Tag Archives: antipsychotics

Now this, is the kind of mental therapy we can get behind—”Psychiatrist tries a different approach with dementia patients”

Dementia patients can get anxious to the point of violence while bathing, and this cheery beach mural is one of many small innovations that have lifted moods here in recent months. Under the direction of psychiatrist Dr. Miguel Rivera, caregivers at the Pines have deployed such simple spa comforts as music, massage and calming colors to help reduce agitation. As a result, dosages of antipsychotic medications have dropped to less than half the state average for this most challenging patient population. “I remember so many times walking through that old west hallway at the Pines” before the building was remodeled, he says. “After the first few years of me working there and seeing how people were overmedicated, and boredom was so prevailing, I remember — and I feel it right now — just walking down that hall, and praying, saying, ‘Please, God, show me a way.’ ” It was Rivera’s wife, Natasha, he says, who put him on a path to exploring alternatives to drugs. Both practitioners of TriYoga, they met in 2007 on a spiritual trip to India. By the end of the three-week stay, they were married. A year later, she joined him in Sarasota from her native Russia. And almost immediately, Rivera says, she changed the way he was doing his job.

Rivera soon found research on the use of music, massage and other therapies on dementia patients. His reading also led to the use of daily affirmations by Pines staffers, who tell the patients, “You are safe; you are loved; you are happy.” The result, says Westbrook of the Pines, was “this whole beautiful circle he has created here that has changed that unit.”

The New Child Abuse: The Psychiatric Diagnosing and Drugging of Our Children

Science and medicine have so successfully rationalized and justified our society’s most devastating and pervasive form of child abuse that it remains almost wholly unacknowledged, though it is known to every sentient adult and to most children. Probably every adult and half-grown child in America knows and can identify at least one child who is the victim of this abuse. Those who teach, coach, minister to or otherwise serve children may know dozens or even hundreds of children who are victims of the new child abuse. Our society’s particular form of child abuse is the psychiatric diagnosing and drugging of our children.

Nursing homes are seeking to end the psychiatric drug stupor

The dangers of [psychiatric ] drugs: The drugs are especially hazardous to older people, raising the risk of strokes, pneumonia, confusion, falls, diabetes and hospitalization. “There’s a bunch of problems, not least of which is those drugs can kill you,” said Dr. Mark Kunik at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston who spoke last month at the Gerontological Society of America’s annual meeting in New Orleans. Instead of looking for causes of disruptive behavior among dementia patients, doctors typically prescribe drugs to mask the symptoms, he said, because “It’s the easy thing to do. … That’s true in hospitals, in clinics and in nursing homes.” Federal regulators are cracking down on homes that don’t routinely reassess residents on psychotropic drugs. But use remains widespread.

“Sunshine: Best Rx for good medicine” by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

In the past few years, congressional investigations and state gift disclosure laws have raised eyebrows about these financial connections, especially where the amount that has been publicly reported is vastly less than what has actually been paid. For example, a congressional review I led from my position on the Senate Finance Committee revealed a troubling financial link between a drug maker and a child psychiatrist at Harvard, whose work led to a significant spike in diagnoses of pediatric bipolar disorders and prevalent use of antipsychotic medicines for children. Separately, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Wisconsin received more than $19 million from a medical device company, although he reported only receiving “more than $20,000” per year on his financial disclosure records to the university.

South Carolina Doctors Under Fraud Investigation After Writing Thousands of Antipsychotic & Painkiller Prescriptions

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, requested data from each state this year listing which doctors write the most prescriptions for eight common drugs covered by Medicaid, the federal health program for the poor. The reports were intended to “ensure that taxpayer dollars are appropriately spent,” Grassley wrote in a letter to state officials. The report detailed the top prescribers of the following drugs:Abilify, Geodon, Oxycontin, Risperdal, Roxicodone, Seroquel, Xanax, Zyprexa. Among the doctors getting the most reimbursements were a Columbia psychiatrist who wrote about 3,900 prescriptions for the drugs in question in 2008 and 2009. The doctor billed about $1.3 million to Medicaid, according to a Post and Courier review of the data.