Sunday, March 30, 2008

Interview with a Member of the Novus Detox Facility Staff - Part1

My brother - Monty - works at at medical detox facility called Novus LLC, which deals with people mainly addicted to prescription drugs. He is a very busy guy and works directly with drug addicts. I asked him if he would do a email interview and here is the first part of that interview:

Q: What do you do for a living?

A: I work at a medical detox facility in New Port Richey FL, It is called Novus LLC.

Q: Do you run across psychiatric drug addicts in your line of work?

A: Yes, absolutely! I see them all them time. I would say that the (drug) most widely prescribed and addicted to would be the Benzodiazepine Xanax.

Q: Which psychiatric drugs would you say are addictive?

A: Hmm... That is a good question, I would first like to give you a good explanation of what being addicted would be:
A person who is physically dependent on a drug is not necessarily addicted.
Addiction is the continued use of a drug because of the way that one feels after taking the drug—often described as a type of euphoria feeling or a "mellow" feeling or sometimes, in the case of many drugs, to not feel a certain way.
The more one is addicted, the more one's use of the drug becomes compulsive despite negative consequences which can be severe. Addicted people will often lie, doctor shop, sell and buy drugs on the street, deny drug use if asked and, in short, do things that they would never do otherwise.
If the addicted person stops or reduces their use of a drug, in almost every case the addicted person will experience withdrawal symptoms associated with the drug.
Having stated this I would say that the Benzo's are addictive and let me explain what these are: Benzodiazepines ("Benzos") are drugs that were first marketed in the 1960's for the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, seizures, convulsions and as muscle relaxants. Today these drugs account for about one out of every five prescriptions for controlled substances. Benzos like ProSom, Dalmane, Doral, Restoril and Halcion are often prescribed for insomnia. Klonopin is often prescribed for the treatment of seizure disorders. Ativan, Centrax, Librium, Paxipam, Serax, Valium, and Xanax are often prescribed for the treatment of anxiety.

Q: What kind of withdrawal symptoms could one expect to encounter if they are trying to get off psychiatric drugs? I know the answer varies with the drug, but can you give me a general idea?

A: As you stated that this can widely vary but you can have anything from being nervous to having a Grand Mal Seizure. I know that if not weened off these in the correct medical environment you can die from withdrawals of Xanax.

Thanks Monty, for this informative look at prescription drug addiction! I look forward to talking with my big brother more about the prescription psychiatric drugs he has run into in his employment with

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sex as an Occupational Hazard?

The New York Post reports Dr. Glen Gabbard, a psychiatrist who treats his peers for sexual misconduct saying: "We all have to practice as if this (sexual misconduct) could happen to us - it's an occupational hazard to which we are all vulnerable."

How creepy is that? When I saw this and all the other psychiatrists and psychologists who said that they had been involved in sexual relations with their patients, I decided to do a little research. I did a quick search and found the following articles,
a psychiatrist being charged with predatory behavior, a prison psychologist having an affair with a patient,a shocking report of psychiatrists involved in sexual misconduct.

There are more, but those are just a few links to check out. It's strange to think that those we trust with our sanity do such insane things themselves.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Schoolboy Suffers from Suicidal Side Effect of Ritalin

This article reports the tragic death of 15 year old Anthony Cole, who hung himself after being on Ritalin for 6 years. From the report, it seems like it was a premeditated suicide - days before his suicide he had asked about how to write a will and about life insurance, an hour before he was found dead he had cuddled his parents and told them that he loved them.

My heart goes out to his parents, his brother and sisters, his friends and extended family. I don't understand why parents are still allowing their children to take these drugs, I can only guess that it's because the side effects are not being taken seriously. They are very real and very serious.

If you know someone on Ritalin, please make sure they know the side effects and have fully evaluated their decision to take it.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

FDA Approves Abilify for Kids

*Warning – Excessive Sarcasm*
Great, just what we need - another psychiatric drug. This one's even approve for kids. The FDA recently approved Abilify for "Pediatric Bipolar Illness".
The facts are these: The symptoms for "Pediatric Bipolar Illness" sound like the growing pains most children go through. Here are the symptoms, and you can decide:

- An expansive or irritable mood (so if the kid is overly happy or overly irritable, they are mentally ill)

- Extreme sadness or lack of interest in play (if the other kids hate him or her - or vice versa)

- Rapidly changing moods lasting a few hours to a few days (ever seen a kid go from 0-60 in 1.3 seconds when they are hungry or tired? Could it be that it's a deficiency in food or sleep?)

- Explosive, lengthy, and often destructive rages (No tantrums allowed!)

- Separation anxiety (You can't love your parents and be worried that the people who have been around you constantly for the past five or so years are now leaving you with strangers)

- Defiance of authority (You must all be mindless drones)

- Hyperactivity, agitation, and distractibility (If you don't understand what your teacher is saying, so you get bored or distracted, you must have a mental illness)

- Sleeping little or, alternatively, sleeping too much (Who judges what "sleeping too much or too little" is in a child?)

- Bed wetting and night terrors (You know when you watched Terminator the other night? You now have a mental disorder. Enjoy.)

- Strong and frequent cravings, often for carbohydrates and sweets (Have a sweet tooth?! You MUST be crazy)

- Excessive involvement in multiple projects and activities (Can you multi-task? Can't have that. You might grow up to be capable of thinking for yourself)

- Impaired judgment, impulsively, racing thoughts, and pressure to keep talking
dare-devil behaviors (You react to peer pressure? You want to find out how high you can climb up that tree? Nutcase)

- Inappropriate or precocious sexual behavior (Your parents were too embarrassed to explain what your body is or does, so you are trying to figure it out? or You react to peer pressure? Off to the nuthouse with you! or better yet, let's give you a drug to make it all better)

- Delusions and hallucinations (hmmm... can't do much commenting on that one)

- Grandiose belief in own abilities that defy the laws of logic (ability to fly, for example) ( I guess R. Kelly is mentally ill then) - Note, the first comment in parentheses is not mine, it is actually on the list of symptoms. My comment is the R. Kelly one.

Okay, I know that this post is far more sarcastic than what I've posted before, but it makes me so mad I could spit that the FDA would approve a drug to "cure" kids of some specious disease. Look at the side-effects this drug has:

- Extrapyramidal Disorder (common extrapyramidal disorders are diseases like Parkinsons and they often cause strokes). Five percent of people who take Abilify got extrapyramidal disorder.
- Thoughts of hurting yourself
- Restlessness
- Headache or Anxiety
- Seizures
- Urinating less than usual or not at all
- Jaundice
- Insomnia
- Jerky muscle movements you cannot control
- Nausea
- Drowsiness, Dizziness or Weakness
- Choking or trouble swallowing
- Feeling faint

The list goes on. Look over these side-effects and look what the drug is supposed to cure. Do they look similar to you? Would you put your child on a drug like this?
Also, does anyone know if any studies done or any proofs presented with regard their being a connection between childhood "mental illness" (which, as I said above, sound a lot like growing pains to me) and adult "mental illness"?