Friday, October 30, 2009

A Mother's Hope - Little boy Rescued from Psych Drug Cocktail



Channel 7 - WSVN-TV (Miami/Fort Lauderdale)

A Mother's Hope

7 News Investigation

Reported and Produced by: Patrick Fraser


Patrick Fraser

Earlier this year a 7-year-old boy in state custody prescribed mind altering drugs threatened to kill himself, then he did. This summer another child on powerful drugs also threatened to kill himself, his mother called Help Me Howard, what happened after that? Tonight here is Patrick Fraser with a story we call a mothers hope.

WSVN -- When I first met Anthony he was not the child who had been described to me.

Hope Estrada, Anthony's Mother: "I've been told by some doctors in Key West that I'm raising the next Charles Manson, OK?"

One doctor said he was mentally retarded, another said he was bi-polar. He has been sent to psychiatric hospitals, slapped in straight jackets and given mind altering drugs. The affect of it all on an 8-year-old is not surprising.

Hope Estrada: "The other day when he was Baker Acted and they restrained him, he told me, 'Mom, I want to kill myself, I don't want to live like this, I can't control myself.'"

Hope says she was told a few weeks ago, by the State of Florida the best solution is to give up on Anthony.

Hope Estrada: "Basically I've been told, you know, move on with your life, and give Anthony to the state and let him become a ward of the state. I'm not going to do that, I refuse to give in."

And so, after contacting dozens of people from the president on down she called Help Me Howard and we knew this case required an expert.

Andrea Moore

Howard Finkelstein: "I knew that Anthony needed a lawyer that was an expert in both DCF how kids were treated medications, mental health issues and the only person that came to mind was the best person was Andrea Moore."

Andrea Moore, a noted child advocate, agreed to take Anthony's case for free. It took weeks of her time, but as she met with Hope and Anthony, interviewed specialists and dug through his medical records, many things bothered her.

Andrea Moore, Child Advocate: "They didn't know his IQ. This is the place he's been three times in three years, they didn't know his IQ, and he's very smart, yet some of the paperwork that I saw, said he was mentally retarded. The conflicting information in the records tells me that people didn't really carefully read the records."

The heavy doses of three mind altering drugs used on adults troubled Andrea, even more frightening she believes Anthony may not have even needed those drugs.

Andrea Moore: "I started to wonder if we were dealing with a head injury, as opposed to a psychiatric, purely psychiatric situation."

Turns out Andrea was right, Anthony did have a prior head injury. He fell and fractured his skull when he was eight months old, but he had never had a brain scan, instead private doctors hired by the state concluded he had psychiatric problems.

Patrick Fraser: "Why did it take you to notice this, when he is under the care of a psychiatrist, and has seen more doctors then you and I have probably seen in our lives combined? Why did it take you coming in from the outside to see that?"

Andrea Moore: "This is a terrible question Patrick."

Andrea is modest and polite, Howard is blunt.

Howard Finkelstein: "They had diagnosed him wrong, they treated him wrong, and as a result of the misdiagnosis and mistreatment, I believe they were making him worse."

With DCF's help, Andrea got Anthony off the powerful drugs and moved from the psychiatric hospital. To Jackson Memorial's highly touted brain injury center.

Patrick Fraser: "Good to see you my man."

Today Anthony is getting the evaluations Andrea thinks he needs, and our investigation is bringing changes. When he was put in one psychiatric hospital Hope was forced to sign this letter that says if Hope has complaints about treatment or abuse she would not report it to DCF.

Jacqui Colyer, DCF Regional Director: "That I think is what keeps DCF on its feet."

When DCF saw the document they moved quickly.

Jacqui Colyer: "We have spoken with all of our provider agencies just to let them know that they can not tell families when to call or not to call us, because that is a part of their rights."

DCF also applauded Hope for fighting so hard for her son, but they say she did misunderstand one thing, that the state would have only taken custody of Anthony temporarily, not permanently, but thing is indisputable without Hope, Anthony was doomed.

And of course Hope and Anthony could not have done it without Andrea Moore.

Howard Finkelstein: "Andrea gave us her time her energy and her expertise and she fought along with Hope to save Anthony, you and I, we were just along for the ride."

Got to see a little boy get a chance to just be a normal little boy.

Hope to Patrick: "Thank you. God bless you, because if it wasn't for you, or Andrea, or Howard, my son would not get the help he needs Patrick, you are my guardian angel. I swear to God you are Anthony's guardian angel and I owe you so much for this, I really really do."

Finally Hope is wrong, Anthony has hope because of his mother's hope

Patrick told me Anthony called him the other day and said he would really like to get a dog to make sure Patrick didn't forget Anthony. faxed a picture of the kind of dog he wants he is getting better all right.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Florida Psychiatrist Barred From Prescribing Drugs


Dr. Rose


Psychiatrist-Michael l. Rose

Click here for full article


Miami Herald
North Miami Beach pain doctor barred from prescribing drugs

By Carol Marbin Miller
October 28, 2009


Florida's surgeon general has halted a North Miami Beach pain doctor from prescribing pain drugs and tranquilizers, saying in an emergency order that Dr. Michael I. Rose's ``excessively high doses'' of drugs left at least one patient ``at immediate risk of mortality.''


In an emergency administrative order signed last week, Surgeon General Ana M. Viamonte Ros restricted Rose from prescribing or dispensing any controlled substances. Rose is a psychiatrist who operates the 163rd Street Pain Clinic at 1131 NE 163rd St.

Viamonte Ros criticized Rose for prescribing hundreds of painkillers to a 45-year-old woman with HIV and scores of pain pills and tranquilizers to a 50-year-old man.

The order says the state Department of Health, will seek a ``formal restriction or discipline'' of Rose. Rose did not return calls seeking comment.



Emergency Restriction of Miami Psychiatrist

North Miami Beach pain doctor barred from prescribing drugs


North Miami Beach pain doctor barred from prescribing drugs

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New video: What's Wrong with Psychiatry? A psychiatrist explains...

What is wrong with psychiatry?

Dr. Niall McLaren, Practicing psychiatrist, 22 years, explains.

Dr. Niall McLaren

Watch this 2 minute video interview.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Three-quarters of NAMI's donations from Drug Companies


New York Times

Drug Makers Are Advocacy Group’s Biggest Donors


October 21, 2009

WASHINGTON — A majority of the donations made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one of the nation’s most influential disease advocacy groups, have come from drug makers in recent years, according to Congressional investigators.

The alliance, known as NAMI, has long been criticized for coordinating some of its lobbying efforts with drug makers and for pushing legislation that also benefits industry.

Last spring, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, sent letters to the alliance and about a dozen other influential disease and patient advocacy organizations asking about their ties to drug and device makers. The request was part of his investigation into the drug industry’s influence on the practice of medicine.

The mental health alliance, which is hugely influential in many state capitols, has refused for years to disclose specifics of its fund-raising, saying the details were private.

But according to investigators in Mr. Grassley’s office and documents obtained by The New York Times, drug makers from 2006 to 2008 contributed nearly $23 million to the alliance, about three-quarters of its donations.

Even the group’s executive director, Michael Fitzpatrick, said in an interview that the drug companies’ donations were excessive and that things would change.

“For at least the years of ’07, ’08 and ’09, the percentage of money from pharma has been higher than we have wanted it to be,” Mr. Fitzpatrick said.

He promised that the industry’s share of the organization’s fund-raising would drop “significantly” next year.

“I understand that NAMI gets painted as being in the pockets of pharmaceutical companies, and somehow that all we care about is pharmaceuticals,” Mr. Fitzpatrick said. “It’s simply not true.”

Mr. Fitzpatrick said Mr. Grassley’s scrutiny, which he described as understandable given the attention paid to potential conflicts of interest in medicine, had led his organization to begin posting on its Web site the names of companies that donate $5,000 or more. And he predicted that other patient and disease advocacy groups would be prodded by Mr. Grassley’s investigation to do the same.

“Everyone I talk to wants to have more balanced fund-raising,” Mr. Fitzpatrick said.

In a statement, Mr. Grassley praised the alliance for its disclosures. “It’d be good for the system for other patient groups to do what NAMI has done,” he said.

Mr. Grassley’s scrutiny has been unnerving for patient and disease advocacy groups, which are often filled with sincere people who are either afflicted with serious illnesses themselves or have family members who have been affected. Many join the groups in the hope of making sense of their misfortune by helping to find a cure or raising awareness of a disease’s risks and frequency.

Drug makers are natural allies in these pursuits since cures may come out of corporate laboratories and the industry’s money can help finance public service campaigns and fund-raising dinners. But industry critics have long derided some patient organizations as little more than front groups devoted to lobbying on issues that affect industry profits, and few have come under more scrutiny for industry ties than the mental health alliance.

For years, the alliance has fought states’ legislative efforts to limit doctors’ freedom to prescribe drugs, no matter how expensive, to treat mental illness in patients who rely on government health care programs like Medicaid. Some of these medicines routinely top the list of the most expensive drugs that states buy for their poorest patients.

Mr. Fitzpatrick defended these lobbying efforts, saying they were just one of many the organization routinely undertook.

The close ties between the alliance and drug makers were on stark display last week, when the organization held its annual gala at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on Constitution Avenue in Washington. Tickets were $300 each. Before a dinner of roasted red bell pepper soup, beef tenderloin and tilapia, Dr. Stephen H. Feinstein, president of the alliance’s board, thanked Bristol-Myers Squibb, the pharmaceutical company.

“For the past five years, Bristol-Myers has sponsored this dinner at the highest level,” Dr. Feinstein said.

He then introduced Dr. Fred Grossman, chief of neuroscience research at Bristol-Myers, who told the audience that “now, more than ever, our enduring relationship with NAMI must remain strong.”

Documents obtained by The New York Times show that drug makers have over the years given the mental health alliance — along with millions of dollars in donations — direct advice about how to advocate forcefully for issues that affect industry profits. The documents show, for example, that the alliance’s leaders, including Mr. Fitzpatrick, met with AstraZeneca sales executives on Dec. 16, 2003.

Slides from a presentation delivered by the salesmen show that the company urged the alliance to resist state efforts to limit access to mental health drugs.

“Solutions: Play Hard Ball,” one slide was titled. “Hold policy makers accountable for their decisions in media and in election,” it continued.

The alliance’s own slides concluded by saying, “We appreciate AstraZeneca’s strong support of NAMI.”

Mr. Fitzpatrick said that the alliance frequently had such meetings and that the organization would fight for better access to mental health drugs “even if we had no relationship with pharmaceutical companies.”

Tony Jewell, an AstraZeneca spokesman, said that the company was “committed to improving health through partnerships with nonprofit organizations” and that “includes striving to ensure people can access our medicines through formularies managed by state Medicaid agencies.”

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Parental Consent Act 2009




Contact your member of Congress to support The Parental Consent Act.


To find your Representative and get their contact information, go to to look them up (you need to enter your zip code).


Congressman Ron Paul's Parental Consent Act 2009

Ron PaulIn response to a federal push to screen all American children for "mental disorders" in schools, Congressman Ron Paul introduced the Parental Consent Act 2009 which prohibits federal funds from being used to establish or implement any universal mental health, psychiatric, or socioemotional screening programs in our schools. Considering there are currently bills before Congress which not only endorse and fund mental health screening of schoolchildren, but also establish school based health clinics to deliver such services, it is imperative that people urge their members of Congress to support the Parental Consent Act 2009.

Ron Pauls's Parental Concent Act 2009

Click here for the interview with Kent Snyder, Presidential Campaign Manager for Ron Paul on The Parental Consent Act

Click here to read about the Parental Consent Act in this blog entry from author and psychologist, Dr. John Breeding.


Friday, October 09, 2009

"What we believe"

Powerful video by the good folks over at CCHR:



Thursday, October 08, 2009

Alarmed lawmakers pledge action on psychiatric drugs in foster care

Senator Ronda Storms

Senator Ronda Storms


Video here: Capitol News Service, Foster Kids Over Medicated


Florida Times Union

Lawmakers pledge action on psychiatric drugs in foster care

By Brandon Larrabee

Oct. 8, 2009


TALLAHASSEE — Alarmed lawmakers said Wednesday they plan to push through legislation next year to try to prevent overuse of mind-altering drugs by foster children after the apparent suicide of a 7-year-old boy last April.

Members of the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee from both parties said the state needed to toughen laws and rules for prescribing psychiatric drugs to children in the wake of the hanging death of Gabriel Myers and an ongoing examination by a Department of Children and Families task force.

Jim Sewell, a former assistant commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and chair of the group, presented some of the task force’s findings to the committee at a meeting Wednesday.

But even as they pledged action, committee members and officials with DCF acknowledged that the state has tried before to get handle on the number of children taking psychiatric drugs and how the state goes about getting approval for those children to use the medications.

“It’s the same problem over and over and over again,” said Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico.

Storms said legislators would need to follow up on any laws it passes to ensure that the initiative would be more successful than past changes to the law.

It’s not entirely clear what measures might be included in the bill planned by the committee. Lawmakers will wait to hear recommendations expected to be released by Sewell’s task force in November.

One problem the legislation could address is the working group’s discovery that hundreds of foster children were taking psychiatric drugs, even though the department lacked proof that a parent or judge had approved the medications.

State officials have since whittled down that list, largely by gaining judicial approval for the drugs. Lawmakers and officials with the state agency seemed to agree that parental consent could be problematic because parents could feel compelled to accept the medicines so that the state will return their children.

DCF Secretary George Sheldon, who took over the agency late last year, said the death of Gabriel showed glaring weaknesses in the system.

“This little boy was flooded with services,” he said, “but nobody was acting as the child’s parent.”

Sen. Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville, said that’s one problem lawmakers should look to fix.

“Some place along the line, somebody’s got to be advocating for the children’s medical care,” he said.

Some lawmakers were also interested in tracking any agreements or incentives physicians might get from pharmaceutical companies for prescribing certain drugs. Sen. Tony Hill, D-Jacksonville, compared it to schools that get incentives from soda or junk-food makers for allowing vending machines in schools.

“If it’s not the schools making a profit off it, is it the doctors making a profit off it?” he asked.

Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Sarasota, also said the state should make sure foster parents know their responsibilities when caring for children in state care.

“Let’s be brutally honest: Foster-care parents get paid to do this,” she said. “I think the target audience here should be foster parents, too.”

Friday, October 02, 2009

NEW 2 min video: Psychiatric Drug Side Effects & free downloadable report

New Video: Psychiatric Drug Side Effects
A 2-minute video that could save a life.

Psych Drugs Side Effects

Watch it. Then download your free psychiatric
drug side effects report and pass it on.

CCHR International