Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Fish “Flourish” On Anxiety Drug

"Fish that have been exposed to a common anti-anxiety drug are more active and have better chances of survival than unexposed fish," reports Nature....

Evidence Strengthening that Common Benzodiazepine Sedatives May Cause Dementia

A meta-analysis of studies found that the risk of dementia increased 22% for every additional twenty daily doses of benzodiazepine medications annually.

Media Ignoring Crucial Factor in Florida School Shooting

From WND: Although a disturbing number of perpetrators of recent mass shootings and murders have been on psychiatric medication prior to committing their crimes, the media has...

Benzos & Brain Tumors

Researchers in Taiwan found a 3.33x greater risk of benign brain tumors in patients who had been prescribed benzodiazepines for at least 2 months....

Benzos Raise Dementia Risk 50%

A 15-year prospective study, in the British Medical Journal this week, of 1063 subjects by researchers from the University of Bordeaux and Harvard University...

Call to Action: Support a Bill for Informed Benzodiazepine Use

Massachusetts Bill HD 4554 needs to gain sufficient state representative support by Tuesday, March 1, 2016. This bill will put restrictions on the prescribing of benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine sleep aids, and will require that all patients be informed of the potential dangers of these drugs, specifically the dangers of long-term use.

Matt Samet: Climbing Out of Benzo Madness

Rock climber, author, and MIA Blogger Matt Samet discusses his experience becoming addicted to, and subsequently coming off of, benzodiazepines.

We Need to Encourage People to Make Advance Directives

In this piece for STAT, Jennifer Adaeze Okwerekwu describes the value of psychiatric advance directives for those at risk of experiencing an emotional crisis. "'It’s something that can...

Playing the Odds, Revisited

It is hard to believe that a year has gone past since I posted Playing the Odds: Antidepressant Withdrawal and the Problem of Informed Consent. The feedback I received underscored the more controversial aspects of SSRI toxicity.  Common themes concerned the abrupt onset of new symptoms 3 to 12 months after stopping the drug, reinstatement of the drug failing to help withdrawal related symptoms, the possibility that withdrawal-related symptoms can persist indefinitely and concerns about using benzodiazepines to help with tardive akathisia.

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.

What Happens to Your Brain When you Take Xanax

In this video from Business Insider, psychopharmacologist and psychiatrist Dr. Samoon Ahmad explains the impact of Xanax on the brain and discusses some of...
integrative mental health

8 Years of Mental Health Research Distilled to 4 Infographics

Pictures are worth a thousand words. So I’ve chosen pictures to distill the mountain of mental health research I’ve examined over the last eight years. Three infographics summarize research on psychiatric drugs, and one asserts why I think Integrative Mental Health is the best path available for mental health recovery.

Psychiatric Drug Ads Lead to More Prescriptions and Worse Treatment

A new analysis published in the The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry investigates the public health effects of direct-to-consumer advertisements for psychiatric drugs. The researchers...

Cracked Open – Installment 2

This is the second of a series of excerpts from Cracked Open, a book whose unintentional beginning came after I became physically dependent on Ativan in 2010. After a year of following my doctor’s orders for daily use to treat insomnia, my body and mind began to fall apart. I’m serializing the book here – before sending it out into the world – because MIA became a lighthouse for me. I want this community’s feedback because I want to help make a difference. I want my words and message to be clear and strong.

Cracked Open – Installment 3

I’ve been working steadily on Cracked Open, a book that chronicles my experience being a mother suffering terrible insomnia to a mother desperately dependent on benzodiazepines. I am not alone. I live in a state that ranks at the top for anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds and we love to give them to women. But I’m not writing this book simply for mothers or for women. I’m writing it for anyone who has gone into a doctor’s office, desperate and sick, and come out with a prescription that led them down a path to illness and/or disability. It happens so often.

We Have Seen the Evidence Base, and it is Us

Anyone who has used benzodiazepines and sleeping pills knows how difficult it is to get off them (worse than heroin!) and how much time it takes to recover. Although there is a lot more helpful information on the web these days, a lot of it is based on anecdotal accounts, personal stories and theories rather than “real” evidence.

Patients More Likely to Refuse Drug-Only Treatment, Study Finds

The American Psychological Association (APA) recently published a study finding that patients assigned to drug-only treatments were more likely to refuse treatment, and more likely to drop out before treatment completion, than patients assigned to psychotherapy only.

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome Linked to Polypharmacy, Benzos, and Race

Research from London and Taipei finds that neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is associated with the number of different antipsychotics used (polypharmacy), rather than the overall...

Nonclinical Factors are Associated with Long-Term Benzodiazepine Use in Older Adults

White race and size of initial prescription, along with poor sleep quality, are associated with long-term benzodiazepine use in older adults.

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 particular 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.

Weaning the Elderly off Sleeping Pills

In a follow-up to an earlier commentary on the topic, Paula Span discusses the widespread use and negative effects of sleeping pills among the...

Psychiatrists Warn Policymakers Benzodiazepine Overuse Could Lead to Next Epidemic

Although opioid addiction and overuse have garnered significant national attention, similar trends in benzodiazepine overprescription and overuse continue to go unnoticed.

“My Road to Hell was Paved with Xanax”

-Ashley Zlatopolsky writes about how receiving a benzodiazepine for anxiety led to a severe, problematic addiction.

Benzodiazepine Prescriptions in Older Adults Used in Rural and Low Income Areas

Benzodiazepine prescription practices may be in response to an epidemic of distress, rather than being used to treat specific mental health diagnoses.

Hypnotic Medications Linked to Suicide Risk

A recent review found that hypnotic medications are associated with risks of suicide and suicidal ideation.

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