Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Shocking misuse of dangerous zombie-drugs on developmentally disabled people

Something must be done now to stop what is happening. Please take action!

"Data from the National Core Indicators project, a national database run by the Human Services Research Institute and the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disability Services, shows that the percentage of people with developmental disabilities receiving psychotropic medications is much higher than the percentage who have the co-occurring mental health conditions that might justify their use. The long term side effects of such inappropriate medication include obesity, diabetes, long term brain damage, injury, and even death."

"I saw people being medicated to control behavior to such a degree that to me it was obviously and clearly affecting their health, their safety, their quality of life, their ability to participate in the daily activities of living, and in some cases threatened their lives"

"And even the use of the drugs to control behavior is questionable. A 2008 study published in the medical journal The Lancet found that psychotropic drugs like Risperdal were less effective at treating behavioral outbursts than placebos."

"Ms. Vargha protested after her sister, 47, was given as much as 360 milligrams per day; the maximum dosage recommended by the Food and Drug Administration is 160 milligrams."

"At the same time, state officials conceded in records obtained by The Times that they did not really know what her diagnosis was; assessing her has been complicated by the fact that Ms. Vargha’s sister is far more fluent in Persian than English."

No proper assessment and no clear diagnosis but regardless this poor woman was put on an elephant's dose of one of those horrendous neuroleptic anti-psychotic drugs? I'd be shocked if this happened in some busted-arse backwater of country, so I'm completely at a loss to understand how such deplorably low standards of medical and social care can be tolerated in the United States of America.

"....people with developmental disabilities in group homes in New York are more likely to be given Ativan, an anti-anxiety drug that also serves as a tranquilizer, than multivitamins."

"... records examined by The Times show that some developmentally disabled residents received psychotropic drugs without ever getting a clear diagnosis of mental illness. Even among those who have a mental illness, the records indicate that the state’s use of the drugs can be overly aggressive."

Tell New York to Stop the Chemical Restraint of People with Disabilities (petition)

In Treating Disabled, Potent Drugs and Few Rules.
by Danny Hakim
New York Times
December 22nd 2011

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