as the main cause of ADHD.  “After the diet [was changed], they were just normal children with normal behavior. They were no longer more easily distracted, they were no more forgetful, there were no more temper-tantrums,” Dr. Lidy Pelsser said in an interview with NPR.  About the teachers and doctors who worked with children in the study and witnessed the marked changes in behavior, she said, “In fact, they were flabbergasted.”

CCHR has long advocated giving children with behavioral problems a complete physical exam by a non-psychiatric physician, as well as a nutritional evaluation by a qualified nutritionist, to discover any underlying physical or nutritional conditions causing behavioral difficulties.  Parents should also make sure that proper instructional solutions are being applied for any behavioral problems in the classroom, since children’s disruptive behavior can result from not fully understanding, and consequently falling behind in, or not being properly challenged by, their schoolwork.

By 2007, some 5.4 million children in the U.S., or 9.5% of all children ages 4-17, had at some time been labeled with the made-up “mental disorder” known as ADHD, according to figures from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  In Colorado, 7.6% of kids got the label; in Wyoming, 9.1%.  CDC figures show that boys are more than twice as likely to be labeled with it than girls.  (See Psychiatry: Labeling Kids with Bogus Mental Disorders).

Far more disturbing than the number of kids given this harmful and bogus label is the fact that nearly 3 million of them  – some 27,000 in Colorado and 5,000 in Wyoming – have been put on powerful  stimulant drugs that endanger their lives.   Categorized as Schedule ll drugs by the U.S.  Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and in the same class as cocaine, opium and morphine, ADHD drugs are highly addictive.  These drugs are also known to increase heart risks more than twofold and cause heart attacks, strokes, serious arrhythmias and sudden death in children.  Because of this, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires its most stringent, “black box” warning on ADHD (methylphenidate) drugs.   The drugs are also known to cause hallucinations, convulsions, suicidal thoughts and violent behavior in children.  (For more studies and international warnings on ADD/ADHD drugs, go to CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine, and for more information on documented side effects of psychiatric drugs in children, watch “Drugging Our Children – Side Effects”.)

For the failed practice of psychiatry, the revolving-door prescribing of these drugs for rambunctious and inattentive kids — despite the increased risks to these children – is a profitable business plan.  There are no lab tests, brain scans, or any other medical tests that can prove the existence of anything called “ADHD.”  The label is merely the subjective opinion of a psychiatric practitioner with a conflict of interest (profit motive), since he can bill Medicaid or private insurance companies for “managing” the “disorder” by writing prescriptions for years to come.

Indeed, a recent New York Times article detailed how psychiatrists now resort almost exclusively to psychiatric drugging because it is fast and profitable.   According to the article, a psychiatrist can earn $150 for three 15-minute patient visits for drug prescriptions compared with $90 for a 45-minute talk therapy session.  As one psychiatrist admitted, “I had to train myself not to get too interested in their problems.” No wonder a study reported several years ago in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that 90% of children visiting a psychiatrist for the first time left the office with one or more prescriptions for psychiatric drugs.

If a psychiatrist or other mental health practitioner has told you that any brain scan proves that your child has ADD or ADHD, or if your child has suffered side effects from taking any ADD/ADHD drug, or if any teacher has recommended or required that you put your child on ADHD drugs (which is illegal in Colorado: see “Protecting Your Children: Colorado Law Prohibits School Personnel From Recommending Psychiatric Drugs”), we want to talk to you.  Please contact us at 303-789-5225 or report the details of your experience here.

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New Study: Antidepressants Can Cause Chronic and Worsening Depression

Researchers Suggest Discontinuing Antidepressants As The Solution

Results of a new study published in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics supports what CCHR has long contended: that antidepressants can cause chronic and deepening depression in adults.  Antidepressants have been suspected for some time of triggering a neurobiochemical mechanism in the brain that worsens depression.  The new study suggests tapering down or discontinuing antidepressants is the solution to chronic or worsening depression (which we emphasize should be done only under a doctor’s supervision because of the potential for dangerous physical and mental symptoms during withdrawal).   A summary of the Journal’s study can be found here.

The theory of a “chemical imbalance” in the brain has never been proven.  Even official package inserts for antidepressants say only that depression “may be caused by a chemical imbalance” (emphasis added).  Administering drugs for a “chemical imbalance” that has never been proven is like administering chemotherapy when cancer has never been confirmed.   Meanwhile, what IS being proven are the dangerous side effects of antidepressants.  For international studies and warnings on the side effects of antidepressants, go to CCHR International’s psychiatric drug search engine.

At the same time studies are revealing the dangerous side effects of antidepressants, studies are also showing that antidepressants are no more effective in treating depression than a placebo (sugar pill) or the natural alternatives that we call “green mental health,” as found in this report.

If you have experienced adverse side effects from antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs, we want to know about it.  Please report it to us here or call us at 303-789-5225.

Please also report adverse side effects directly to the FDA here. The FDA admits that probably only 1% of all adverse drug effects are reported by patients or doctors.  Only by reporting all adverse drug reactions will the true scale of the damage done by psychiatric drugging be known.

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11-Year-Old Caught In The Crosshairs Between His Psychiatrist And Arvada Public Schools

Child Was Kept Four Days In A Psychiatric Hospital Because Of His Stick Drawings In School

An 11-year-old was arrested at his home on criminal charges for stick figures depicting violence that he had drawn in an Arvada public school, reportedly at the urging of his psychiatrist.  He was taken away in handcuffs to a psychiatric hospital 100 miles away in Colorado Springs and kept there for four days, according to his mother in an interview with Fox News.

The boy was being treated for so-called ADD (attention deficit disorder) and was told by his therapist to draw pictures in school to express his feelings instead of disrupting the class.  The boy reportedly had done so and was in the process of throwing the picture away when a teacher saw what she considered disturbing content and reported it.  According to a report by KDVR Denver Channel 31, school officials initially determined that the child was not a threat, but later changed their mind and called police.

Beyond the question of whether the school district’s zero-tolerance policy of dealing with violent imagery in the schools is too broad and does not take into account the circumstances of individual situations, how does a child go from being inattentive (having an “attention deficit”) to drawing a stick figure of himself pointing a gun at four other stick figures with the words “teachers they must die?”  The answer could lie in the fact that, instead of applying educational, medical, nutritional, and parental solutions to children’s restlessness and disruptive behavior, all too often teachers and school psychologists push parents to take their kids to psychiatrists, who label them with ADD and ADHD and put them on drugs.  (See “Colorado law prohibits school personnel from recommending psychiatric drugs.”)  The rambunctious behavior of boys makes them particularly susceptible to being labeled with ADD and ADHD.

ADD/ADHD drugs are powerful, addictive, psycho-stimulant drugs, some of which lab rats can’t distinguish from cocaine.  These mind-altering drugs are known to cause unwanted and disturbed behavioral changes that include mania, psychosis, hallucinations, delusional thinking, and suicidal thoughts.  (To read more about the side effects and international warnings on ADD/ADHD drugs, go to CCHR International’s psychiatric drugs search engine.)

ADD/ADHDHD drugs are also linked to violent behavior. School officials could well have remembered recent school shootings when they changed their mind and decided to follow school district policy and get the police involved.  At least nine of 13 recent school shooters were on, or in withdrawal from, psychiatric drugs at the time of their shootings, including one of the Columbine shooters.  (The other four have closed medical records.)

The truth is there are no blood tests, x-rays, brain scans or any other objective, physical test to confirm any “diagnosis” of ADD or ADHD.  Even the U.S. National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on ADHD in the late 1990s concluded:  “…researchers have vigorously attempted to find proof that ADHD is caused by a chemical imbalance, but have come up with nothing.”

While ADD/ADHD drugs may make children quieter and more compliant in school, so would other chemical restraints like street drugs or alcohol.  None of these are workable, long-term solutions for the behavior problems of a growing and developing child.  The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child recently condemned the over-prescription of psychiatric drugs for ADHD, stating that parents need to be able to easily access alternative, educational, and social measures for helping their children with their problems.

At least one teacher decided to publicly criticize the psychiatric drugging of children – and she lost her job over it.  According to KPHO Channel 5 in Phoenix, Arizona, an English teacher refused to remove a bumper sticker on her car that cynically asked, “Have you drugged your kid today?”  As she explained, “It’s kind of a criticism of us tending to over-medicate hyperactive kids who might not need those medications.”  She is fighting to get her job back, claiming that her First Amendment rights were violated.

If you have been told that a chemical imbalance, brain scan, or anything else “confirms” that you or your child has ADD or ADHD, we want to talk to you.  Please report it here or call us at 303-789-5225.

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