Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Presidential report ties violence to substance abuse

A recent article from Slate Magazine discusses the inaccuracy and stigma surrounding the term "schizophrenic." The part of the article that actually interests me is the quotation from the presidential commission report in 2003 (President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health) that linked violence in schizophrenia to substance abuse. Isn't it more than high time that the current presidential initiative on gun violence begins to ask the important questions: Could ingestion of legally prescribed brain altering chemicals into your body also be considered a form of substance abuse? If not, why not? If the answers received indicate "yes," then, in order to prevent the kinds of violence we have witnessed in Newtown, Aurora, etc., what further initiatives can be taken regarding the widespread use of psychiatric medication by the general public?

Slate: According to a 2003 report by a presidential commission on mental health, an alarming “61 percent of Americans think that people with schizophrenia are likely to be dangerous to others.” The report continues: “However, in reality, these individuals are rarely violent. If they are violent, the violence is usually tied to  substance abuse."

Since it is highly unlikely that the current government will accept that logic that brain altering chemicals are brain altering chemicals, whether legally prescribed or obtained on a street corner or in the comfort of our own homes, then it is up to we the people, to say loud and clear, psychiatric medications are a form of substance abuse, especially when prescribed for too long, at too high doses, and in tandem with too many other medications.

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