Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Monday, August 10, 2009

GOOD Magazine: America's Problem Drugs

There is a drug use great graphic at this site. However it does not reflect that legal medications - pharmaceuticals - account for America's biggest addiction and fatality problems. The biggest "drug dealers" are listed on the Stock Exchange.

NYT: Mentally Ill Offenders Strain Juvenile System

Image of Pinocchio turning into a Donkey Boy after falling under bad influences. He is imprisoned and made into a slave. - Image adapted from Walt Disney.

As cash-starved states slash mental health programs in communities and schools, they are increasingly relying on the juvenile corrections system to handle a generation of young offenders with psychiatric disorders. About two-thirds of the nation’s juvenile inmates — who numbered 92,854 in 2006, down from 107,000 in 1999 — have at least one mental illness, according to surveys of youth prisons, and are more in need of therapy than punishment.

“We’re seeing more and more mentally ill kids who couldn’t find community programs that were intensive enough to treat them,” said Joseph Penn, a child psychiatrist at the Texas Youth Commission. “Jails and juvenile justice facilities are the new asylums.”

At least 32 states cut their community mental health programs by an average of 5 percent this year and plan to double those budget reductions by 2010, according to a recent survey of state mental health offices.


Study after study after study after study has proved that nutrition is the key to mental health. Good nutrition helps the brain form and function correctly and can assist young persons in avoiding impulsive decisions that lead to unhappy outcomes. Why don't we act on that information and help these people?
Food and vitamins are inexpensive; drugs and incarceration are not.

Image: Modern "Panopticon"- style prison

Prisons are big business.

“Incarceration, Inc.,” by Sasha Abramsky, The Nation, July 19, 2004, 16 p.
Prisons thrive on cheap labor and the hunger of job-starved towns.

“The prison industry in the United States: big business or a new form of slavery?” by Vicky Pelaez, El Diario-La Prensa, New York, October 13, 2005, 7 p.
The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up.

What don't we know about the pharmaceutical industry?

A NYT Freakonomics quorum.

From the page:
Dr. Harlan Krumholz, professor of medicine, epidemiology, and public health at Yale:

"Science and the public good in a capitalist society depend on the free flow of unbiased information, but it doesn’t always work that way. Events are revealing that many pharmaceutical companies, along with their consulting academic physicians, have engaged in practices that obscure or misrepresent information about their products. Does the public realize the depth of these practices, and their implications for patient care?

Most physicians continue their education and keep up to date with new science by attending lectures given by experts, with the assumption that the information they hear is unbiased. But pharmaceutical companies regularly pay high-profile scientists and physicians, either directly or indirectly, to speak on topics relevant to their products. At a scientific meeting in Europe, I watched an American colleague — a famous cardiologist who was being well compensated for his participation — practice his upcoming speech in front of drug company marketers. After his practice talk, they replaced some slides with ones that presented their drug in a more favorable light. The speaker initially resisted the change, but finally acceded, and his talk the next day was a strong endorsement of his sponsor’s drug."