Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tranquillizers: They can kill you fast...or kill you slow

Tranquilizers can kill you fast - or kill you slow. They deplete glutathione and cause premature aging. Doctors should not just give pills for anxiety without proper diagnosis of underlying physical conditions - nor for extended periods of time - creating "accidental addicts", morbidity and mortality.

Heath Ledger, star of “Brokeback Mountain”, died in 2008 of a prescription cocktail of anti-anxiety medications, pain killers and an antihistamine. ABC News states, “According to the medical examiner’s office, Ledger took “prescribed therapeutic doses … or less” of each medication he ingested…”
The cocktail consisted of -
Oxycodone – Pain Medication
Hydrocodone – Pain Medication
Diazepam (Valium) – Anti-Anxiety Medication
Alprazolam (Xanax and Niravam) – Anti-Anxiety Medication
Doxylamine – Antihistamine

Have you been given a benzodiazepine as "medicine" for an undiagnosed physical condition? To identify which physical problems might create mental symptoms, start with Blake Graham's excellent checklist. PDF

If you are considering withdrawing from benzos, you will want the best information you can find. Withdrawal has to be done carefully to prevent causing further harm. Please check out this great guide - by benzodiazepine withdrawal expert Dr. Heather Ashton - it's FREE.

Dr. Ashton tells us what benzos do in the body -

Dr. Breggin writes about the effects of benzodiazepines on behavior and personality

Wikipedia has an article on long-term effects of benzodiazepine use -

Supplementing GABA - a natural substance which benzos were designed to replace - may be a better solution - and may be right for many of us.
Margot Kidder is probably the best-known person who has overcome substance abuse and regained mental stability with GABA. Read about her recovery here -

GABA is available at the Life Extension Foundation - here.

Do cell phones cause psychiatric illness?

Do cell phones cause psychiatric illness? This psychotherapist thinks so - and wrote about it. Read at Scribd - decide for yourself.


About Stephen King's sci-fi novel CELL

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ontario taxpayers pay out $1.1 billion in decade reimbursing doctors for malpractice fees

Right to know doctors' deal

(Feb 10, 2009)
For many professionals, insurance is one of the costs of doing business. That holds true for the province's doctors.
Where doctors differ, though, is that most of the cost of their insurance is picked up by the taxpayers.
As The Spectator revealed Saturday, Ontario taxpayers have spent $1.1 billion in the past decade reimbursing doctors for most of the cost of their malpractice fees. Last year, it amounted to about $112 million.
The doctors themselves paid $24 million collectively. That means we -- the taxpayers, the patients -- covered about 83 per cent of the cost of malpractice insurance.
There is an argument to be made that this makes sense. Doctors' incomes are restricted by the province, so it's logical that the province, using taxpayers' money, would cover at least part of the cost of insurance. Doctors are essentially employees of the province, although they would likely argue strenuously against that kind of definition. No doctor would practise without malpractice insurance; if we want people to become doctors, it's reasonable for the employer -- that's us -- to pay some of their insurance fees. It becomes a recruitment tool as well, which takes on more importance, given the shortages of doctors in many Ontario municipalities.
But the situation is also an outrage. These are, by and large, high-income earners who have a sweetheart deal with the province. And that's not only because they don't have to pay the bulk of their sometimes substantial insurance premiums. If they do face a lawsuit, their insurance covers representation by high-powered attorneys who seem averse to coming to reasonable settlements and prefer to draw out the legal proceedings as long as possible. And who pays for that? We do.
At the same time, those who take doctors to court over alleged malpractice are left to finance their own fight as best they can. In effect, the provincial government is funding one side of a legal battle, but not the other. The playing field is anything but level.
This situation raises many troubling questions. Is it possible that some doctors might not be as careful as they should be because this arrangement provides a safety net for them? Is it possible that some doctors might not take the outcomes of legal proceedings as seriously as they should because there is virtually no impact on their income streams? Does it make them less accountable to legal decisions?
The only reason we know anything about this at all is that a divisional court panel ordered the release late last year of details of this agreement between the provincial Health Ministry, the Ontario Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Protective Association. The court ruling came after a Freedom of Information request.
It is absolutely reasonable that those who foot the bills -- that would be us -- have a right to this information. And we should be able to exercise that right without being forced to go to court. At the very least, we should be able to expect some public accountability, perhaps through the Ontario ombudsman's office. After all, it is our money.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How the west won mental health thinking

"The way the west reacts to natural disasters such as the tsunami of 2004 and latterly the Japanese earthquake – namely by parachuting in counsellors and "trauma experts" into disaster zones to offer psychological first aid – is just one highly visible illustration of the growing dominance of western mental health orthodoxy, Watters argues. What if a group of shamans had turned up in Manhattan knocking on doors in the wake of 9/11 offering to counsel traumatised survivors, he asks. Is that the cultural equivalent to dispatching British and American counsellors who "don't speak the language and don't understand the culture" they are trying to help?"