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.

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.

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.

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.

Protecting Your Children: Colorado Law Prohibits School Personnel From Recommending Psychiatric Drugs

CCHR Colorado continues to receive complaints from parents who are being pressured by teachers to put their children on “ADHD” or other psychiatric drugs because of the children’s behavior problems in the classroom.  This is a violation of Colorado state law.

Colorado Revised Statute 22-32-109 (1)(ee), passed by the Colorado 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.

Students also 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).  The law also requires that parents should receive written disclosure of what will be done with the results of the testing: “School personnel shall not test or require a test for a child’s behavior without prior written permission from the parents or guardians or the child and prior written disclosure as to the disposition of the results or the testing therefrom.”

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, which carry long lists of dangerous side effects for children.  (CCHR’s newest DVD, “Dead Wrong: How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child,” can be viewed online here: www.cchr.org.)

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.

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.

According to Julian Whitaker, M.D.:

“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.

“Write a note to your child’s teacher clearly stating that you refuse permission for the child to participate in any type of mental health screening. Include in the note the admonition that if the child undergoes screening without your knowledge, you will sue.”

If school personnel have recommended that you put your child on psychiatric drugs, we want to hear from you.  Report your experience here, or call us at 303-789-5225.

There is NO Suicide Epidemic in Colorado

Data being misused to alarm the public is consistent with marketing programs of the psychiatric-pharmaceutical industry

Data recently released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment show that the trend in suicides in the state in effect has been statistically flat for at least 22 years.  There are wide fluctuations from year to year in the rate of suicides per 100,000 population, but all within a long-term, essentially unchanged trend, as the chart below of the data illustrates.  There isno suicide epidemic in Colorado.

Particularly false is the claim of a supposed epidemic of suicides among young people.  The fact is that suicide is very rare among children.  While the death of any child is tragic, statewide there were just 11 suicides last year in an estimated population of 1,040,402 children through age 14, for a rate of 1.1 suicide per 100,000 in 2009 – almost exactly the same rate as the 20-year average rate for this age group of 1.0.  The facts show there is no suicide epidemic among younger children.

Concerning teenage suicides, the statistic currently making headlines is that suicide is the second-leading cause of death among teenagers in Colorado.  But this is only because there are very few teenage deaths for any reason.  While the death of any child is tragic, the fact is that there were 49 suicides last year in an estimated population of 362,423 teens ages 15 through 19 statewide, for a rate of 13.5 suicides per 100,000 population in 2009 – almost exactly the same rate as the 20-year average rate for this age group of 13.1.  The facts show that suicides are not spreading more rapidly or extensively among teenagers.  There is no suicide epidemic.

At a minimum, these statistics stand as testament to the monumental failure of psychiatry to lower the suicide rate after decades of prescribing antidepressants in Colorado – to the point that antidepressant residues are measurable in our waterways.

More alarming is the fact that psychiatric drugging is leading to suicides.  An estimated 50% of all Americans who commit suicide are on psychiatric drugs.

Antidepressants 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.

The dangers of antidepressants have led the FDA and regulatory authorities around the word to issue warnings concerning their use, including the FDA’s most severe, “black box” warning.

International warnings & studies on psychiatric drugs can be found through the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International’s psychiatric drug search engine.

Adverse psychiatric drug reactions reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Medwatch can be searched here.

Despite the fact that the suicide rate for teenagers in Colorado has been essentially unchanged for at least 20 years, “suicide as the second-leading cause of death among teenagers” is being used to gain sympathy and support from the public, school administrators, physicians, public officials, and state legislators for requiring children to be screened for depression in the name of suicide prevention.

The screening surveys used, however, consider the normal variations in human behavior as symptoms of mental illness.  In particular, teenagers, with their wide range of behavior, are found to have “mental disorders” in high numbers.  This is because screening that targets teenagers, such as TeenScreen, asks questions that could be answered “Yes” by almost any normal teenager, such as:

  • Has there been a time when nothing was fun for you and you just weren’t interested in anything?
  • Has there been a time when you felt you couldn’t do anything well or that you weren’t as good-looking or as smart as other people?
  • How often did your parents get annoyed or upset with you because of the way you were feeling or acting?
  • Have you often felt very nervous when you’ve had to do things in front of people?
  • Have you often worried a lot before you were going to play a sport or game or do some other activity?

A pilot program using TeenScreen should serve as a chilling warning to Coloradoans about what it means when teenagers are screened for depression.  During 2001-03, TeenScreen was used on teenagers at a Denver public high school and a Denver homeless shelter.  The results, unabashedly published at the time on the website of the Mental Health Association of Colorado (now Mental Health America of Colorado), are shocking to anyone – except apparently those with ties in with the psychiatric industry:

  • Half (50%) of the screened high school students were found to be at risk of suicide!
  • Nearly three out of four youths (71%) screened at the homeless shelter were found to have psychiatric disorders!

Clearly these screening surveys are identifying all sorts of young people as “mentally ill” when they are not.  Even the developer of the TeenScreen survey, psychiatrist David Shaffer, who has been the recipient of huge dollars from pharmaceutical companies (see “TeenScreen, A Front Group for the Psycho-Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex”), himself admits that TeenScreen “does identify a whole bunch of kids who aren’t really suicidal, so you get a lot of false-positives. And that means if you’re running a large program at a school, you’re going to cripple the program because you’re going to have too many kids you have to do something about.”

And what happens when the screening identifies so many children “you have to do something about?”  It means a bonanza for the pharmaceutical companies and the psychiatrists who make a living from psychiatric drugging.  Young people with their wide range of childhood behavior, or with behavioral symptoms caused by any number of underlying, often undiagnosed physicalillnesses or abnormalities, will be labeled with “mental disorders” that follow them through life.

They will likely get referred to a psychiatrist, who will in all probability prescribe powerful, mind-altering psychiatric drugs, with their long lists of harmful and even life-threatening side effects.  The results of a survey published several years ago in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry revealed that 9 out of 10 children who see a psychiatrist will be prescribed psychiatric drugs.

The facts show that there is no epidemic of suicides in Colorado.  So who is behind the hysteria being whipped up in the state over suicides?   Pharmaceutical companies have three steps in their marketing programs, the first of which is to elevate the importance of a condition, making it appear far more serious & widespread than previously thought.  This first step is well underway in Colorado, forwarded by psychiatrists and psychiatric-industry front groups like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), using disinformation about a nonexistent “epidemic of suicides” supposedly sweeping the state.

The story of the unholy alliance between psychiatry and the drug companies, with the slick marketing schemes and scientific deceit that have created an $80 billion profit center, has been documented in “The Marketing of Madness: Are We All Insane?”, a multi-award-winning documentary film produced by CCHR International.  To order your free copy of the DVD, click here.

If you, a loved one, or someone you know has been harmed by a psychiatrist or other mental-health worker and you want to talk about it, we want to talk to you.  Email us or call 303-789-5225. All inquiries and communication will be handled in strictest confidence. We will take action.