COLORADO HEAT WAVE SPIKES RISK OF DANGEROUS OVERHEATING FOR THOSE TAKING PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS

 

By Petr Kratochvil
Image by Petr Kratochvil

Colorado’s current heat wave increases the risk of heat-related illness and death for those taking psychiatric drugs, most especially antipsychotic and “ADHD” drugs.

Psychiatric drugs cause people taking them to be less sensitive to signals from their body.  Many of the drugs also directly interfere with the body’s ability to respond to heat.  As a result, individuals taking psychiatric drugs can overheat when temperatures soar and not realize it, running a greater risk of heat exhaustion or life-threatening heat stroke.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, psychiatric drugs that interfere with the body’s ability to cool itself down include antipsychotics, tranquilizers, and tricyclic antidepressants.   These drugs make individuals more susceptible to dangerous overheating.

Antipsychotic drugs, in particular, are known to increase the risk of heat stroke, as evidenced by a medical alert issued in April by the New York Office of Mental Health.  Children and the elderly – the most physically vulnerable – who are taking antipsychotic drugs face a still higher risk.

The risk of heat-related illness and death is also increased by stimulants, including the stimulant drugs prescribed for so-called ADHD.

Stimulant drugs raise body temperature, as well as interfere with the body’s ability to cool itself down, so that high summer temperatures cause body temperatures already elevated by these drugs to go higher still.

Those taking psychiatric drugs should limit their exposure to summer heat and strenuous activity and drink plenty of water.  Seek medical attention for someone who becomes disoriented, whose skin is dry and hot, or who has difficulty waking up, with particular attention paid to children and the elderly.

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue a psychiatric drug is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has experienced adverse effects from psychiatric drugs, we want to talk to you.  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.

ABC News Reports Shocking Use of Psychiatric Drugs With Foster Children

Citing the fact that foster children are given powerful, mind-altering psychiatric drugs at an alarming 13 times the rate of other children, ABC News rolled out a series of reports based on a year-long investigation into the use of these drugs – antidepressants, antipsychotics, psycho-stimulants and other psychotropic drugs – with American foster children.

The investigation found that these children, who have already been traumatized by abuse, neglect, and abandonment, were prescribed heavy-duty psychiatric drugs in shocking amounts, in combinations considered too risky even for adults, and for disorders they don’t have.  It found kids who have taken these drugs say they are in a kind of chemical prison.

In response to the shocking findings, ABC reporter Diane Sawyer asks:

“Is there something else we owe these kids who have already endured so much?”

The ABC News reports coincide with the release of a report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), which revealed foster kids are prescribed psychiatric drugs more often than non-foster kids and at higher doses – often at doses higher than the maximum levels approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).   The report also found a significant number of foster children were prescribed five or more psychiatric drugs at the same time despite no evidence supporting the use or safety of this number of psychiatric drugs taken simultaneously.

You can listen to the stories of these kids by clicking on the links to the ABC News reports here:

New Study Show US Government Fails to Oversee Treatment of Foster Children Prescribed Mind-Altering Drugs

Doctors Put Foster Children at Risk with Mind-Altering Drugs

Foster Kid Felt Like “Guinea Pig”

20/20:  Overmedication in Foster Care

If you know about a foster child who has been harmed by psychiatric drugs, we want to talk to you. 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.

GAO Study Details Massive Psychiatric Drugging Of Foster Children

A report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to be released tomorrow reveals that American foster children are drugged with powerful, mind-altering psychiatric drugs at many times the rate of non-foster children.

The GAO’s report, based on a two-year-long investigation, looked at five states — Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Texas.  Among the key findings:

  • Foster children were nearly five times more likely to be prescribed psychiatric drugs than non-foster children.
  • Overall, nearly one-third of the foster children in the five states under investigation were prescribed at least one psychiatric drug.  (Other studies have shown that as many as half of foster kids in other areas are on psychiatric drugs.)
  • Thousands of foster children were being prescribed psychiatric drugs at doses higher than the maximum levels approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in these five states alone, and hundreds received five or more psychiatric drugs at the same time despite absolutely no evidence supporting the simultaneous use or safety of this number of psychiatric drugs taken together.
  • Foster children were more than nine times more likely than non-foster children to be prescribed drugs for which there was no FDA-recommended dose for their age.
  •  Foster children less than 1 year old were twice as likely to be prescribed a psychiatric drug as non-foster 1-year-olds.

When U.S. Senator Thomas Carper, D-Delaware, lead requestor of the GAO report, first learned of the report’s findings, he said:

“I was almost despondent to believe that the kids under the age of one, babies under the age of one were receiving this kind of medication.”

Carper requested the study after receiving numerous reports of waste and abuse in the prescribing of psychiatric drugs to foster children.

Taxpayers foot much of the bill.  Medicaid spends more than $6 billion per year on psychiatric drugs, or nearly 30 percent of its entire drug budget, more than double what was spent in 1999, according to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.

The report has already raised calls for states to report pharmacy claims of the psychiatric drugs given to foster children for more transparency on the issue.

ABC News was given advance access to the GAO report.  The ABC report can be accessed by clicking here.

If you know about a foster child who has been harmed by psychiatric drugs, we want to talk to you. 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.

Why Was Death Of Ft. Carson Soldier On Psych Drugs Changed From Sudden Cardiac Death To Suicide?

 

By Gary Daniel (United States Army) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Gary Daniel (United States Army) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Pfc. Ryan Alderman was on a cocktail of psych drugs when found unresponsive, then dying in his barracks at Ft. Carson in 2008.  An ECG done by emergency medical technicians at the scene confirmed sudden cardiac arrest.  Inexplicably, military officials changed the cause of death to suicide.

Neurologist Fred A. Baughman Jr., M.D., wants to know why.  He challenges the military to produce the evidence to support the change.

In the bigger picture, Baughman continues to hammer away at the military to compile a database of medication use and reactions by soldiers and veterans, which would allow investigations into injuries and deaths due to the psychiatric drugs they were on.

Baughman’s own investigation into the “unexplained” deaths in 2008 of four West Virginia vets, all in their 20s, who died in their sleep, found that all were on the same drug cocktail for PTSD: Seroquel (antipsychotic), Paxil (antidepressant) and Klonopin (benzodiazepine).  All appeared normal when they went to sleep.  There were no signs of suicide.

Baughman concluded the vets did not commit suicide or overdose leading to coma, as claimed by the military, but were sudden cardiac deaths due to the prescription antipsychotics and antidepressants they were on.

 “I call on the DoD, VA, House and Senate Armed Services, and House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees to tell concerned Americans and the families of fallen heroes what psychiatric drugs each of the deceased, both combat and non-combat, soldiers and veterans were on,” said Baughman. “It is time for the military and government to come clean.”

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by psychiatric drugs prescribed by military doctors, 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.

 

CHADD Gets Big Financial Support From ADHD Drug Makers

It Doesn’t Take A Brain Surgeon To Figure Out Why.

An article in yesterday’s Denver Post fails to disclose the substantial financial ties between a group that pushes for the acceptance of so-called “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD) and the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the drugs prescribed for it.

The organization, Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), has been severely criticized by both the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for its financial ties to the manufacturers of ADHD drugs.  (For more information on these ties, see CCHR International’s report, “Marketing ‘Disorders’ to Sell Drugs.”)

Direct pharmaceutical financial support of CHADD in the year ending June 30, 2009, the latest year for which CHADD has provided data online, totaled $1,174,626, or 27% of the organization’s budget.  The drug companies providing this money included Eli Lilly, McNeil, Novartis, and Shire US – all makers of ADHD drugs.

 ADHD Drug Manufacturers Supply 36% of CHADD Revenues

Additionally, the drug companies paid another $412,500 to CHADD in sales and advertising.  Thus, the total financial support of CHADD by the drug manufacturers was $1.6 million, or 36% of total revenues.  Why all this financial support?

Pharmaceutical companies have slick marketing plans for selling psychiatric drugs.  They create new “disorders,” as well as elevate the seriousness of existing “disorders,” with the goal of worrying normal people that they are worse off than they thought they were and need treatment – with drugs.  Support groups such as CHADD forward the drug companies’ aim of gaining acceptance of these “disorders.”  (For more information on the psycho-pharmaceutical industry’s plans, you can view CCHR International’s DVD, “The Marketing of Madness,” online here.)

CHADD continues to falsely claim that ADHD is a “neurobiological disorder” when there is no valid, conclusive scientific proof of this.  In fact, no such claim is made in the 1999 Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), by the National Institutes of Health, or in the American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Practice Guideline for ADHD.  Even Clarke Ross, CEO of CHADD for the 10 years through 2010, is quoted by The Washington Times Insight Magazine as saying about ADHD:  “It really is a matter of belief.”

ADHD remains merely a subjective list of behaviors, which became a “mental disorder” in 1987 when members of the American Psychiatric Association voted it into existence so psychiatrists could bill insurance for treating it.  That same year, CHADD was formed.  With large-scale financial support from the pharmaceutical companies, the number of CHADD chapters exploded.

 ADHD Drugs May Cause Dangerous Side Effects

Common ADHD drugs are amphetamines – highly addictive and 10 times more likely than other prescription drugs to be linked to violence.  The FDA warns that ADHD drugs can cause heart attacks, strokes and sudden death.  There are no long-term studies on the safety and effectiveness of ADHD drugs.  (Research studies, warnings from international regulatory authorities, and reports to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the harmful side effects of ADHD and other psych drugs can be accessed through CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.)

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue ADHD drugs or other psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by taking an ADHD drug or other psychiatric drug, we want to talk to you.  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.

 

Protecting Your Children: Colorado Law Protects Children From Teachers Pushing Psychiatric Drugs

As a new school year starts, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights reminds the parents of Colorado’s 843,000 schoolchildren that teachers and other school personnel are prohibited by state law from recommending “ADHD” or other psychiatric drugs to control children’s behavior in the classroom.

Colorado Revised Statute 22-32-109(1)(ee), passed by the state legislature in 2003, requires the board of education of every school district in the state to have a policy “to prohibit school personnel from recommending or requiring the use of a psychotropic drug for any student.” “Psychotropic” describes drugs capable of affecting the mind.

The law also states that students cannot be subjected to any psychological or psychiatric screening, questionnaire, test, or evaluation without the prior, written consent of the parents (or the student, if of age) and that parents must receive advance, written disclosure of what will be done with the results of the testing.

Julian Whitaker, M.D., warns parents against ever allowing their children to be screened in school:

You should under no circumstances allow your children to participate in school-based mental health screenings. Do not be misled by doublespeak from school boards, psychiatrists, counselors, or teachers. Despite their veneer of identifying and helping those at risk, mental health screenings are little more than fishing expeditions, casting a broad net and reeling in millions of new psychiatric drug users.”

There is no valid test for diagnosing “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),” “bipolar disorder,” or any other “mental disorder.”  Yet parents of millions of schoolchildren worldwide have been told that their children have a mental disorder that requires them to be chemically restrained by powerful mind-altering psychiatric drugs.

These drugs carry long lists of dangerous side effects, especially for children.  Common drugs for “ADHD,” for example, are amphetamines that can cause heart attack, stroke and sudden death in children.  They are highly addictive and 10 times more likely than other prescription drugs to be linked to violence.  And there are no long-term studies on the safety and effectiveness of these drugs.  (CCHR’s newest DVD, “Dead Wrong: How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child,” can be viewed online here: www.cchr.org.)

Children Can Be Successful In School Without Dangerous Chemical Restraints

Often these children are simply smart and are bored in the classroom. Many need additional instructional attention – educational solutions to educational problems. Others are just exhibiting normal variations in the range of childhood and teen behavior. Or they may have undiagnosed, underlying physical causes of their behavior, such as illness, infections, injuries, allergies, nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxins, etc., which a complete physical exam and a nutritional evaluation can discover.

As Dr. Mary Ann Block, author of No More ADHD, says:

“By taking a thorough history and giving these children a complete physical exam as well as doing lab tests and allergy testing, I have consistently found that these children do not have ADHD, but instead have allergies, dietary problems, nutritional deficiencies, thyroid problems and learning difficulties that are causing their symptoms.  All of these medical and educational problems can be treated, allowing the child to be successful, without being drugged.”  (Emphasis added.)

Children are human beings who have every right to expect our protection, care, guidance, and the chance to reach their full potential. They will be denied this if they are trapped in the verbal and chemical strait-jackets of psychiatry’s invented labels and mind-altering drugs.

If school personnel have recommended that you put your child on psychiatric drugs, we want to talk to you.  You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept strictly confidential.  We welcome your comments on this article below.

Watch For The Overdrugging Of Nursing Home Patients

Colorado Ombudsman Warns Medicare/Medicaid Cuts Threaten Quality of Care

Cuts in federal and state payments for Medicare and Medicaid patients provide yet another reason for monitoring the drugs given to a loved one in a nursing home or convalescent facility.

Medicare will cut payments for short-term nursing home stays by 11.1% starting on October 1. The state Medicaid rate has been cut 1.5%. The likely result is staff layoffs and reduced expenditures for care at the facilities.

Shelley Hitt, the Colorado state ombudsman for nursing home residents, says: “We’re very concerned about what [the cuts] might mean for quality of care and operational impacts.”

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Colorado echoes her concern, particularly with regard to any use of psychiatric drugs as chemical restraints to put nursing home patients into a zombie-like condition or to put them to sleep for the convenience of the reduced number of staff.

Ask Questions About The Psychiatric Drugs Being Prescribed

Here are some questions to ask the facility’s nursing staff about the psychiatric drugs prescribed to your loved one:

• What psychiatric drugs have been prescribed and in what amounts?
• Why was each drug prescribed?
• Is there any specific, measurable positive outcome for the patient of taking each drug?
• What are the risks and side effects of each drug?

You can check for the adverse reactions to psychiatric drugs, as detailed in research studies, warnings from international regulatory authorities, and reports to the FDA, by going to CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.

With all this information, you can determine whether there is any benefit to your loved one from psychiatric drugs, especially in light of the many dangerous and potentially deadly side effects of these drugs for vulnerable, elderly patients.

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

If someone you know has been wrongly drugged with psychiatric drugs in a nursing home or convalescent facility, we want to talk to you. 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.

Chance of Autism Doubles with Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy

A study just published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that the odds of having an autistic child doubled for mothers who took newer antidepressants known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) during the year before delivery.

SSRIs include Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro, among others.

The study found that the rate was greater than two autistic children per 100 mothers on SSRIs, with the rate higher still if mothers took SSRIs in the first trimester of their pregnancy.

The research was undertaken because the rising incidence of autism in recent years parallels a rise in the use of SSRIs during pregnancy.

A second study just released also suggests that environmental factors, including prenatal conditions, play a significantly larger role in autism.

Dr. Joseph Coyle, editor-in-chief of the psychiatry journal, called the two studies “game changers.”

Clara Lajonchere, an author of one of the studies and vice president of clinical programs for the research and advocacy organization Autism Speaks, said that “much more emphasis is going to be put on looking at prenatal and perinatal [around the time of childbirth] factors with respect to autism susceptibility.”

Pregnant women currently taking SSRIs are cautioned against suddenly discontinuing them.  No one should stop taking any psychiatric drug without the advice and supervision of a competent medical doctor.

If you or someone you know gave birth to a child with birth defects or other problems after taking psychiatric drugs during pregnancy, we want to talk to you.  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.

Suspect In Gruesome Murder Reportedly Has History Of Psychiatric Treatment

Part of the ongoing series: Killers On Psych Drugs –
Psych-Drugged Accused Or Convicted Killers

Add another grisly killing to the long list of sudden, violent crimes committed by individuals with a history of taking psychiatric drugs.

Edward Romero, 27, is charged with killing a 16-year-old girl as she walked home from a party, after which he cut up her body and packed it away in a container in his garage.  He recently pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to a charge of first-degree murder in Denver District Court.  According to the Denver Post, a judge had earlier ordered Romero to keep taking psychiatric medication.

While we don’t know the details of those psychiatric drugs, we do know that the current, rising wave of violence that is rocking our homes, schools, and communities parallels the soaring use of psychiatric drugs in American society.

Research studies, international regulatory authority warnings, and reports to the FDA, have linked the use of, and/or the too-rapid withdrawal from, numerous psychiatric drugs to violent behavior, including homicide.

High-profile Colorado killings with links to psychiatric drugs include Stephanie Rochester smothering her 6-month-old son in Superior in 2010.  She has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.  She reportedly was taking the antidepressant Zoloft at the time, and had intended to take her own life.

Rebekah Amaya, of Lamar, was also reportedly on antidepressants when she drowned her 4-year-old daughter and 6-month-old son in 2003.  She was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 2004.

Of course, the granddaddy of Colorado psychiatric drug-related violence is the deadly assault on Columbine High School in 1999.  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.  Harris reportedly became obsessed with homicidal and suicidal thoughts within weeks of starting to take antidepressants.  (See The Real Lesson of Columbine: Psychiatric Drugs Induce Violence.”)

At least one public report exists from a friend of Klebold, who says she witnessed him taking the antidepressants Paxil and Zoloft and urged him to come off the drugs.  Officially, Klebold’s medical records remain sealed.

Both the U.S. FDA and Health Canada have issued warnings that many antidepressants are linked to a greater risk of suicide, aggression and violence.

CCHR International’s documentary DVD, “Psychiatry’s Prescription for Violence,” containing interviews with experts, parents, victims, and a killer himself, can be viewed online by clicking here.

If you or someone you know has had suicidal or homicidal thoughts or committed sudden violent acts while taking or in withdrawal from 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.

Denver Post Fails To Address The Role Of Psychiatric Drugs In Suicides

Psychiatric Drugs Are Linked To Worsening Depression and Suicide

A story in today’s Denver Post about suicides in Colorado failed to address a key issue:  How many of these individuals had been taking psychiatric drugs, known to worsen depression and increase the risk of suicide, before they took their own lives?

We know that individuals seeking help from psychiatrists will almost certainly be prescribed one or more psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs because, according to a recent article in the New York Times,drugging is so much faster and more profitable to the psychiatrists than taking the time to listen to their patients’ problems.

We also know that psychiatric drugs are known to cause serious, even life-threatening side effects.  (For international studies and warnings on the dangerous side effects of psychiatric drugs, as well as adverse drug reactions reported to the FDA, go to CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.)

Antidepressants in particular are known to cause worsening depression, birth defects, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, panic attacks, hostility, aggression, psychosis, violence, suicide and many, many other adverse events.  Long-term antidepressant users frequently report that their emotions have been deadened so much that they feel like zombies.

With drugging having become almost the only psychiatric “treatment” available, no wonder the rate of suicides in Colorado has shown no improvement whatsoever in the 22 years for which data is available from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s online death statistics database.

CCHR International’s award-winning documentary, “Dead Wrong: How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child,” is the powerful story of one mother’s quest to understand her child’s suicide.  Six months after her son Matthew died, Celeste Steubing discovered the link between psychiatric drugs and suicide.  Feeling betrayed over having been denied these facts, she testified before the FDA in 2004, along with many other parents whose children had been driven to suicide by antidepressants.  That same year, the FDA issued its strongest, black-box warning that antidepressants can cause suicide, a warning that came 18 months too late for Matthew.  Click here to view the DVD and hear what parents, health experts, drug counselors and doctors have to say about the deadly dangers of psychiatric drugs.

If you have experienced increased depression, thoughts of suicide, or any other adverse side effect while taking a psychiatric drug, report it to the FDA by clicking here.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by psychiatric treatment or 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 also welcome your comments below.