Friday, August 25, 2006

Anti-psychotic drug use soars

The mood alterer's use to aid kids, adolescents rises more than fivefold in '93 to '02, study says.
Benedict Carey / New York Times

The use of potent anti-psychotic drugs to treat children and adolescents for problems such as aggression and mood swings increased more than fivefold from 1993 to 2002.

Researchers who analyzed data from a national survey of doctors' office visits and found that anti-psychotic medications were prescribed to 1,438 per 100,000 children and adolescents in 2002, up from 275 per 100,000 in the two-year period from 1993-95.

The findings augment earlier studies that have documented a sharp rise over the past decade in the prescription of psychiatric drugs for children, including anti-psychotics, stimulants like Ritalin and anti-depressants, whose sales have slipped only recently. But the study is the most comprehensive to examine the increase in prescriptions for anti-psychotics.

The explosion in the use of drugs, some experts said, can be traced in part to the growing number of children and adolescents whose problems are given psychiatric labels once reserved for adults and to doctors' increasing comfort with a newer generation of drugs for psychosis. Shrinking access to long-term psychotherapy and hospital care may also play a role, the experts said.

The findings, published in Archives of General Psychiatry, are likely to inflame a debate about the risks of using psychiatric medication in children.

In recent years, Anti-depressants have been linked to an increase in suicidal thinking or behavior in some minors, and reports have suggested that stimulant drugs like Ritalin may exacerbate underlying heart problems


Testimony to Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services

Hearing on Delivery of Texas Mental Health Services

August 23, 2006

My name is John Breeding. Some of you know me from past opportunities I have had to testify to your committee on issues related to specific mental health legislation. I appreciate the opportunity to say a few more general words about the state mental health system.

Whereas I have most often testified on behalf of a group of which I was a part, I represent only myself just now, and my testimony comes from experience. My main work is that I am a mental health professional, going on 25 years as a practicing psychologist here in Austin. I have worked as a counselor with people at every level of care from acute to moderate to severe levels of psychological distress. I counsel people in my office. Last week, I counseled a group of young people and parents in a West Austin home after a 20-year-old college student shot himself in Bentwood Park. The next day, I met with someone at the Austin State Hospital. I have testified on occasion at hearings on involuntary incarceration and forced drugging at the local psychiatric hospitals. I have written a few books and articles on psychology and psychiatry and the delivery of mental health care in our society.

In order to rationally address the subject of this committee hearing on how to fix or improve our mental health system here in Texas, I am bound first to declare my view that we really don't have anything close to what I would call an authentic way of responding to people in distress and promoting psychological well-being. Not unlike the rest of the nation, Texas treatment of the "mentally ill" is mostly determined by corporate special interests, and notorious for its history and current reality of fraud and corruption. Here are just three examples that have involved the legislature.

Three Examples of Texas Mental Health System Fraud and Corruption

1.. In 1991, then Senator Mike Moncrief opened an investigation into allegations that the huge profits of the psychiatric hospitals of National Medical Enterprises (now Tenet) were a result of criminal and unethical exploitation of the people who had come for help. Senator Zaffirini was very involved. The Texas attorney general obtained a settlement for the maximum allowable amount of $10 million. NME eventually settled with insurance companies for over $200 million more.
b.. The last two Texas legislative sessions involved intense work, led by Representative Hupp, in response to CPS and foster care scandals. One aspect of this was (and is) the massive use of psychotropic drugs, and so-called polypharmacy, with our state's foster children. Comptroller Strayhorn's investigations have played a key role, as has the governor appointed inspector general for Department of Health and Human services, Brian Flood. In fact, the Houston Chronicle reported that just last week Inspector General Flood sent out letters ordering five doctors to return Medicaid money for overprescribing psychotropic drugs to foster children. A bit of good news is that the paper also reported a 31% decrease in the number of foster kids prescribed 5 or more psychotropic drugs in the last five months since the state implemented new regulations stemming form the last legislative session. I see this as a tiny bit of progress in the face of the shameful and tragic practice of mas! sively drugging these precious children in the care of our state.
c.. An emerging scandal involves the development and implementation of the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) and its attendant children's version of CMAP. As local TV news investigator Nanci Wilson has revealed in a series of powerful exposes, the direct influence peddling of corporate pharmaceutical companies on the development of these algorithms is an egregious example of the determination of state mental health policy and practice by corporate pharmaceutical interests. In the last legislative session, an amendment to SB 6, sponsored by Representative Lois Kolkhorst barred people with vested interests from participating on groups developing drug and treatment guidelines. The amendment was stripped out of the conference committee compromise on that legislation.
We do not have an authentic mental health care system. What we have is an unholy alliance of the corporate pharmaceutical industry, institutional psychiatry and the state. What we have is a psychiatric labeling system and an attendant psychotropic drugging system, backed up by the full force of the state.

Coercion

I have no expectation that this subject of force is a significant part of your considerations. Nevertheless, any truly meaningful discussion of mental health care reform must not exclude confrontation of the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the room. Institutional psychiatry is rooted in coercion; every year, thousands upon thousands of Texas citizens are incarcerated in psychiatric hospitals against their will, where they are forcibly drugged. Whatever the justification, that is a fact, and I am here to say that one who locks people up against their will, and holds the key, no matter how they may refer to themselves, is a jailer. And jailers are severely limited in therapeutic influence.

False Premises

It is my view that the legislature cannot do anything really significant to fix or improve our mental health system without first facing the fact that being a part of our mental health system today means accepting and enforcing the beliefs and practices of biological psychiatry, or bio-psychiatry for short. This system believes that human troubles, failures and distresses are due to incurable biologically or genetically based defects, called mental illnesses, and assumes that psychotropic drugs are absolutely necessary to "treat" these illnesses. Hence, roughly 1 of 7 of our state's school-age children are on psychotropic drugs; millions of our adults are on these drugs; thousands upon thousands are forcibly incarcerated and put on these drugs; thousands are brain-damaged further by electroshock. It is the tragic truth that this is basically what our mental health system offers-labels and drugs. And a truth I have told again and again in the halls of this Capitol i! s that all of this is done without scientific evidence or validation of a physical or chemical abnormality denoting even one of these so-called illnesses.

We cannot really fix or improve a system that is fundamentally flawed and based in unreality.

Impossible Goals

We also cannot move forward in a positive way without making conscious at least two functions that, however hard it tries, the state mental health system simply cannot and will never be able to accomplish. One is to make our legal system better or more humane. Forensic psychiatry has been and is a disaster, interfering with justice and moral responsibility.

The other is that psychiatry deflects attention from issues of social and economic justice by explaining the suffering and distress that comes to individuals who are unable to find work that is purposeful and sufficient to meet their own and their family's needs as "mental illness." The simple truth is that legislative actions related to such things as education and work opportunities, living wages, and housing will always have a much more significant effect on the mental health of our citizens than any psychological or psychiatric program.

Authentic Help

That said, there is still a need to respond to the troubled or troubling behavior of our fellow citizens. Fortunately, the how-to's of authentic care and support of psychological health or well-being are not all that complicated. We have abundant examples of how to do it. I will share just four thoughts on this subject.

1.. Physical health affects psychological well-being. Sleep, nutrition and exercise are key components of psychological well-being; disruptions, deficits, or imbalances in any of these can result in "symptoms" that get labeled as, for example, attention deficit disorder or depression.
b.. Social, interpersonal connection is fundamental to psychological well-being. Meaningful mental health care must be rooted here.
c.. Mental and emotional distress often results from having been hurt. Emotional discharge, such as crying, expressing anger, or shaking with fear, is not a psychiatric symptom, but a necessary part of the recovery of psychological well-being.
d.. It is very sad that the overwhelming takeover of our mental health care by the proponents of biopsychiatry has all but eliminated hope for people in extreme states of mind. Nevertheless, it remains true that even people in extreme states of mind, often diagnosed as severe mental illness such as bipolar or schizophrenia, can and do recover without drugs or electroshock. The Soteria Houses, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health over four decades ago, showed this. So have others, such as the Windhorse Institute, and the folks at the National Empowerment Center.
The information and resources are available. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance.

Respectfully Yours,

John Breeding, PhD

5306 Fort Clark Dr.

Austin, Texas 78745

(512) 799-3610

www.wildestcolts.com

Thursday, August 24, 2006

http://www.commondreams.org/news2006/0815-06.htm
Drug
Companies Making Billions in Excess Profits Under Medicare Plan

WASHINGTON - August 15 - Pharmaceutical companies are making billions in excess profits under the new Medicare drug benefit, according to a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research. In the first year of the Medicare Part D program, Pfizer will make $1.2 billion in excess profits on Lipitor and $585 million on Zoloft; Wyeth will make nearly $1 billion on Protonix; and Merck will make $1.6 billion on Zocor.

The report, "The Origins of the Doughnut Hole: Excess Profits on Prescription Drugs," by economist Dean Baker, calculated the difference between the average cost of 20 common drugs used by seniors and the cost when obtained through the Veterans Administration. It found excess profits totaling more than $7 billion in the first year of the program. The study also calculated prices for prescription drugs such as Actonel, Aricept, Celebrex, Fosamax, Nexium, Norvasc, Plavix, Prevacid, Toprol XL, and Xalatan. To read the report, see: http://www.cepr.net/publications/part_d_drug_profits_2006_08.pdf

Thousands of drugs cost more than necessary under the Medicare drug plan because Congress prohibited Medicare from negotiating drug prices directly with the pharmaceutical industry, as is done by the Veterans Administration. In the case of many drugs, the prices paid by insurers participating in the plan are more than twice as high as the prices paid by the Veterans Administration.

Millions of seniors and disabled Americans enrolled in Medicare Part D drug plans are discovering the "doughnut hole" - the $2,850 gap placed into the plan in order to save the government money. The Center for Economic and Policy Research has pointed out that this gap was only necessary because the plan's overall design added significant costs and complexity.

"The excess profits from just a small number of drugs account for a very large portion of the doughnut hole," said Baker. "The excess profits for the drug industry as a whole will be close to $50 billion in the first full year of Medicare drug benefit program. This is more than twice the size of the doughnut hole."


Fatal side effect

(Updated Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 4:33 AM)

An inconvenient fact has been missing from all of The Bee reports about Andrea Yates: This profoundly disturbed woman has a long history of biopsychiatric treatment (drug therapy) including the antidepressant Effexor.

Effexor, which carries a black box warning for "suicidal ideation," was first prescribed for her in 1999 after her first suicide attempt. Just weeks before the children's bathtub murders, her daily dose was increased to twice the recommended maximum dose.

Last year the Food and Drug Administration added "homicidal ideation" to its list of rare adverse events for Effexor. By "rare" it means one in 1,000, but 19.2 million prescriptions for the drug were filled last year. The "homicidal ideation" possibility is listed on page 36 of Effexor XR's label. Who is going to read through 36 pages of warnings?

Duke University has published a time-line of Ms. Yates' travail, including her pharmacological history. When her horrendous drug record is taken into consideration, it is a wonder this woman knew what planet she was on.

Sharon Steele Kientz

Auberry




'Everyday problems' not always mental illness
Letter

The tragedy that has struck the Boulos family is indeed sad.

Tragic though one death is, one must be careful not to jump on the "epidemic bandwagon." It is important to note that youth suicide rates have actually declined as much as 33 per cent over the past 14 years.

Slick marketing by big pharma with psychiatric ties have led us to believe that mentally diseased youth are climbing in epidemic proportions.

"Redefining" life's everyday problems as a mental illness lurking in our teenagers heads is a financial windfall. However, it is a dangerous road to travel.

Teen Screen ( a U.S. program) is being pushed with the goal of screening all U.S.A. youth for mental illness. Advocates claim that it is simply to detect undiagnosed mental illness and provide necessary treatment, while critics say it is a program trolling for business by big pharma and the psychiatric profession.

Kids can have real problems. What they do not need are more drugs. The U.S. FDA has issued "black box" warning labels on psychiatric drugs -- as potentially causing aggression, mania, delusions, suicidal ideation, irrationality.

Any parent noticing odd behaviour in their child should immediately do a thorough investigation for street drugs and prescription psychiatric drugs.

It is vital to perform a complete physical exam with blood analysis to search for drugs or abnormalities and to rule out undiscovered physical causes --drug abuse, epilepsy, brain tumour, thyroid, hypoglycemia, head injury, infection, Wilson's disease, etc.

Confusion can often exist between a mental condition and a separate neurological condition (Health Canada).

Ron A. LaPointe

LaSalle

More drugs get slapped with lawsuits
Updated 8/23/2006 6:13 PM ET
A new batch of drugs faces a barrage of lawsuits claiming that the drugs injured users and that manufacturers are to blame.

More than 6,000 lawsuits have been filed in recent years against four drugs taken by millions of patients: hormone-replacement drug Prempro, birth-control patch Ortho Evra, anti-psychotic Seroquel and anti-seizure drug Neurontin.

The plaintiffs claim drugmakers failed to disclose the drugs' risks or failed to properly test them, or both. The claims are similar to those against Merck's painkiller Vioxx, which faces 14,000 lawsuits. Unlike Vioxx, these drugs are still being sold, and the Food and Drug Administration considers their benefits worth their risks.

The first trials have begun or are near for Prempro and Neurontin. Johnson & Johnson has started settling some Ortho Evra cases, plaintiffs' lawyers say.

The lawsuits raise questions about whether drugmakers and the FDA pay ample attention to patient safety. Since 2000, more than 65,000 product liability lawsuits have been filed against prescription drugmakers, the most of any industry, says researcher Thomson West.

The pace isn't likely to slow, given the number of drugs on the market, the millions of consumers taking them and the skill of plaintiffs' lawyers in finding consumers who suffered adverse reactions, says professor Lars Noah of the University of Florida College of Law.

"The lawyers have created almost an assembly-line approach to use ... against an industry that's in tobacco-land in terms of how much people hate it," Noah says.

Drugmaker Wyeth faces more than 5,000 cases for Prempro and Premarin, hormone-replacement drugs for menopausal symptoms. The first trial started Monday in Little Rock. Plaintiff Linda Reeves alleges she developed breast cancer as a result of taking the drugs from 1983 through 2000. Breast cancer accounts for the majority of claims.

Wyeth and plaintiffs' lawyers refused comment, citing a judge's gag order. Wyeth has said it did nothing wrong and that the drugs' warnings reflected available scientific data and FDA requirements.

A study halted in 2002, the Women's Health Initiative, found that Prempro patients had a higher risk of breast cancer, stroke and heart disease. Later that year, Wyeth added a boldface warning on Prempro, which combines estrogen and progestin, and on Premarin, an estrogen, regarding the study.

In 2003, the warnings were put in a box, making them more prominent. The drugs' combined sales fell to $909 million last year from $2 billion in 2001.

In March, Wyeth won the first state case when a New York judge issued a summary judgment, saying the drugs' warnings were adequate. The case is being appealed, the plaintiff's lawyer says.

Wyeth's exposure is not likely to be nearly as large as the $21 billion it's paying to settle tens of thousands of claims over former diet drug fen-phen, linked to heart and lung problems. Not only are there fewer cases, but also it's difficult to prove that a drug caused someone's cancer — a key hurdle in most drug lawsuits, Noah says.

Plaintiffs in the Neurontin lawsuits face a similar challenge, says lawyer Mike Papantonio of Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Echsner & Proctor, which does not represent any Neurontin plaintiffs.

Neurontin plaintiffs' lawyer Andrew Finkelstein has advocated that the FDA require a black-box suicide warning on Neurontin, which has been taken by more than 10 million people and is widely prescribed for pain and bipolar sufferers. Drugmaker Pfizer says there's no scientific evidence linking Neurontin and suicide.

"It's a difficult thing to get your arms around," Papantonio says. "Like the hormone-replacement therapy cases, there are so many complicating factors."

In December, Pfizer changed Neurontin's label to list "suicide" and "suicide attempt" as infrequent adverse events as opposed to "suicide gesture" as a rarer event. Pfizer says it made the change because of adverse event reports filed to the FDA. The reports do not prove a drug was to blame.

Warning raised

In the Ortho Evra birth-control patch cases, plaintiffs allege that the company failed to adequately test the patch's safety. Many of the women claim they suffered blood clots as a result of using it.

"The plaintiffs tend to be younger women, and you don't normally see strokes or blood clots in that population," Noah says.

The FDA last year required a warning on the patch, saying users will be exposed to 60% more estrogen than with typical birth-control pills. The warning came after the FDA and the drugmaker compared estrogen levels for the patch vs. pills. The FDA also said increased estrogen may raise the risk of clots.

When the FDA approved the patch in 2001, however, an FDA approval document said the risks were "similar to the risks of using birth-control pills."

The patch delivers more estrogen into the bloodstream. With pills, some estrogen is lost in the digestive tract.

Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, and parent Johnson & Johnson, refused to comment specifically on the lawsuit allegations. In a general statement, it said that more than 5 million women have used the patch and that, when used as labeled, it is safe.

Settlements' cost

Last year, drugmaker Eli Lilly took a $1 billion charge to settle about 10,500 lawsuits claiming anti-psychotic Zyprexa caused diabetes or high blood glucose.

Similar claims have been made against AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals' Seroquel, the No. 1 anti-psychotic, with more than 16 million users since its 1997 launch. Plaintiffs' lawyers claim AstraZeneca downplayed the diabetes risks and hid important safety information from the FDA.

AstraZeneca is confident in the drug and plans to defend itself, says spokesman Jim Minnick. He says the same lawyers who filed suit against Zyprexa are coming after Seroquel hoping for a similar result — a charge plaintiffs' lawyers deny.

Lawsuits' effects

Professor Noah says the threat of litigation will do little to stop companies from pursuing future drugs with such big markets.

Seroquel had 2005 sales of $2.8 billion. Neurontin, pre-generic competition, also posted annual sales in excess of $2 billion, as did the hormone-replacement drugs.

But Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, says litigation costs not only eat into research funds but change consumer behaviors. She cites a 2003 Harris Poll, commissioned by her group, that found that almost four out of 10 doctors had patients stop taking necessary medications after they heard a drug was involved in a liability lawsuit.

She says plaintiffs' lawyers jam courts with so many lawsuits, many frivolous, that firms settle to avoid the expense and uncertainty of fighting them. "The situation has gotten out of hand," says Rickard, whose group is affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Lawyer Papantonio says law firms stand to lose $3 million to $5 million by bringing drugmakers to trial and don't pursue frivolous cases. "If a product hurts enough people, it gets the attention of the lawyers."

Caught in legal storms
Four drugs whose alleged risks have made them the targets of many product-liability lawsuits.
DrugPrempro and PremarinOrtho EvraSeroquelNeurontin
MakerWyethJohnson & JohnsonAstraZenecaPfizer
UseHormone replacement for menopausal womenBirth-control patchAnti-psychoticAnti-seizure, some pain
LawsuitsMore than 5,000 for 8,300 women500380About 300
AllegationFailed to adequately test for and warn of potential risks, including breast cancer.Failed to properly test for and falsely downplayed risk of blood clots, other factors.Overstated benefits of drug and minimized risk of developing diabetes.Caused suicide or suicide attempt.
StatusFirst federal trial started Monday.No trials scheduled; J&J reportedly settled some cases.No trials scheduled.First trial possible this fall.
FDA approved Prempro, 1994; Premarin in use since 1942.200119971993
2005 sales$909 million$416 million*$2.8 billion$639 million
* — U.S. sales only.Sources: Company SEC filings, IMS Health, plaintiffs' lawyers


http://psychrights.org/Issues/Screening/LehrmanDangersofScreening.pdf

Nathaniel S. Lehrman, M.D.
Former Clinical Director, Kingsboro Psychiatric Center, Brooklyn NY
10 Nob Hill Gate, Roslyn NY 11576; nslmd@verizon.net
Presented by invitation at the Annual Meeting of
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
Arlington, VA, September 23, 2005

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

ADHD drugs to have stronger warning

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- The Food and Drug Administration on Monday announced changes to the labels for Dexedrine, an amphetamine used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy, to warn of possible heart problems it may cause.

There have been reports of sudden death caused by stimulant treatment in children and adolescents with serious heart problems, the FDA said. The new warning labels will reflect that information.

Earlier this month, Dexedrine manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline advised health care professionals of changes to the drug's labeling. "Sudden deaths, strokes and myocardial infarction have been reported in adults taking stimulant drugs at usual doses for ADHD," the company warned.

The new labels also warn that pre-existing psychotic disorders, such as bipolar illness, may be exacerbated. The advisory also said that new psychiatric symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusional thinking, may emerge.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Testimony to the State of Georgia Senate
Re: Senate Bill 430—TeenScreen

by Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD
August 16, 2006

Whether you speak of teen-screen, infant-screen, toddler-screen or elder-screen (they are all on their way to the nearest school), there is one thing you need to know about psychiatric diagnosis: there is no such thing as a psychiatric “disorder,” “disease,” or, “chemical imbalance.” And yet, psychiatry, Big Pharma, the House, Senate and White House, drunk on money and power, insist that all psychiatric diagnoses are “diseases” which must be treated, if even by court order; if even they have to call you a “negligent” parent and make the court your child’s parent.

We continue to accept the “chemical imbalance” lie at our own peril. Infinite damage has already been done. Think Columbine, think Conyers, Georgia, where T.J. Solomon shot six, think Haditha, Iraq, and think of the Armed Forces recruiting shortfalls due to the burgeoning psychiatric epidemic in the nation’s schools. Think of the accumulative toll of our believing in this brazen, Machiavellian, lie. Think of a child in your own family (like classrooms, every family has one—or more).

In 1948, psychiatry and neurology were made into separate specialties—neurology, my specialty, to diagnose and treat actual diseases of the brain; psychiatry to address the emotional and behavioral (psychological) problems in normals, and, in the physically ill as well—none of them diseases. [1]

In the fifties, chlorpromazine/Thorazine, the first antipsychotic drug was synthesized. Other psychotropic drugs followed. Today, 91% of children who see a child psychiatrist are put on a drug, 18% --most of them normal--on a dangerous, deadly, antipsychotic.

In 1960, when I graduated from the NYU School of Medicine, no such thing as a psychiatric disease existed.

In 1963 when I was the first to analyze the chromosomes of cancer cells from the spinal fluid [2] and in 1969 when I was the first to describe glioma-polyposis syndrome (another word for disease) [3] there was still no such thing as a psychiatric disease—a disease being a demonstrable macroscopic, microscopic, or chemical abnormalities—a palpable or visible tumor, a positive “Pap” smear or biopsy, or, an elevated blood sugar as in diabetes mellitus or phenylalanine level, in PKU.

Little did I know that Psychiatry, Big Pharma and the Federal Government were well along with their “big lie,” marketplace strategy--to tell the public—all patients at one time or another, that emotional and behavioral problems were not due to their upbringing, environment, circumstances, but that—eureka!--they were “disorders”/ “diseases”/ “abnormalities” /“chemical imbalances” of the brain, each needing, or requiring, a chemical balancer--pill.

On September 29, 1970, Representative Cornelius Gallagher of New Jersey launched the Congressional hearing, Federal Involvement in the Use of Behavior Modification Drugs on Grammar School Children: Behavior Modification Drugs in School Children, saying: “I have received letters critical of minimal brain dysfunction, one of thirty-eight names attached to this condition.”

But, clearly, the “chemical imbalance” strategy was in place. Dr. Ronald Lipman, Chief of the Clinical Studies Section, FDA, testified: “…hyperkinesis is a medical syndrome. It should be properly diagnosed by a medical doctor.”

In the DSM-III of 1980 it was ADD; in the DSM-III-R of 1987, ADHD; in the DSM-IV of 1994, it was ADHD of another sort. No science to get in the way.

On December 22, 1994, Paul Leber, MD, Director, Division of Neuropharmacological Drug Products of the FDA, wrote to me: "… no distinct pathophysiology for the disorder (ADHD) has been delineated."

On May, 13, 1998, F. Xavier Castellanos of the NIMH wrote to me: “… we have not yet met the burden of demonstrating the specific pathophysiology that we believe underlies this condition.”

At the November 16-18, 1998 Consensus Conference, William B Carey [4], speaking on the subject: “Is ADHD a Valid Disorder?” concluded: “What is…described as ADHD in the United States appears to be a set of normal behavioral variations..."

James M. Swanson and F. Xavier Castellanos [5] reviewed the structural/anatomic MRI research [5-18] concluding: “… ADHD subjects have on-average 10% brain atrophy.”

From a floor microphone I (Baughman) challenged Swanson: “Why didn’t you mention that virtually all of the ADHD subjects were on stimulant (Ritalin, Dexedrine, Adderall) therapy and that this is the likely cause of their brain atrophy?”

With their main line of evidence shown to be a lie, the Consensus Conference Panel confessed: “ ...we do not have an independent, valid test for ADHD…there are no data to indicate that ADHD is a brain malfunction.”

Palco of NPR observed: “ADHD is like the Supreme Court’s definition of pornography: ‘You know it when you see it.’”

On October 9, 2002, Castellanos, et al [6], published the one-and-only MRI study of an ADHD-untreated group. Inexplicably, they failed to use matched controls. This voided the study. ADHD remained without validation as a disease while the ADHD drugs—methylphenidates and amphetamines remained the probable cause of the “on-average, 10 percent” brain atrophy.

In 2002, Weinberger [7] of the NIMH claimed “major psychiatric diseases”…are associated with “subtle but objectively characterizable changes.” However, he could not reference proof that a single psychiatric “disease” actually exists.

In 2002, the Advertisement Commission of Holland determined that Brain Foundation-Holland claim that ADHD is an inborn brain dysfunction “…gives a wrong and misleading representation and enjoined them to stop.


In 2003, Ireland prohibited GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) from claiming on it’s Paxil/paroxetine leaflet: "(it) works by bringing serotonin levels back to normal."

While the FDA’s Goodman [8], acknowledged that claims that SSRIs correct a serotonin imbalance go "too far," he lied every bit as much, suggesting: "this is reasonable shorthand for expressing that this is a chemically or brain-based problem.”

Saying any psychiatric diagnosis “… is a brain-based problem and that the medications are normalizing function,” is an anti-scientific, pro-drug, lie—one that reflects FDA and government policy generally.”

There is nothing more despicable than a physician who knowingly tells normal patients that they are “sick,” “ill,” or “diseased,” for profit. Yet this has become standard practice throughout medicine, and at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), American Psychiatric Association (APA), American Medical Association (AMA), American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Academy of Neurology (AAN), Child Neurology Society (CNS), American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP), and countless other organizations.

All health care agents and agencies, and all manufacturers of drugs must cease their representations of psychological/psychiatric diagnoses as diseases/ “chemical imbalances.” The right to informed consent--universally abrogated by such lies--must be restored to US medicine.

Because psychiatric patients are physically/medically normal but are called “diseased” their right to informed consent has been revoked.

Because those made into “patients” are known to normal to begin with, those who “treat” them actually poison them and are guilty, not of an iatrogenic medical mistake, but of willful, for-profit poisoning—a felony.

What are we to call it when children die pursuant to a fraudulent diagnosis, such as ADHD, such as the 186 known to have died from methylphenidate/Ritalin, between 1990 and 2000? First degree murder? Second degree murder? Justifiable homocide? Manslaughter?

From 1970 to the present, thirty-six years--the House, Senate and White House have accepted (with a nod and wink) the “disease” lie/perjury from representatives of the Psychiatry-Big Pharma cartel, have embraced it, and have authorized and funded (with our hard-earned tax) billions for the research, diagnosis and treatment of “diseases” that do not exist, conferring upon them the only hint of legitimacy they would ever have. So doing, our Federal Government has become the third, essential member of the Psychiatry-Big Pharma-US Federal Government cartel.

Our Federal Government is no longer free commit to our health and well-being.
FRED A. BAUGHMAN, JR. M.D.
NEUROLOGY AND CHILD NEUROLOGY (Board Certified)
FELLOW, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NEUROLOGY
Author: The ADHD Fraud—How Psychiatry Makes “Patients” of Normal Children
www.Trafford.com
1303 HIDDEN MOUNTAIN DRIVE, EL CAJON, CA 92019, U.S.A.


References:

1. Cohen MM, editor. American Academy of Neurology: The first 50 years, 1948–1998 p 1-8. (1998). St. Paul (Minnesota): American Academy of Neurology.


2. Baughman, F. A., Jr., Hirsch, B.: Karyotyping of Cells from Cerebrospinal Fluid (letter). Lancet. 1963; 2:417.

3. Baughman, F. A., Jr., List, C. F., Williams, J. R., Muldoon, J. P., Segarra, J. M.: The Glioma-Polyposis Syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine, 281:1345-1346, 1969.

4. Carey, WB. NIH Consensus Conference on ADHD, November 16-18, 1998.


5. Swanson J, Castellanos FX. Biological Bases of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. NIH Consensus Development Conference on ADHD (p 37-42, program and abstracts), November 16-18, 1998, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

6. Developmental Trajectories of Brain Volume Abnormalities in Children and Adolescents With Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder F. Xavier Castellanos, Patti P. Lee, MD; Wendy Sharp, MSW; Neal O. Jeffries, PhD; Deanna K. Greenstein, PhD; Liv S. Clasen, PhD; Jonathan D. Blumenthal, MA; Regina S. James, MD; Christen L. Ebens, BA; James M. Walter, MA; Alex Zijdenbos, PhD; Alan C. Evans, PhD; Jay N. Giedd, MD; Judith L. Rapoport, MD JAMA. 2002;288:1740-1748 .

7. Weinberger DR. In “Imaging for psychiatric disorders is done mainly for research, not clinical purposes,” Neurology Today, June, 2002.


8. Wayne K. Goodman, MD Chair of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee, quoted in Canadian Medical Association Journal, March 14, 2006. SSRI ads questioned. Colin Meek. Wester Ross, Scotland

Protected by Fair Use.

Friday, August 18, 2006

http://www.canada.com/topics/news/politics/story.html?id=30524127-1a1e-4bb2-9e56-f857849271e4&k=32797

Liberals pounce on Tories for attempting to recruit controversial Quebec radio host

Elizabeth Thompson
CanWest News Service; Montreal Gazette


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Karr OTTAWA - A popular Quebec radio host and psychiatrist who has suggested blacks on average have a lower IQ than whites, said he was wooed by the Conservatives to run for the party in the next election.

However, Pierre ''Doc'' Mailloux said he rejected the overtures from former Conservative cabinet minister and recruiter Pierre H. Vincent because he didn't want to have to wear a tie to sit in Parliament.

''I can't accept that they oblige me to wear a tie while a Sikh has the freedom to wear his (turban) on his head in the federal Parliament,'' Mailloux said. ''It is urgent in Canada to affirm the secular nature of our country... Religions are cancers of society.''

With a million listeners a week, Mailloux is well known in Quebec.

As for the Conservative government's policies, Mailloux said he supports many, but not all, of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's positions. ''I completely agree with Stephen Harper's position on the Israeli-Lebanese conflict. He showed himself to be a statesman.''

Mailloux, who has published books about children, also endorses Harper's approach to child care.

''State day cares in Quebec for babies between zero and three years old are a crime against humanity. It is criminal to dump babies of six months, a year, a year and a half in bulk in state day cares because it goes against the interest of the babies to not enjoy a maternal link.''

Mailloux continues to practice as a psychiatrist and prides himself on his work developing cheese from non-pasteurized milk research, he said, that has meant he hasn't paid income tax for 30 years.

Conservative party spokesman Serge Prive suggested that any invitation to have Mailloux run in central Quebec was Vincent's personal initiative. While Vincent is a member of the party's candidate-recruiting committee, the idea of Mailloux running for the Conservatives never reached official levels of the party, Prive said.

Prive refused to say whether the party would have endorsed Mailloux's nomination, saying he does not answer hypothetical questions.

The Liberals demanded the Conservatives explain whether they endorse Mailloux's controversial views.

''I was shocked to learn that the Conservatives had tried to recruit Doc Mailloux two months ago,'' said Marlene Jennings, a Montreal Liberal MP, and one of the few blacks in Parliament.

''This implies the Conservatives endorse the psychiatrist's statements that black people have a lower IQ than white people, that Sikhs are bozos and more of the same.''

''After trashing the Kelowna Accord, the Conservatives have the audacity to court Dr. Mailloux who has said in the past that aboriginal people were less intelligent than white people,'' added Liberal Indian Affairs critic Anita Neville.

Mailloux, who is a member of Quebec's College of Physicians, is a household name in Quebec, appearing on radio and television shows broadcast across the province. However, his name is also a familiar one to the CRTC, the federal broadcast regulator, which rapped him over the knuckles for saying on-air that Sikhs were ''bozos.''

That paled in comparison, however, to the furor that was triggered last September when Mailloux suggested during a popular Radio Canada television show that on average blacks had a lower IQ than whites.

In an interview Wednesday, Mailloux said some people have exaggerated his comments, making it sound like he was suggesting that all blacks were less intelligent than all whites.

''I said there was a difference in the average IQ between ethnic groups. In all ethnic groups there are very intelligent people, but in some groups there are fewer than in others.''

Mailloux said American studies have shown that on average, American children of Asian-origin scored highest on IQ tests followed by whites, hispanics with Amerindians and blacks in last place.

ethompson (at) thegazette.canwest.com

Montreal Gazette

© CanWest News Service 2006

The comments section on what mental health counselors can keep from parents is what makes my skin crawl.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

If you think the forces of evil aren't subtly trying to snatch your children, think again. This should make your skin crawl and cause you to ask yourself "Do I know who has access and influence over my children today?"

From HSLDA's website:
Children in Utah public schools face yet another danger: suicide screening. TeenScreen, a national organization whose goal includes having mental check-ups for all of the nation’s youth, has been using public schools as an avenue for finding youth to screen under their Mental Health Screening program.

This screening is given to children as young as 9 years old and raises questions such as: Have you thought seriously about trying to kill yourself? Do you think often of killing yourself? Have you tried to kill yourself? These children agree to the screen for rewards of gift certificates for movies, food, parties, or clothing. Often parents are not asked or even told if their child is screened.

But wait, it gets
worse.

Wake up, parents. Pay attention to where your children are, and who they are with. By that, I mean the adults in their lives. Peer pressure is nothing compared to influences like this.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

http://www.npri.org/

Below is a reprint from the Nevada Policy Research Institute's just published August 17, 2006 E-Bulletin addressing TeenScreen.
First, do no harmShould our public schools be giving usually-wrong suicide surveys to Nevada students?.

By Joe Enge

A pilot program using the controversial Columbia "TeenScreen" suicide survey - under way on a limited basis in the Clark County School District for five years - will expand statewide if the state Board of Education has its way.

Proponents say that a high Nevada teen suicide rate shows the surveys are needed. Such surveys are no different than giving students eye exams, they contend, and should be part of a state-administered "health and wellness checkup."

A $1.2 million federal grant would fund the program's expansion throughout Clark County and statewide.

Unfortunately, the benign "eye exam" and "health checkup" portrayals give a false impression that the surveys are accurate and do no harm. It also jumps right over the dubious premise behind the entire program: that one even can test for suicidal predisposition.

"There is no evidence that screening for suicide risk reduces suicide attempts or mortality," says the United States Preventive Services Task Force. The panel reviews evidence on the effectiveness of different clinical preventive services for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

"[T]here is limited evidence on the accuracy of screening tools to identify suicide risk," continued a May 2004 task force report, adding, "there is insufficient evidence that treatment of those at high risk reduces suicide attempts or mortality."

In June task force Chairman Ned Calonge told the Washington Post that "the panel would reach the same conclusion today.

"Whether or not we like to admit it, there are no interventions that have no harms," said Calonge. He's also chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Steven E. Hyman, a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health and now provost at Harvard University, agrees. "If your instrument is poor, or you don't know how to intervene to prevent a condition like suicide, there is actually a risk of harm. Besides cost and intrusiveness, there is a risk of harm in terms of stigmatization, but also interventions that backfire."

The developer of TeenScreen, psychiatrist David Shaffer, admits his survey "identifies 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."

So how many students get misidentified? Shaffer claims his survey has a 16 percent accuracy rate. That would mean that 84 out of 100 students could be informed by test-waving "experts" that they have mental health problems. Talk about depression, self-doubt, and suicidal feelings!

No wonder TeenScreen keeps its survey confidential.
Picture it: You send your daughter to school to learn English, math, history, and science, but instead get a report back that she suffers from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and social anxiety. That's what happened to Indiana parents Michael and Teresa Rhoades. Chelsea, their daughter, was diagnosed with OCD after checking a survey box saying she likes to help clean house. Admitting she did not party much triggered the survey's "social anxiety" diagnosis. Then she was told, if her condition got any worse, her mom should bring her in to the mental health center for treatment.

The Rhoades family now has litigation pending against the school district. Constitutional attorney and Rutherford Institute president John W. Whitehead points out that testing students without parental permission violates the federal Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment. Thus, the potential legal liability of school districts giving these surveys is enormous.

The TeenScreen surveys are touted as meeting Nevada academic health standards. Who made this determination? Two state standards relating to "substance use and abuse" briefly mention suicide, but they don't justify testing all Nevada students in their health classes - the state's expressed goal:

3.8.2 Use appropriate methods of response to negative risk-taking behaviors including suicide, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

3.12.2 Develop knowledge and strategies for avoiding negative social situations including suicide, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

Certainly state guidelines don't say, "Subject all students in Nevada public schools to a ham-fisted 'suicide prevention' program that smacks of psychological malpractice."
In piloting this program, the Clark County School District stuck its neck out. Then, the Nevada State Board of Education put the scheme on its June and August meeting agendas, only to quickly yank the item when a coalition of opponents submitted a formidable letter of objection.
Maybe the real question is: Just who's running the government asylum?

Joe Enge, a 15-year social studies and English teacher, is a policy fellow of the Nevada Policy Research Institute.
++
9434 Total Signatures http://www.petitiononline.com/TScreen/petition.html
(The information contained in the above E-Bulletin is evidence that the petition is making an impact. Please get the word out.)

Defense lawyers conceded that Attwood stabbed his wife of 60 years while she was sleeping on Oct. 3, but they argued that it was caused by a bad reaction to the prescription antidepressant Wellbutrin. Attwood had been taking the drug for 12 days.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1110AP_Wife_Stabbing.html
Tuesday, August 15, 2006 · Last updated 12:00 p.m. PT
Judge finds Man insane in wife stabbing
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- An 83-year-old man was insane when he stabbed his wife, possibly because of a reaction to antidepressant medication, a judge ruled in finding the man innocent by reason of insanity.

The ruling came as Eric Attwood's trial on an attempted murder charge was about to begin Monday. Prosecutors did not object.

Judge Christine A. Pomeroy ordered that Attwood continue to receive mental health and medical treatment, take medications as prescribed and accept monitoring by a probation officer.
Defense lawyers conceded that Attwood stabbed his wife of 60 years while she was sleeping on Oct. 3, but they argued that it was caused by a bad reaction to the prescription antidepressant Wellbutrin. Attwood had been taking the drug for 12 days.

The Food and Drug Administration announced in 2004 that Wellbutrin was one of several antidepressants that could increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors in children or adolescents. It issued a similar warning for adults last year but said more study was needed.

The attack left Margaret Attwood with a 7-inch scar down one side of her neck.
Her husband has been taking a different antidepressant since then and has been prescribed antipsychotics, and the difference is "night and day," defense lawyer Jeffery P. Robinson said.
Attwood, who is from Yelm, has been at a family group home since June, when he was released from Western State Hospital following a mental evaluation. The judge scheduled a hearing for Sept. 12 to determine whether he will be allowed to return home.

This is, well, crazy.

According to President Bush all our children are mentally ill. Though I guess he, of all people, should know what retardation and drug abuse are like, I cannot help feeling fear whenever Bush dabbles in science and medicine.

Well, let’s just say according to the psychiatric “Billing Bible” and mandatory screening his administration have now put into practice, children can suffer from up to 400 mental illnesses, even when perfectly normal.


http://thomasfortenberry.net/?p=455

Pregnancy: newer antidepressants linked to persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns

The women who are taking antidepressants known as SSRI ( selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors ), and who are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, should discuss the situation with their doctor due to potential risks to the baby.

The patients should not stop taking SSRI medication without first consulting their doctors, as they could experience serious side effects.

Generally, SSRI treatment should only be continued if the benefits to the individual patient are thought to outweigh the risks to the unborn child, while also considering the benefits and risks of switching to another treatment option or stopping treatment altogether.

SSRIs and other newer antidepressants prescribed for the treatment of depression include the following drugs: Wellbutrin ( Bupropion ), Celexa ( Citalopram ), Cipralex ( Escitalopram ), Prozac ( Fluoxetine ), Luvox ( Fluvoxamine ), Remeron ( Mirtazapine ), Paxil ( Paroxetine ), Zoloft ( Sertraline ) and Effexor ( Venlafaxine ), and Zyban ( Bupropion ) for smoking cessation.

A study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine ( NEJM ) suggests that use of SSRIs during the second half of pregnancy may be associated with a condition called persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn.
Newborns with this rare but life-threatening condition do not receive enough oxygen in the blood and require intensive-care treatment to survive.
According to the study, babies born with this condition were six times more likely than healthy babies to have been exposed to SSRIs.

Numerous reports in Canada and abroad have already indicated that some children exposed to SSRIs and other newer antidepressants during pregnancy may develop serious complications at birth. An increase in the overall risk of major birth defects has also been associated with SSRI use.

Source: Health Canada, 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

"In my experience, children diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Syndrome (ADS) commonly suffer from allergic conditions"


" In my experience, children diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Syndrome (ADS) commonly suffer from allergic conditions which add to the problems they have with concentration. Ritalin is commonly prescribed, but although this slows down the hyperactive state, it tends to impair intellectual capacity.1,2 This is unfortunate as both the hyperactive state and the allergies can often be remedied by identifying and avoiding the foods causing the symptoms of ADS. Moreover, the diagnosis of ADS may have a permanent psychological effect on hyperactive children. A great deal of anguish could be avoided by the simple expedient of finding the triggers."

Litigation against Paxil begins

Litigation against Paxil begins

05:58 PM CDT on Wednesday, August 2, 2006

By Chau Nguyen / 11 News

Click to watch video

You might remember all the national attention surrounding the drug Vioxx and the many lawsuits waged around the country.

There’s now a new wave of litigation against another popular drug, the popular anti depressant Paxil.

Some women who took the drug while they were pregnant are claiming their babies were born with severe birth defects.

One woman in the Houston area says that’s exactly what happened to her.

She spoke only to 11 News about her Paxil problems.

Her baby is on life support and this mother’s life will never be the same.

I mean it’s been a roller coaster,” said Lisa Collins Steele

When she talks about her 9-month-old son Chase, it’s not easy.

“You see your child the way I see him. Most people shouldn’t go through this in their lifetime,” she said.

What Chase is going through is surviving with just half a heart. He was born this way.

Now, Collins believes it could have been prevented had her doctor warned her not to continue taking the anti-depressant drug Paxil.

Last December the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the makers of Paxil, Glaxo Smith Klein, issued an alert advising the risk of birth defects for pregnant women taking Paxil.

But Collins stopped taking the drug a few months before that warning came out.

“Had Lisa known about this, she wouldn’t have taken Paxil,” said attorney Robert Kwok.

Kwok now represents Collins in a liability and negligence lawsuit, suing her doctor and Glaxo Smith Klein.

And we’re gonna ask that the jury consider punishing GSK,” he said.

Collins wants the parties to pay the hundreds of thousands in mounting medical bills, plus additional unspecified damages.

Chase doesn’t understand why he turns blue why he gets seizures why he has to take a bucket of medicine a day,” Kwok said.

Chase has already undergone one open heart surgery and has made at least a dozen trips to the hospital for emergency care.

For now, his prognosis is uncertain.

Late this afternoon 11 News received a call from Glaxo Smith Klein’s corporate public relations representative.

She said the company doesn’t comment on pending lawsuits, but is aware of Lisa Collins’ case.

We should add that a similar lawsuit was filed by a woman in Bedford Texas.

Kwok says he knows of an estimated 50 cases around the country being reviewed.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Anesthetic could lead to depression treatment

This is absurd. Ketamine, a drug whose "use ...can cause delirium, amnesia, depression, and long-term memory and cognitive difficulties", is now being bandied-about as a potential new treatment for depression. Certainly, the drug companies are behind this "research".

http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/news/editorial/15225201.htm

rebuttal by Steve De Santo

Psychiatric drugs too often subvert recovery of patients

Get ready for a shock!

Bob Caylor began a March 1 editorial with a seemingly innocent and forthright statement: “A majority of Americans think psychiatric medications can help people with mental illnesses, but many fewer would take such drugs themselves.” Interestingly, he said he spoke for the entire editorial board and based the article on a report from the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research.

Well, I visited the Web site of this Indiana consortium. And I found something intriguing and disturbing, an article titled: $3.5 Million NIH Grant Funds International Study of Mental Health Stigma. The first paragraph refers to a massive mental health study carried out over several years by the World Health Organization that talked about how more people in third-world countries recover from mental illnesses like schizophrenia and depression than in “developed” countries like ours. The article goes on: “This surprising fact, confirmed by numerous medical studies by the World Health Organization and other groups, has led to much debate about why more advanced systems of mental health treatment get worse results.”

This disparity is not a mystery. The $3.5 million grant to study stigma associated with mental illness is a huge waste of your tax dollars. I’ll tell you why. Robert Whitaker, back in 2002, explained this very issue in his book, “Mad in America.” He said there was “a variable” in the World Health Organization’s own data that explained the huge difference in outcomes and then went into detail that I’ll summarize.

“Doctors in poor countries generally did not keep their mad patients on neuroleptics, while doctors in the rich countries did,” he wrote. The percentage of patients who got well in poor countries and those that got well in rich countries like the U.S. correlated very closely with the percentages who did not continue on their neuroleptic drugs. As Whitaker emphasized, “Certainly if the correlation had gone the other way, with routine drug use associated with much better outcomes, Western psychiatry would have taken a bow and given credit to its scientific potions. . . .

“Even before the 1992 WHO report, American researchers had reason to think that there would be such a correlation. In 1987, Courtenay Harding, a psychologist at the University of Colorado, reported on the long-term outcomes of 82 chronic schizophrenics discharged from Vermont State Hospital in the late 1950s. She had found that one-third of this cohort had recovered completely. And as she made clear in subsequent publications, the patients in this best-outcomes group shared one common factor: They all had successfully weaned themselves from neuroleptics. Hers was the best, most ambitious long-term study that had been conducted in the United States in recent times. The notion that schizophrenics needed to stay on medication all their lives, she’d concluded, was a myth.”

Dr. Peter Breggin is another expert who believes this. Check out his Web site, www.breggin.com, to begin your re-education on mental-health issues. Or open his recent paperback, “The Antidepressant Fact Book,” and read unsettling chapter titles such as “Damaging the Brain with SSRI Antidepressants,” “Depression and Suicide Caused by Antidepressants,” “Criminal Behavior and Violence Caused by Antidepressants” and “Withdrawal Problems When Stopping Antidepressants.”

Let’s start educating ourselves by reading experts not in the back pocket of Big Pharma, which has billions to lose if its pills stop selling.

Steve De Santo is a resident of Fort Wayne.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Woman Talk

http://www.womantalk.us/YourWorld/action.html

Stop Universal Mental Health Screening for Teens

Thursday, August 3, 2006


*JOIN THE ON-LINE PETITION AGAINST TEENSCREEN
Click Here to Sign UP


Opposition to universal mental health screening is mounting, and the public can take a simple action to join in.

Controversial, subjective and invasive probing of all teens, billed as suicide prevention, is the goal of the pharmaceutical lobby and its activist organizations who thrive on school referrals. EdWatch and other groups nationally have opposed federal funding and promotion of the TeenScreen program. Its defenders insist parents are fully involved, but the facts suggest otherwise. Last year, the Rutherford Institute took up the case of an Indiana couple whose daughter Chelsea was screened without their consent.

"According to Chelsea, all her friends were told that something was wrong with them, too. In fact, it seemed that the only students who weren’t told they were suffering from some sort of so-called “disorder” were the ones with the opt-out slips. And when Chelsea’s mom heard about the events of the day and her daughter’s diagnosis of OCD and social anxiety disorder, she immediately took action." ( TeenScreen: One Family’s Story)

The school is being sued for conducting a mental health screening exam on a teenager without parental consent. John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, tells parents they should fight the increasing government violation of family privacy. He recommends informing local school officials "that you be notified immediately if they are planning to conduct mental health screening on your children," which he calls "this encroachment on parental rights." (Click here to find a sample letter you may send to the school and an attorney opting your child out of invasive surveys and screenings.)

Chelsea's mother, Theresa Rhoades, has launched a website to petition school board members and state and federal legislators to stop using TeenScreen. Groups and individuals nationally are promoting the petition, and well over 5,000 people have already signed on. This is only the beginning. Mrs. Rhoades plans to present the petition to elected public officials at all levels. She personally assures EdWatch that names are stored on the online petition web group, and that they will not be shared with any private organizations.

TeenScreen is sweeping into our schools. Legislatures are passing plans to screen the mental health of all pregnant women and all children from infancy up to 22 years of age during routine physical exams. Treatment involves massive expansion of the use of expensive, dangerous and ineffective drugs. Federal money and policies push the system into place.

Learn more
Sounding the alarm on Infant Mental Health
Taxpayer Funds Promote Child Drugging and Screening

See Important DVD:
"
The Dangers of Universal Mental Health Screening" by Dr. Karen Effrem

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TeenScreen Petition in the News


Pocono Record
Eburg TeenScreen program faces backlash
Andrew Scott
August 05, 2006

STROUDSBURG — Monroe County coordinators of TeenScreen, a program started by Columbia University to offer screenings to high school students for symptoms of problems that can lead to suicide, are not immune to organized national opposition to the program.

Many parents, some mental health experts and others across the country say TeenScreen falsely diagnoses children with depression and other problems leading to suicide. They say the program then prescribes or "pushes" ineffective antidepressants and other drugs on these children so that pharmaceutical companies can profit.

Also prevalent is concern over whether TeenScreen actually helps put self-destructive thoughts in children's heads with screening questionnaires reportedly asking, "Have you ever tried or thought about trying suicide?"


Created last year, the "Stop TeenScreen's Unscientific and Experimental 'Mental Health Screening' of American School Children" online petition so far has collected more than 8,000 signatures nationwide. The petition can be found at http://www.petitiononline.com/TScreen/petition.html

"It would be more beneficial for parents to actually talk to their teenagers on a daily basis....and make them feel like they have a family than to screen these kids like test subjects," Judy Aron of Connecticut wrote this week in an e-mail to the Pocono Record, echoing public observation that there is no concrete proof of the program successfully reducing the suicide rate among teens.

The e-mail was in response to a recent article about a 17-year-old Pocono Mountain High School graduate who apparently shot and killed herself in her Canadensis home. The article mentioned that Sara Camaerei, a Stroudsburg doctor of psychology, and others brought TeenScreen to Monroe County in response to a rash of earlier student suicides at that same school.

Pocono Mountain, Pleasant Valley, Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg high schools and the Monroe Career and Technical Institute last year took part in TeenScreen.

So far, East Stroudsburg and MCTI, the two most active participants, are the only schools continuing with the program this fall. East Stroudsburg has entered a contract with program coordinators while MCTI has received grant money to continue for another year.

"We want to clear up a lot of public misconception about what the program does and how it operates," Camaerei said.

The program is aimed at ninth-graders, since that's the age at which children are most likely to start showing symptoms of depression, anxiety and other problems that can lead to suicide, Camaerei said.

"First, we're not affiliated with the pharmaceutical industry," she said. "Second, we don't 'screen.' We 'offer screenings.'

"The screenings are voluntary, not mandatory," Camaerei said. "We need both the signed consent of the parent and the signed assent of the student before we administer a screening. And we double-check signatures that look forged by verifying with the parents."

There are various versions of screening questionnaires with different questions on each version, but all are confidential, she said. No one in the public is supposed to know what any of the questions are unless the information is spread by those administering the screenings which is illegal or by students who have been through the process.

"Third and probably most important, we don't diagnose, treat or medicate anyone or recommend any treatment," Camaerei said. "We look for symptoms of depression, anxiety and other problems that can lead to suicide.

"If we find what we believe to be such symptoms, we suggest to the students and their families that they be referred to other mental health experts out in the community for further evaluation," she said. "Those other experts will then make the final determination on whether a student does have problems and how to treat them. If medication is needed, only a licensed psychiatrist can prescribe it."

She added that experts are willing to work on a sliding-scale basis with families based on their finances and that uninsured families are referred to Monroe County Mental Health Resources.

"We researched TeenScreen when it was introduced to us and our staff did an excellent job in laying the groundwork for our students to understand what it is and how it works," said Dr. Douglas Arnold, assistant superintendent of the East Stroudsburg School District. "We're very supportive of anything that seems like it can genuinely benefit our students. That's why we've entered the contract with Dr. Camaerei and her staff."

The East Stroudsburg district will pay TeenScreen coordinators to offer screenings on a quarterly basis to ninth-graders at its South and North high schools. The cost to the district is not to exceed $3,200 a year, Arnold said.

"I'm not sure how all the public misconception got started," Camaerei said. "The rules are pretty clear as to how the program is supposed to be run. It might be that school districts in other counties or states vary in how they do it, but we here in Monroe go pretty much by the book."

++
Note: The petition was actually started on July 4, 2006 by Teresa Rhoades.

Have you asked all your state legislators to sign the petition?


PROTECTED BY FAIR USE

Friday, August 04, 2006

TeenScreen News Jumps the Atlantic

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/global/ (The Times of London newspaper archive is a subscription service.)

The Times (London)
August 4, 2006, Friday
It's a High Oh Silver Lining
By: Michele Kirsch

With the wisdom of hindsight, we can now see it was overly optimistic to think that George Bush's New Freedom Commission programme, called TeenScreen, was a federal initiative to subsidise kids' cinema tickets and make a dent in the popcorn mountain.
TeenScreen, we now know, is either a caring sharing suicide-prevention diagnostic screening tool to assess the mental health of all US high school kids, or an insidious drug company-fuelled plan to label every hormonally charged, misunderstood misfit with a disorder and ply them with prescription mood-altering drugs.

One critic calls it "a nefarious effort to recruit our children into the quagmire of biological psychiatry". While that might be partially correct, if a tad cynical, it seems to us that US high school kids have never needed much persuasion to enter quagmires of biological psychiatry through either prescription drugs nicked from parents' medicine cabinets, or by buying recreational drugs from those suffering from DDD: Drug Dealer Disorder. Still, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services has granted nearly $10 million (£ 5.3 million) for TeenScreen, presumably to help teens stop abusing the wrong kind of drugs and start more beneficial dependencies on the right kind of drugs. Might have been better to send them to the movies.


[Note: The writer appears to be referring to the TeenScreen practice of luring kids into the suicide survey by offering them free movie passes]

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http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/ut/200608030.asp

Home School Legal Defense Association

Utah

Beware of Intrusive ‘Health Screenings’

Children in Utah public schools face yet another danger: suicide screening. TeenScreen, a national organization whose goal includes having mental check-ups for all of the nation’s youth, has been using public schools as an avenue for finding youth to screen under their Mental Health Screening program.

This screening is given to children as young as 9 years old and raises questions such as: Have you thought seriously about trying to kill yourself? Do you think often of killing yourself? Have you tried to kill yourself? These children agree to the screen for rewards of gift certificates for movies, food, parties, or clothing. Often parents are not asked or even told if their child is screened.

In addition to troublesome topics being raised, the screening is highly inaccurate, with many false positives resulting. Consequently, children are treated for having mental health problems which they do not, in reality, have.

Through schooling your children at home, you are able to keep them from unwanted and unknown exposure to issues they do not need to handle at this time. I urge you to keep alert for possible imposition of health screening on all children so that this type of screening will not be given to homeschooled children.