Ventura County Star, March 24, 2011
by Tom Kisken
Nearly 25 percent of the residents in California’s nursing homes are placed on antipsychotic drugs, often used as sort of a chemical leash to control behavior in a trend a watchdog called an epidemic Thursday at a symposium.
The drugs can double the risk of death for seniors with dementia and cause side effects ranging from stroke to delirium, according to speakers at an Oxnard conference called “Toxic Medicine.” Often the drugs are given in nursing homes or other facilities for dementia without the informed consent of residents or surrogates and are used as a restraint rather than to treat psychiatric conditions.
Over the past decade the use of the drugs has evolved from a sniffle to a flu to something much worse, said Sylvia Taylor Stein, of the Long Term Care Services of Ventura County ombudsman program.
“By 2010 we had an epidemic,” she said in a symposium organized by her group and the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. It was attended by a packed house of nursing home leaders, assisted-living administrators, elder abuse lawyers and state licensing agencies.
Some at the conference linked the use of antipsychotics to staff shortages that make it impossible for employees to properly care for patients, state cuts in mental health programs that have brought more patients with psychiatric problems to long-term care facilities and doctors who have a drug-first mentality when it comes to long-term care residents.
Read the rest of the article here: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/24/use-of-chemical-restraints-in-nursing-homes-an/#ixzz1Hd9VUKAg
For More on Antipsychotic Drug Side Effects :
To read summaries of international studies and warnings on antipsychotic drugs, simply type in Antipsychotic in the Search box or use the drop down menus here: https://www.cchrint.org/psychdrugdangers/drug_warnings.php
To read side effects reported to the US FDA on antipsychotics, visit CCHR’s FDA Medwatch reports and choose Antipsychotics at the very bottom of the Drug Name/Drug Class drop down menu and choose age 65 to 99 in the Age Range menu here https://www.cchrint.org/psychdrugdangers/medwatch_psych_drug_adverse_reactions.php