“Survivors Push for Withdrawal Hotline and Change”

“Two Scots whose lives have been ravaged by prescription drugs are battling for ­recognition of the devastating withdrawal issues as well as proper support for victims,” the Daily Record reports. “Health Secretary Shona Robison has now agreed to ask chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood to investigate the claims.”

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Editorial Takes On Conflicts of Interest and Propaganda in Psychiatry

In a scathing editorial in this month’s Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Dr. Giovanni Fava takes aim at prominent medical experts who have downplayed the role of financial conflicts of interest (FCOI) in medical research and practice. Fava retraces the development of the problem, the mechanisms of "propaganda" that allow conflicts to flourish, and offers suggestions for reform, including a call to boycott commercialized medical education programs and professional societies.

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Psychologist Rethinks Psychotropic Medications, Calls for Renewed Dialogue

Psychologist and Professor Amber Gum has published the story of her personal journey of rethinking psychotropic medication in a special issue on "The Politics of Mental Health" in The Journal of Medicine and the Person. Influenced by Mad in America and the work of Robert Whitaker, Gum became aware of evidence that “suggests that psychotropic medications are less effective and more harmful than most believe” and now hopes to encourage other mental health professionals and researchers to engage in open-minded, critical self-assessment of standard practices.

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“FDA Forced to Release Adverse Event Reports on Psychiatric Drugs”

Following a lawsuit brought by Andrew Thibault of Parents Against Pharmaceutical Abuse (PAPA), the FDA has produced adverse event and severe adverse event reports on psychotropic medications. For the first time ever, these reports have been published online. Accessing the site linked below, users can perform global searches for AERS reports by drug name (brand and generic) or case number, review reports by drug class, refine searches within each drug class, and examine individual reports.

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Trailer for “As Prescribed” Benzo Documentary

Work-in-Progress trailer for “As Prescribed,” a feature documentary exposing the human devastation caused by benzo-diazepines.
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“Barry Takes Center Stage for World Benzo Day Launch”

Mad In America contributor and prescription drug addiction reformer Barry Haslam has “taken his fight to the world stage by helping create an international awareness day.” The Oldham Evening Chronicle announces the founding of World Benzo Day, which “aims to highlight the plight of all patients worldwide who have become prescribed drug dependent addicts through no fault of their own, who are denied right of access to dedicated withdrawal clinics and after care, who are left to struggle off these drugs without support.”

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“Drug Overdoses Propel Rise in Mortality Rates of Young Whites”

“The rising death rates for those young white adults, ages 25 to 34, make them the first generation since the Vietnam War years of the mid-1960s to experience higher death rates in early adulthood than the generation that preceded it,” the ‘Times reports.

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Duty to Warn – 14 Lies That Our Psychiatry Professors in Medical School Taught Us

Revealing the false information provided about psychiatry should cause any thinking person, patient, thought-leader or politician to wonder: “how many otherwise normal or potentially curable people over the last half century of psych drug propaganda have actually been mis-labeled as mentally ill (and then mis-treated) and sent down the convoluted path of therapeutic misadventures – heading toward oblivion?”
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“West Virginia Allows Painkiller Addicts to Sue Prescribing Doctors”

Watch: “CBS News went to West Virginia, a state that is attempting a drastic solution: allowing addicts to sue the doctors who got them hooked.”

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The Gauntlet of Protracted Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

My doctor insisted that my symptoms could not be associated with withdrawal – they had to be symptoms of an underlying condition. I have since learned from legitimate sources that protracted withdrawal syndrome from benzodiazepines can intensify long before it abates, with some symptoms lasting for years until they dissipate. I am beginning to think they can last a lifetime, if they have not already killed me by predisposing me to the same kind of dementia-related early demise that just killed my father last week.
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Deafening Silence: What Happens When the Whistle Blows and Nobody Hears?

September 11th 2015 was my last day working as a counselor/therapist in the U.S. community mental health system. After 22 years working within that system I resigned out of protest having waged a concerted effort (2½ years) to challenge potentially dangerous psychiatric drug prescribing patterns at my workplace. In late April of this year these challenges led to the filing of a major complaint with the Massachusetts Dept. of Mental Health and eventually the Dept. of Public Health. I never expected to discover just HOW unprepared, dysfunctional, and totally oblivious the entire state bureaucracy is when it involves any serious complaints detailing possible abuses and harm being done to its citizens by a branch of medicine called Psychiatry. Just how broken is “Broken”?
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Culturally Numb

Experiencing emotional pain is a necessary part of life. Emotional pain often contains valuable lessons to help us on our journeys. We need to make sure we are not numbing our hearts to those that are hurting. We need to de-stigmatize the struggles, joys and pains that come with being human. We need to not just mindlessly pursue happiness – though we might think of that as an inalienable right – and avoid pain. We need to do the only thing that brings true joy: embrace all of life and each other, as we experience together all that makes us human.
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“4 in 10 Know Someone Addicted to Prescription Pain Killer”

A new poll, published in the Washington Post, explores the public’s connection to prescription pain killer abuse. “A surprising 56 percent of the public say they have some personal connection to the issue — either because they say they know someone who has taken a prescription that wasn't prescribed to them, know someone who has been addicted or know someone who has died from a prescription painkiller overdose."

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Don’t Harm Them Twice (Part II): What Can Be Done?

When language has been ingrained in a culture for a long time, it takes a concerted effort to change it. How do we stop using the word “addiction” in relation to cases of iatrogenic benzo dependence? Here are a few suggestions.
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Rise in Psychiatric Prescriptions With NOS Diagnosis

A “not otherwise specified” (NOS) diagnosis is often used when an individual may have some symptoms related to a psychiatric diagnosis but does not meet enough criteria to warrant a full diagnosis. A new study, published online ahead of print in Psychiatric Services, reveals that the proportion of mental health visits resulting in such NOS diagnoses rose to nearly fifty percent, and that these diagnoses do not result in more conservative psychiatric drug prescriptions.

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SSRIs and Benzodiazepines Associated with Problems in Infants

Infants exposed to SSRIs and benzodiazepines during pregnancy show impaired neurological functioning in the first month after birth, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. While infants exposed SSRIs alone showed neurobehavioral effects throughout the first month, those exposed to an SSRI and a benzodiazepine had more significant problems.

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Don’t Harm Them Twice: When the Language Surrounding Benzodiazepines Adds Insult to Injury (Part I)

Language is important. And when language dictates specific treatment protocols, it should be used with extreme scrutiny. Using the wrong words can put vulnerable people at risk—not only to their sense of self-worth, their sense of self-knowledge, and they way they are treated, but also to their health.
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Still Mistreating the Elderly with Psychiatric Drugs: Benzodiazepines

After safety concerns about the use of benzodiazepines in older adults led to updated guidelines, researchers expected the use of these drugs to decline. According to a new study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, however, these dangerous prescription practices have not changed. Instead, benzodiazepine use has increased among those most at risk of adverse effects like increased falls, memory problems, delirium, motor vehicle crashes, and death.

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RxISK Adds Prescription Withdrawal Resource

This week the drug monitoring and patients' rights website, RxISK,  launched the Centre for Medication Withdrawal, a page dedicated to establishing what causes dependence and how to treat it.

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UK Woman Speaks Out About 22 Year Addiction With Prescribed Ativan

ITV features and article and video today about the widespread problem of addiction and withdrawal from benzodiazepine drugs used to treat anxiety, including Ativan, Librium, Diazepam and Temazepam. Mother of three Sandra Minshull shares her story and discusses how Ativan “robbed her of her life.”

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Report Calls For Policy Changes In Response To Dependence and Withdrawal From Prescribed Drugs

Statistics from the UK reveal that prescriptions for painkillers and antidepressants continue to rise despite concerns over dependence and debilitating withdrawal effects. The British Medical Association (BMA) Board of Science has released a report that acknowledges changes to medical practice, research and policy necessary for addressing the dependence and withdrawal effects of benzodiazepines, opioids, and antidepressants.

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Benzodiazepines Linked to Treatment Resistant Depression

Prior use of benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Librium, or Ativan, may increase the risk of treatment-resistant depression (TRD), according to a new study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. The study, which aimed to examine the determinants of TRD, found that the "regular use of benzodiazepines was a particularly strong correlate of TRD."

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Benzo Drugs, UK Fudge, Cover Up and Consequences

In 1980, the British Medical Journal published a “Systematic Review of the Benzodiazepines” by the Committee on the Review of Medicines. The committee denied the addictive potential of Benzodiazepines and limited their suggestions to short term use. The results have been devastating.
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Slew of New Studies Spot Links Between Psychiatric Medications and Bone Loss, Fractures

Four different studies conducted in different ways examining different groups have linked use of certain psychiatric drugs, particularly SSRI antidepressants and antipsychotics but also benzodiazepines, to bone fracture risks and negative impacts on human bone development. More →

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