Baker Act Is Harmful Not Helpful


The Baker Act is the name of the law in Florida that is exercised to involuntarily commit people to a psychiatric facility.  People that are committed under the Baker Act are deemed to be an immediate harm to themselves or, their recent behavior shows that they are likely to do serious harm to others.  This may sound like a logical idea, but it actually does a lot of harm and doesn’t help in any way. 

When someone arrives at a psychiatric facility under the Baker Act, one can be held for up to seventy-two hours by law.  The law clearly dictates a specific protocol to protect patient rights, but that is not necessarily followed.  Depending on the facility, one may be treated as if one had no rights at all. 

Back in the day, patients were put out of “danger” by placing them in strait jackets.  These aren’t obsolete by any means today, but it is more than likely that someone that is involuntarily committed will get psychotropic drugs instead.  Imagine arriving at a psychiatric ward, getting an examination and being diagnosed with a few “mental disorders.”  Multiple psychotropic drugs may be given just to calm the patient down from their supposed “hysteria,” because it qualified as “emergency treatment.”  

This could happen within the first twelve hours upon arrival.  Imagine having a very logical reason for the “crazy” behavior that no one bothered to ask about.  Imagine being drugged with antipsychotics, which sedate you so heavily your behavior is now under “control” and you are no longer a threat to yourself or others according to the powers that be.  But then perhaps the side effects of the drugs kick in and more drugs are given to handle those side effects.   The seventy-two hours isn’t anywhere near close to expiring, yet you may not know where you are or what is going on due to the effects of the drugs.  

Needless to say, in the first seventy-two hours a lot can happen to a person who is involuntarily committed.  However, some people in office think that seventy-two hours isn’t long enough.  Rep. Gus Bilirakis convened a panel recently in Land-o-Lakes to discuss mental health and substance abuse issues.  In attendance was Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania who is also a clinical psychologist.   Murphy is the author of Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act which Bilirakis has co-signed. 

Critics of Murphy say that he assumes that mental illness and violence go hand in hand.  It seems he is ignorant of the connection between psychotropic drugs and violence, which at this point in time is well documented.  If he thinks violence is linked to mental illness, he must be talking about the ones already on psychotropic drugs who are experiencing those homicidal or violent side effects that are common.  If that is the case, then those people certainly don’t need to be Baker Acted.  They don’t need to spend any time in a psychiatric ward, let alone an extended time beyond seventy-two hours, as they would just be given more drugs. 

Murphy also said the seventy-two hour time limit doesn’t make clinical sense.  What does he mean by that exactly?  Is he implying that more time is needed to observe the patient and decide on a treatment?  A medical doctor would do that because he may need to do blood tests, MRIs, urine tests and the like, which could take a bit of time to do before he could diagnose the patient.  But psychologists and psychiatrists have no medical test whatsoever that identifies a “mental illness,” so what is he referring to?  

Instead of using science, they just note the symptoms, decide on a “disorder” and prescribe mind-altering drugs.  These days, this is done by most doctors and mental health professionals in under ten minutes, so there is no logical reason as to why Murphy thinks more than seventy-two hours is needed.  

Pasco City Sheriff Chris Nocco also agrees that seventy-two hours is not long enough.  He thinks that short a time period is like putting a band-aid on a gushing wound.  Sheriff Nocco probably has had experience in handling those that were Baker Acted, but it doesn’t make him an expert on mental health.  

About five years ago, a seven year old boy in Largo was Baker Acted right in his classroom.  The boy had such a severe tantrum that the students were evacuated.  The police arrived and it was the police that decided that the boy needed a mental health evaluation and took him to a psychiatric hospital.  This is a violation of the Baker Act because the boy did not meet the criteria of potentially causing serious injury to himself or others. 

This is nothing short of outrageous.  Even worse, the mother was there at the same time as the police and she said she could have helped to handle her child’s behavior, but the police would not let her near him while they did their investigation.  She was able to ride with him on the way to the psychiatric hospital, but the boy spent the night there alone, scared out of his mind.  

This is not the first time the boy’s behavior was beyond unacceptable, but it’s not a reason to call the police.  The school could have released the boy to his parents and helped them get help outside the school.  It would have been better to suspend the boy or even expel him from school instead of calling the police.  Putting any child in a psychiatric ward alone is any parent’s nightmare. 

In addition to extending the seventy-two hour hold, the panel advocated for additional research to find effective ways to treat mental conditions.  Most people will agree that the present mental health care system of today doesn’t work.  Most will agree that people do have behavior problems and don’t have effective solutions.  With that in mind, the panel’s idea sounds good, but the truth of the matter is something else. 

What they should be doing with that “research” is look at all the horrific side effects of psychotropic drugs and find alternative treatments.  

The panel also advocated a need to teach the employees of the school district how to identify symptoms that may indicate mental illness in its earliest stages.  This is ridiculous!  That means all employees are instant mental health professionals and are going to screen your children for mental illness.  School employees are trained in education, not mental health.  Having teachers screen for “mental illness symptoms” is not based on anything scientific.  

The opportunities for misuse and disaster are unlimited if screening is implemented.  Imagine getting a note from school saying your daughter is showing signs of depression and it is recommended that she see a psychiatrist and get some Prozac.  This could be based on your daughter looking glum for a few days because she didn’t get invited to a birthday party.  Science or random? 

The Baker Act may have been written with good intentions, but today it is misused and unnecessarily used on a regular basis.  An extension of the seventy-two hour hold would be catastrophic at the very least.  Getting a thorough physical examination by a non-drug oriented doctor would be a smart start to get down to the bottom of the cause of one’s behavior. 

Being committed against one’s will is truly a violation of one’s rights.  Know your rights regarding the Baker Act and assert them if needed, as being Baker Acted could happen to anyone.  Knowing your rights and facts will help you from becoming a victim of psychiatry, instead of becoming a patient on psychotropic drugs.


Posted in Alternatives, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Children, Depression, Disorders, Drug Warnings, Drugs in our Schools, Informed Consent, Involuntary Commitment, Mental Health Screening, Mental Illness, Over Prescribing Meds, Parents Rights, Psychotropic Drugs, Schools, Teens, The Baker Act | Leave a comment

Big Pharma and Psychiatrists Are Bad Medicine


The truth about the actual business model of big pharma and psychiatrists has been researched and documented at a new level of detail by a well respected physician and scientist from Denmark.

Peter C Gøtzsche, is Professor of Clinical Research Design and Analysis, and Director, The Nordic Cochrane Centre, and Chief Physician, Rigshospitalet and the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

In 1993, Dr. Gøtzsche co-founded The Cochrane Collaboration, (a world leader in the review of medical research data) and The Nordic Cochrane Centre, where he is Managing Director.

(The Cochrane Collaboration is a network of more than 31,000 researchers from over 120 countries, working to evaluate the effectiveness of health care practices; it grew out of frustration that the published literature could not be trusted as some of it is fraudulent)

His book entitled “Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare” won first prize in the Basis of Medicine category in the annual awards given by the British Medical Association.

Prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer as reported by the BMA Journal, The Journal of AMA and Centers for Disease Control.

Dr. Gøtzsche comments on this fact in the introduction to his book.

“The main reason we take so many drugs is that drug companies don’t sell drugs, they sell lies about drugs. This is what makes drugs so different from anything else in life…Virtually everything we know about drugs is what the companies have chosen to tell us and our doctors…the reason patients trust their medicine is that they extrapolate the trust they have in their doctors into the medicines they prescribe. The patients don’t realize that, although their doctors may know a lot about diseases and human physiology and psychology, they know very, very little about drugs that hasn’t been carefully concocted and dressed up by the drug industry…If you don’t think the system is out of control, then please email me and explain why drugs are the third leading cause of death…If such a hugely lethal epidemic had been caused by a new bacterium or a virus, or even one hundredth of it, we would have done everything we could to get it under control.”

Dr. Gøtzsche is widely in demand as a speaker because he knows his facts in depth and can present his case in calm rational manner. He is speaking what amounts to undeniable truth.

He began with detective work and litigation, to dig up the unpublished data from drug trials. He found it sad that scientific studies were being used and abused for monetary gain and that tens of thousands of patients were killed because drug companies were cheating with their data.

He found the area of psychiatric drugs to be the worst at this deception regarding trial results of medicines. They hid deaths, suicide attempts and suicides amongst patients trying their drugs.

Given the number of actual deaths in clinical trials of Eli Lilly’s atypical antipsychotic Zyprexa, and the sales numbers for the drug, Dr. Gøtzsche believes that this one drug alone has caused 200,000 deaths!

He writes, “I investigated the 10 biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world and found out their business model fulfills the criteria for organized crime according to US law.”

Fraud, bribery and kickbacks are part of the model. The same crimes get repeated even when big pharma companies sign agreements with The US Dept. of Justice “neverto do it again.” They do it again, and again, because crime pays – the fines they pay are a tiny fraction of the money they make.

The question is how to deal with a medical specialty that lives on a lie.

A psychiatrist will say giving an antidepressant for depression is like giving insulin to a diabetic but this theory is dead wrong. Their theory says patients lack serotonin in their brain so a drug that increases serotonin should be good, but the correctly done and honest studies show there is no difference in serotonin levels in depressed patients versus other people.

Then, they say that drugs correct a chemical imbalance – its another lie – the drugs are creating a chemical imbalance which makes it hard to quit the drug after a few months.

If it were really true that psychiatric drugs correct imbalances in the brain, then we would see a decrease in people disabled mentally who must be on paid disability because they are mentally unable to work. Instead the number of these people has exploded since the drugs were introduced.

And, in 1987 before SSRIs came on market, very few children were mentally disabled in the USA. 20 years later there are 500,000 – more than a 35 times increase.

Dr. Gøtzsche states that most depressed patients recover by themselves in a few weeks. Psychiatrists say, “Well, we must give them the drugs to reduce the risk of suicide”

In fact up to the age of 40 the risk of suicide goes up on the drugs and the FDA agrees. The trial data on patients over 40 has been so falsified that it is likely suicide risk goes up for this age group as well.

In 2004, a 19 year old college girl volunteered to help pay her college tuition by testing an SSRI called Cymbalta. She was quite healthy and was screened and found to have no depression or suicidal tendencies. During the drug trial she hung herself in room right inside the Ely Lily lab in Indianapolis. The story was kept quiet and FDA did not make this public.

Dr. Gøtzsche has an entire chapter of his book on this topic with more examples of big pharma attempts to cover up suicide in trials and later during periods when the drug is being prescribed and sold.

Dr. Gøtzsche reasons that the drugs are so dangerous that doctors cannot handle them safely nor can the FDA – if they could, then prescription drugs would not be the third leading cause of death in the western world.

Here are some suggestions:


  • drug testing should be a public enterprise done by objective observers not by the drug companies making and selling the drug


  • there should be no money between doctors and companies. Doctor and patient organizations should consider carefully whether they find it ethically acceptable to receive money that has been partly earned by crimes that have harmed patients


  • drug marketing should be forbidden, just as tobacco marketing is, because it is similarly lethal


  • drug trials should not be published in journals


  • all raw data must be freely available


  • drug regulation needs a revolution


  • general warnings on drug labels like for cigarettes


Dr. Gøtzsche will be on a speaking tour in Australia in February and intends to spread the truth about psychiatry and big pharma around the world.

He summarizes his position with these statements:

“How come we have allowed drug companies to lie so much, commit habitual crime and kill hundreds of thousands of patients, and yet we do nothing? Why don’t we put those responsible in jail? Why are many people still against allowing citizens to get access to all the raw data from all clinical trials and why are they against scrapping the whole system and only allow publicly employed academics to test drugs in patients, independently of the drug industry? … I also know that some drugs can be helpful sometimes for some patients. And I am not ‘antipsychiatry’ in any way. But my studies in this area lead me to a very uncomfortable conclusion:

Our citizens would be far better off if we removed all the psychotropic drugs from the market, as doctors are unable to handle them. It is inescapable that their availability creates more harm than good.”



Posted in Anti-Seizure Medications, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Big Pharma, Drug Warnings, Drugs in Florida, Mental Illness, News, Over Prescribing Meds, Prescription Drugs, Professional Opinions, Psychiatry, Psychotropic Drugs, Suicide Prevention | Leave a comment

The End of Psychiatry: Drugging VS. Understanding


Even mental health professionals admit the death nell of their profession is near. Decades of using drugs to treat invented mental illnesses has created skepticism within their own ranks.

For example, Dr. Robert Berezin, a practicing psychotherapist, has this to say about the chemical imbalance theory:

“The chemical imbalance theory of somatic [having to do with the body] psychiatry has almost completely replaced a genuine understanding of human struggle. The underlying theory of somatic psychiatry is that the source of human struggle is considered to be the brain itself, rather than the person. Treatments that follow from this simplistic, mechanistic, and reductionist notion have been intended to act directly on the brain, which in my experience leads to problematic and misleading outcomes.”

He points out psychiatric drug are useless. Although often used during short term crises, this removes the patient from the “human sphere” falsely shifting the incident to a biochemical disorder, and causing the person to depend on a drug to “fix” him.

Although one may disagree with Dr.Berezin’s overall treatment he is at least outspoken about the harm of using drugs to treat those suffering from mental stress. And he is not alone in his criticism.

Dr. Peter Breggin, a Harvard trained psychiatrist sometimes known as the “Conscience of Psychiatry” acts as a medical expert in criminal suits that have involved adverse psychiatric drug effects such as suicide, violence and death. His testimony spans almost 50 years, starting in the early 1970s.

He is also an outspoken critic of the use of psychiatric drugs to treat suicidal patients. Dr. Breggin points out that no psychiatric drugs have been proven to reduce suicide rates, and says “On this basis, there is no clinical, scientific or common sense reason for giving psychiatric drugs in the vain hope of preventing suicide.”

In fact, he underlines the fact that most psychiatric drugs have the potential to increase suicidal behavior as well as causing many other adverse side effects. For example, military suicides have increases in correlation with the escalating treatment of antidepressants and drug cocktails.

With the criticism of these and others in the psychiatric profession, why is the prescribing of psychiatric drugs still rampant?

This question leads straight to the money trail which leads straight to the pharmaceutical companies making a killing with their patented poisons. These companies have billions to invest in commercials enticing the public to ask for their drugs by name. And it is no secret that they pay many doctors very well to promote and prescribe their drugs.

The old adage “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” applies here. There is no pill in existence to “fix” a mental upset.

Psychiatric drugs have horrendous side effects, some of them involving permanent disability or death. Listening to and putting into practice the advice of a mental health care worker recommending psychiatric drugs is playing Russian roulette.

The solution is self-education. There traditional medical tests that can detect potential physical illness that leads to mental health symptoms. Not all health care workers play into the hands of Big Pharma, and there are treatments in existence that will not harm.


Posted in ADD, ADHD, Alternatives, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Benzodiazepines, Big Pharma, Children, Depression, Disorders, Drug Warnings, Elderly, Informed Consent, Mental Health Care, Mental Health Human Rights, Mental Illness, Over Prescribing Meds, Parents Rights, Professional Opinions, Psychiatry, Psychotropic Drugs, Suicide Prevention, Veterans | Leave a comment

Monitoring the Mental Health of the Elderly


elderly 1
It is very common to hear about someone getting on in years and developing dementia or going senile.  Many say the mind is the first thing to go.  It’s long been considered just to be a part of aging.  Though this can be true in some cases, these days there are dozens of conditions in the elderly which aren’t part of the process of the aging body and mind and actually are drug-induced instead. 

Each year 9.6 million adverse drug reactions occur in seniors.  One study in particular found that thirty-seven percent of the reactions were not reported because it was not realized that the drug caused the reaction.  These adverse effects produce behaviors and/or mental health conditions that can be misdiagnosed as a psychiatric disorder, such as depression, or a disease such as Parkinson’s.  Usually, this would mean prescriptions for psychiatric drugs or other drugs to treat the medical condition.  Both are unnecessary since it was another drug that was causing the condition in the first place.  

Without finding the true cause of the condition, the door is open for multiple drug handlings, more disease, more disorders and even death.  We are used to thinking that as a person ages their chances of getting ill are increased, because the body is starting to wear out.  It is common that older folks have many more medications to take regularly, but it is vital that each drug is checked to make sure it is necessary for the well-being of the older person.   Otherwise, the chances of increased medications to handle new ailments leads to increased chances of adverse effects.  This is why monitoring the mental health of the elderly and their overall well-being is essential. 

It is important to know that even commonly used over-the-counter medications can induce psychiatric symptoms such as delirium, mood changes and psychotic symptoms.  Something simple like Advil can cause depression.  Benadryl can cause hallucinations.  Oral and topical decongestants can cause anxiety and nervousness.  Drugs that treat incontinence, diarrhea, allergies and insomnia can also cause forms of psychosis, even at low doses.  If the drug causing the symptoms is isolated and removed, the symptoms disappear.  If one isn’t vigilant about what an elderly person is taking, the door is open for a diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder. 

An important point to keep in mind about psychiatric disorders is that there are no medical tests to diagnose them.  A diagnosis is based solely on someone’s opinions about some symptoms.  The symptoms we are talking about here stem from a drug, but symptoms can also be caused by a physical deficiency or problem.  In essence, a psychiatric disorder diagnosis is just an opportunity to prescribe mind-altering drugs to treat a condition without isolating a cause, coupled with potentially serious adverse side effects. 

It only follows that when a diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder is made, the elderly person’s mental health is going down a dangerous road.  Psychiatric drugs have more dangerous potential side effects, especially in the elderly and some are life-threatening.  On top of this, it isn’t uncommon for psychiatric drugs to be prescribed for a non-psychiatric condition.  

For example, Ambien is a psychiatric drug used to treat insomnia, but it can cause delirium and confusion.  Antipsychotics such as Abilify, Seroquel, Risperdal and Zyprexa are often prescribed to treat behavior associated with dementia.  However, this type of drug can actually worsen dementia and cause anxiety, heart problems, sudden death and irreversible involuntary movements of the body known as Tardive Dyskinesia.  

SSRI antidepressants are often prescribed to the elderly and these drugs may cause suicidal thoughts or homicidal ideation.  Prozac, a well know antidepressant, can even cause symptoms of Parkinson’s.  Benzodiazapines such as Valium and Xanax are prescribed to treat anxiety or insomnia in the elderly, but this type of drug can cause or even worsen dementia and it can also cause suicidal thoughts, seizures, depression and even premature death.  In fact, it has been estimated that more than ten percent of all those that have attended a memory clinic have drug-induced dementia. 

The point is that all these conditions can be prevented if regular routine checks are done regarding the medications a senior is taking.  One can no longer assume that “aging” is the answer for the elderly person’s mental health problems such as dementia, depression, etc. when it actually might be a drug reaction.  Doctors and patients must be cognizant of the fact that any symptom can be worsened by drugs.  Drug reactions cannot be overlooked and must be recognized before the harm has already been done. 

Also keep in mind there could be a trickle down effect.  If a senior takes unnecessary drugs, the resulting delirium or hallucinations could result in a fall and a broken hip for example, or even a car accident.  This obviously leads to other disabilities, increased use of health care services, lack of recovery from the condition a drug was prescribed for in the first place and the list goes on.  All in all, if one is aware that symptoms could be a side effect of a drug, then the disastrous side effects stated above could be prevented. 

Let’s keep a better eye on the elderly and their mental health and well-being.  Everyone will be happier and healthier as a result. 



Posted in Alternatives, Big Pharma, Drug Warnings, Elderly, Medicare, Mental Health Care, The Baker Act | Leave a comment

The Joke is on Us… Psychiatric Students Study Seinfeld

street drugs
Psychiatry professor Anthony Tobia of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is teaching his students about psychiatric disorders through required watching of Seinfeld episodes.

It sounds like a joke, but Dr. Tobia is completely serious. He states “When you get these friends together the dynamic is such that it literally creates a plot: Jerry’s obsessive compulsive traits combined with Kramer’s schizoid traits, with Elaine’s inability to forge meaningful relationships and with George being egocentric.”

The many critics of psychiatry and their Bible the DSM, will justifiably have a field day with this latest demonstration of psychiatry’s ineptitude.

To underline this point, Gary Greenburg, a practicing psychotherapist, asserts that psychiatric disorders are completely invented.

He points out the very genesis of the DSM was a desperate psychiatric profession attempting to prove it’s worth.

Greenburg states “As the rest of medicine became oriented toward diagnosing illnesses by seeking their causes in biochemistry, in the late 19th, early 20th century, the claim to authority of any medical specialty hinged on its ability to diagnose suffering. To say ‘Okay, your sore throat and fever are strep throat.’ But psychiatry was unable to do that and was in danger of being discredited. As early as 1886, prominent psychiatrists worried that they would be left behind, or written out of the medical kingdom. For reasons not entirely clear, the government turned to the American Medico-Psychological Association, (later the American Psychiatric Association, or APA), to tell them how many mentally ill people were out there. The APA used it as an opportunity to establish its credibility.”

Greenburg colorfully points out that “The reason there haven’t been any sensible findings tying genetics or any kind of molecular biology to DSM categories is not only that our instruments are crude, but also that the DSM categories aren’t real. It’s like using a map of the moon to find your way around Russia.”

Like the invented “mental disorder” dubbed “drapetomania” concocted by a slaveholder’s doctor in 1850 to explain the “mental illness” that would compel a slave to attempt an escape from slavery, today’s labels are for the convenience of the diagnosing mental health care worker. These disorders are voted on to “explain” someone’s behavior before being put into print where they become psychiatric “law.”

To illustrate this, homosexuality was considered a mental disorder until the 1970s, when gay activists made it an uncomfortable stance. The APA trustees voted to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders by a vote of 13 to 0, and it was removed from the DSM issued in 1974.

So with absolutely no scientific tests to determine mental illness, it’s not surprising that a psychiatric professor would turn to a humorous hit TV show to instruct students in identifying mental “disorders.”

Consider this: If a professor of surgery instructed med students to watch reruns of E.R. to perfect their diagnostic and surgical techniques there would be a public uproar. The very fact that a psychiatric professor can get away with these antics proves a sorry point. The public just doesn’t expect anything more from psychiatry.

Posted in ADD, ADHD, Alternatives, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Big Pharma, Drug Warnings, Mental Health Human Rights, Mental Illness, Over Prescribing Meds, Psychiatric Abuse, Psychiatry, Psychotropic Drugs, Schools, Teens | Leave a comment

Psychiatrists Admit Popular Sedatives are Dangerous for the Elderly


The Dec 17th issue of “The Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry” (JAMA Psychiatry) contained a paper describing the over prescribing of a class of sedatives or tranquilizers called benzodiazepines.

“Benzos” are all related in chemical structure and include some of the best selling drugs ever created – Valium, Xanax and Ativan.

These have been advertised as effective and harmless medicines to relieve mild anxiety and handle insomnia.

The truth about benzodiazepines is far different and the same issue of JAMA Psychiatry also contains an editorial by a pharmacology PhD calling for a stricter classification of these drugs as controlled substances. (They are currently a Schedule IV controlled substance in the USA which puts them just a bit more dangerous than a Schedule V such as cough syrup with codeine.)

Out in real life these drugs have been shown to be dangerous to the physical and mental health of patients, especially the elderly and they are quite addictive.

Dr. Mark Olfson, a psychiatry professor at Columbia University Medical Center in New York and his colleagues studied US retail pharmacy records and reported in JAMA Psychiatry that benzodiazepines are being prescribed to the elderly in increasing amount despite known harmful side effects.

They found that nearly 12 percent of women 65-80 years old were using benzodiazepines regularly in 2008 and 6 percent of all men used them. The percentages climbed higher as the patients aged.

The American Geriatrics Society states that the elderly should not be receiving these drugs at all. It has been shown in research that older people on benzodiazepines have an increased the risk of falls and impaired thinking, mobility and driving skills.

A geriatric nurse, Donna Fick, who is a Penn State University professor, stated that “These drugs have very dangerous side effects – falls, delirium, and they have been linked to dementia.”

Long term use leads to addiction and painful and sometimes deadly withdrawal symptoms when patients try to discontinue them without a careful, medically monitored rehabilitation program.

In an amazing admission from a psychiatrist, Dr. Oflson said, “You can reduce the use of these medications through legislation, but I don’t know that you’ll improve the quality of care very much. A smarter way forward would be to increase non-pharmacological treatments for sleep and anxiety.”

He goes on to describe non-pharmacological treatments for sleep and anxiety that do work.

Dr. Olfson advises patients with sleep problems to increase their exercise and exposure to light and learn techniques for winding down at the end of the day.

Professor Fick advises people with sleep difficulties to try modifying their behavior with simple things like not drinking caffeine after 11 a.m., drinking warm milk or herbal tea at bedtime, increasing exposure to light, doing some exercise and avoiding naps.

She also cited studies that show that just a back rub, a warm drink and listening to a relaxation tape provided a feasible alternative to sedatives for elderly patients in a hospital setting.

Even more condemnation of these drugs by a doctor can be found in the accompanying JAMA Psychiatry editorial by Nicholas Moore, MD, PhD from the Department of Pharmacology at The University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.

Dr. Moore calls for benzodiazepines to be controlled substances in the same class as other dangerous addictive substance and that they be put on a tight dispensation schedule using limited-duration prescriptions with no refills.

Elderly patients predominantly are being given these drugs on a long term basis despite the known dangers of doing this.

It clearly is quite profitable for the drug companies to do so. And one can imagine some hospital and nursing home staff consider it’s easier for them as caregivers to handle a group of sedated patients rather than facing a lively bunch of senior citizens who are able and willing to speak their mind.

Dr. Moore says in treating insomnia or anxiety with benzodiazepines they work no better than placebos. He describes the typical cycle: “After an initial improvement, the effect wears off and tends to disappear. At that point, what happens when patients try to stop taking benzodiazepines is that they experience withdrawal insomnia and anxiety. The usual conclusion is “You see, they work. When I stop them, I get worse.” Initially, patients get better before returning to the pretreatment state and then get worse than before treatment began when they attempt to stop taking benzodiazepines. After a few weeks of treatment, patients are actually worse off than before they started (or at least not better) and cannot stop taking the drug.

This type of drug causes amnesia and loss of control; one drug called triazolam was found to be used as a date-rape drug because of these qualities.

In France he cites 3,000 annual falls and hip fractures by elderly on these drugs and estimates 10,000 to 12,000 such accidents in the US.

Drivers on them have more vehicle crashes.

There is clear evidence that prolonged use of these sedatives is associated with an increased risk of dementia.

The “British Medical Journal” published a study that concluded:

“Benzodiazepine use is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease… Unwarranted long term use of these drugs should be considered as a public health concern.”
Dr Moore ends his editorial asking, “Will we have to wait for class actions against manufacturers, prescribers, or regulators whenever a patient taking benzodiazepines dies after a fall or develops Alzheimer disease? There are other treatments for generalized anxiety and insomnia. How seriously do we still need benzodiazepines? Are we ready to pay for them collectively?”

Over in Britain lawsuits have appeared against General Practioners and patients have won them. In 2002, Ray Nimmo, who was prescribed Valium for 14 years, won his case against his GPs in Scunthorpe.

The British press reported an increase in clinical negligence cases by patients left physically and psychologically broken by “indefensible” long-term prescribing of addictive tranquillizers such as Valium and other benzodiazepines.

It was estimated in 2009 that there were 1.5 million involuntary tranquillizer addicts in the UK. More than 6.6 million benzodiazepine prescriptions for anxiety were dispensed by England’s pharmacies in 2010.

When even a renowned psychiatric journal is telling us of the dangers and overuse of these drugs, it’s time that physicians stop prescribing them to our elderly citizens.

Posted in Benzodiazepines, Department of Children and Families, Depression, Disorders, Drug Warnings, Elderly, Informed Consent, Mental Illness, Prescription Drugs, Psychiatry, The Baker Act | Leave a comment

ADHD Medications Proven Harmful in Three Separate National Studies

ADHD medications are detrimental to the mental and emotional health of the children taking them. The conclusion that ADHD drugs have dubious results was reached in studies funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health in the USA) as well as a third study completed in Western Australia.

Researchers in Quebec surveyed over 16,000 kids from infancy to age 11. Their progress through childhood (with follow-up surveys done every 2 years) was continued through 2008.

Those in favor of treating “ADHD kids” with pharmaceutical drugs probably had high hopes for proving their point and shoring up their position. After all, psychiatry as an industry has supported drugging “hyperactive” children for decades.

But the hopes of drug-happy mental health advocates were dashed. Instead, the researchers concluded:

“The increase in medication use is associated with increases in unhappiness and a deterioration in relationship with parents. These emotional and social effects are concentrated among girls, who also experience increases in anxiety and depression. We also see some evidence of deterioration in contemporaneous educational outcomes including grade repetition and mathematics scores…”

Not very flattering to the “Treat them with psychiatric drugs” camp.

And of course earlier studies funded by the NIMH found no long-term benefit for children on the drugs.

The Raine Study in Western Australia concluded a long term study (eight years) on the health of thousands of children. The evidence showed that children who had been diagnosed with ADHD and then medicated had much worse outcomes than those never medicated. These same medicated children were a staggering 10.5 times more likely to fail in school than their un-medicated counterparts.

And the future for these children was equally grim, since past use of stimulant meds can contribute to permanently raised diastolic blood pressure resulting in serious health problems.

Luckily, there are alternatives to these dangerous pharmaceuticals. Healthy living advocate Dr. Mercola suggests ways to handle your child’s hyperactive symptoms without resorting to drugs. Some of his favorites:

  • Eliminating most grains and sugar, since they can cause allergies in those sensitive to them. Dr. Mercola suggests a “grain holiday” to see if their behavior improves without it.
  • Eliminate soft drinks, fruit juices and pasteurized milk
  • Increase  Omega 3 fats through a high quality animal based omega 3 fat. Dr. Mercola suggests krill oil as one good source.
  • Minimize processed fats and avoid all processed foods, particularly the ones that have artificial colors and flavors and that contain preservatives.
  • Clear all dangerous pesticides and commercial chemicals from your house.
  • Do not use commercial washing detergents and cleaning products. Use only naturally derived cleaning products with no added fragrances.
  • Spend time in nature with your child. This has proven benefits.

It is possible to break free of the “authority,” that gravely assigns one’s child a label and dictates a treatment consisting of dangerous narcotic drugs. Parents do have rights, especially when it comes to protecting the children they love. And there are alternatives to highly addictive and life-destroying drugs.


Posted in ADD, ADHD, Big Pharma, Children, Informed Consent, Mental Illness, Over Prescribing Meds, Parents Rights, Professional Opinions, Schools | Leave a comment

Florida Parents – Learn Informed Consent – It Might Save Your Child

GirlA Seminole County mother narrowly escaped losing permanent custody of her child in a case where immediate use of Florida’s Informed Consent laws might have avoided the ordeal she did experience.

Sarah Markham is a vegan and a practicing Seventh Day Adventist. She wished to raise her son Caleb on a vegan diet as she does not believe in eating animal products.

When Caleb was about 2 weeks old, her physician recommended supplementing her breast milk with formula as the baby had lost part of his birth weight. He ordered her to take the baby to the hospital and to use the prescribed formula containing animal products that would be available there.

Instead Sarah stayed home and gave Caleb an organic vegan soy milk based formula.

The result? When Markham didn’t show up at the hospital for her appointment to get the prescribed formula, police came to her apartment and put her in handcuffs.

Sarah’s doctor had reported her to Child Protective Services who then called the police to arrest her for child neglect. They took 12-day-old Caleb.

Fortunately, they gave the baby to Sarah’s parents rather than a state medical facility. The grandparents just continued feeding Caleb the organic vegan formula and he thrived on it and went back to normal weight for his age.

CCHR Florida continually educates parents on their rights under the Florida Department of Health, Division of Medical Quality Assurance (381.026 Florida Patient’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities)

They explain that “Every individual has the basic human right to be informed about the medical treatment or procedure that is being proposed to them.”

The key principles that comprise Informed Consent are:

  • The proposed Treatment
  • The purpose of the treatment to be provided
  • The common risks
  • Benefits
  • Side effects
  • The specific dosage range for the medication, when applicable
  • Alternative treatment modalities
  • The approximate length of care
  • The potential effects of stopping treatment
  • How treatment will be monitored
  • That any consent given for treatment may be revoked orally or in writing before or during the treatment period by the patient or by a person who is legally authorized to make health care decisions on behalf of the patient

The physician in Sarah’s case did not offer “alternative treatment modalities” and ignored her attempt to suggest an alternative based on her dietary knowledge and her religious beliefs.

As far back as June of 2001 The Journal of the American Dietetic Association in a study called “Considerations in Planning Vegan Diets: Infants” reported that:

Appropriately planned vegan diets can satisfy nutrient needs of infants. The American Dietetic Association and The American Academy of Pediatrics state that vegan diets can promote normal infant growth. It is important for parents to provide appropriate foods for vegan infants, using guidelines like those in this article. Key considerations when working with vegan families include composition of breast milk from vegan women, appropriate breast milk substitutes, supplements, type and amount of dietary fat, and solid food introduction.”

If Sarah had presented a copy of Informed Consent to the physician and insisted on her rights perhaps things would have gone differently.

“There’s no case, there’s no abuse, there’s no neglect, there’s simply a doctor who has been challenged by a mother and he didn’t like it,’ Grandfather Bo Markham stated.  Both grandparents believe Sarah is a superb mother.

Yet because she chose not to take her son to the hospital, Markham was only allowed to see her son during supervised visits and only a few times a week, according to Seminole County Child Protective Services.

Her lawyer said that Sarah did everything else CPS asked her to do including Mental health evaluations, drug evaluations, and parenting classes.

‘My client can only see her child once a week or twice a week because they’re requiring the child be out of the county,’ he said prior to Markham regaining custody.

In this case, her lawyer helped save the day. Custody of Caleb was returned to Sarah and she and her child were reunited after six months. Sarah had to promise to meet regularly with a state appointed nutritionist.

The criminal charges of child neglect were dropped “because the Florida Department of Children and Families dismissed its case.”

The state clearly had no case and perhaps could have been sued if they had pressed it further.

Sarah Markham’s baby was fortunately cared for by loving grandparents while Sarah was managing to re-unite her family by submitting to “Mental health evaluations, drug evaluations, and parenting classes”. It could have been a lot worse had the medical establishment and the State of Florida chosen to put all their financial muscle behind prosecuting this mother.

Sarah’s experience is a good reminder to all parents to learn, understand and use their patient rights as described in the concept of Informed Consent.


Posted in ADD, ADHD, Alternatives, Children, Disorders, Drug Warnings, Informed Consent, Mental Health Care, Mental Health Human Rights, Mental Health Screening, Mental Illness, Parents Rights, Psychiatry, Psychotropic Drugs, Ritalin, Schools, Take Action | Tagged | Leave a comment

Drive Your Health 2015


CCHRFlorida (2)


Posted in ADHD, Alternatives, Big Pharma, Children, Disorders, Drug Warnings, Elderly, Health Care, Informed Consent, Mental Health Care, Mental Illness, Professional Opinions, Take Action | Leave a comment

The Mental Illness and Criminality Connection

prisonConvicted felons are diagnosed as mentally ill at a rate 2-4 times that of the non-criminal population.

It would be easy to make the supposition that anyone who commits a crime is in some degree mentally ill. And not many would argue.

But criminal behavior does not automatically equal mental illness. Even if it did, the push towards psychotropic drugs as a means to control the prison population is backfiring dangerously.

Daniel Harr, an inmate who has served time in state prisons and is now somewhat of a whistle blower on the massive over-prescribing of psychiatric drugs has this to say:

“It is now commonplace to see 50—even 60—percent or more of a prison population sleeping in their bunks for 22 hours a day due to the effects of psychotropic drugs they’re being fed like candy.”

Harr says that getting hold of the drugs is as simple as requesting to see a psychologist for a 5 or 10 minute interview, during which he or she claims to have a psychological problem. Next the inmate is referred to a psychiatrist for another 5-10 minute interview.

With no testing or evaluation of any kind, the inmate is then prescribed whatever he or she asks for. And they don’t always take the drug themselves. Some of them merely pocket it and sell it to fellow prisoners.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the nation’s largest prison system has spent $36.5 million on psychotropic drugs in the past 4 years to treat thousands of inmates. Nearly 20,000 prisoners are on these drugs.

Almost 10% of 216,000 inmates are being treated for depression, bipolar disorder or acute schizophrenia.

Psychotropic drugs can make the sane insane, according to many reports. It goes without saying that giving these drugs freely to those who are already guilty of harming others is not a wise course of action.

Some well-known side effects for anti depressants, for instance, are:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Panic Attacks
  • Hostility
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Impulsivity
  • Severe Restlessness
  • Mania
  • Suicidal thoughts or action

Dr. Breggin, a practicing psychiatrist who is adamantly against psychiatric drugs, cites several examples of formerly normal individuals (not criminals or inmates) who committed violent acts while under the influence of these drugs.

In one case, a teenage boy taking Zoloft beat an elderly woman to death when she complained about his music being too loud. There are many cases involving adults losing control while taking antidepressants.

Dr. Breggin notes: “In at least two cases judges have found individuals not guilty on the basis of involuntary intoxication with psychiatric drugs and other cases have resulted in reduced charges, lesser convictions, or shortened sentences.”

The effects of psychotropic drugs are not unknown, especially to those who diagnose mental illness and prescribe drugs to treat the condition. Thus responsibility for crimes committed by those under the influence of psychiatric drugs lies squarely on the shoulders of mental health professionals who are doing the prescribing.

In this situation, it is not difficult to see who the true criminals are.



Posted in Abilify, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Depression, Disorders, Drug Warnings, Health Care, Mental Health Human Rights, Mental Illness, Over Prescribing Meds, Psychiatric Abuse, Psychiatry, Psychotropic Drugs, Risperdal, Thorazine | Tagged , | Leave a comment