Facts You May Not Know About Psychiatric Drugs
• Higher doses and longer term use of psychiatric drugs often mean brain changes can be deeper and longer lasting. The drugs are then often harder to come off and can have more serious adverse effects. The human brain is much more resilient than was once believed, however, and can heal and repair itself in remarkable ways.
• Neuroleptic or major tranquilizer drugs are claimed to be “anti-psychotic,” but in fact do not target psychosis or any specific symptom or mental disorder. They are tranquilizers that diminish brain functioning in general for anyone who takes them. They are even used in veterinary science to calm down animals. Many people on these drugs report that their psychotic symptoms continue, but the emotional reaction to them is lessened.
• The psychiatric use of chemicals such as Thorazine and lithium was discovered before theories of “chemical imbalance” were invented, and do not reflect any understanding of the cause.
• Newer anti-psychotic drugs called “atypicals” target a broader range of neurotransmitters, but they work in basically the same ways as older drugs. Manufacturers marketed these drugs (which are more expensive than older ones) as better and more effective with fewer side effects, and they were hailed as miracles. But as reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry, New York Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere, this has been exposed as untrue, with some companies even covering up the extent of adverse effects like diabetes and metabolic syndrome. However, because newer drugs are somewhat different, people on older drugs might feel better by switching to newer ones. This may be because dosages are often smaller, it can take longer for negative effects to show, and individuals have different expectations of different drugs.
• Sometimes people are told that adverse drug effects are due to an “allergic reaction.” This is misleading: psychiatric drug effects do not function biologically in the body the way food or pollen allergies do. Calling drug effects “allergic reactions” treats the problem like it is in the person taking the drug, not the drug’s effect itself.
• Benzodiazepene – Valium, Xanax, Ativan and Klonopin – addiction is a huge public health problem, and withdrawal can be very difficult. Use for more than 4-5 days dramatically increases risks.
• Psychiatric drugs are widely used in prisons to control inmates and in nursing homes to control the elderly.
• Sleep medication like Ambien and Halcyon can be addictive, worsen sleep over time, and cause dangerous altered states of consciousness.
• Because they work like recreational drugs, some psychiatric medications are even sold on the street to get high. Stimulants like Ritalin and sedatives like Valium are widely abused. Because of their easy availability, illegal use of psychiatric drugs, including by children, is widespread.
• The “War on Drugs” obscures the similarities between legal psychiatric drugs and illegal recreational drugs. Anti-depressant “selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs)” work chemically similar to slow-administered oral cocaine. Cocaine was in fact the first prescription drug marketed for “feel good” anti-depression effects, before being made illegal. Coca, the basis of cocaine, was even once an ingredient in Coca-Cola.
A previous article entitled Health Risks of Psychiatric Drugs provides information... ADHD drugs, drug effects ve Health Risks