Shep

Chow, 2016 How has the extent of institutional mental healthcare changed in Western Europe? Analysis of data since 1990

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Commentary: Although this article does not involve a particular psychiatric drug, it draws a clear parallel to the research of Dr. Martin Harrow's naturalistic study described in Robert Whitaker's "Anatomy of an Epidemic", as well as on the Mad in America website. (Interpreting Harrow’s 20-Year Results: Are the Drugs to Blame?). 

 

As the rates of psychiatric drug prescriptions rise, both the disability rates and the incarceration rates rise. This is not conclusive of a treatment that works.  As the below study concludes, the reason for the trend is unclear; however, this new study brings an issue to light which may encourage more research and further discredit psychiatry's claims that their treatments are in any way effective or humane.

 

Again, the below research does not come to any definitive conclusion. Additional issues to consider include SSRI-induced violence and iatrogenic reactions to other types of prescription drugs such as opiates and stimulants.  The growing movement to criminalize homelessness and poverty also becomes a driving force in the rise of mental illness and rising prison rates, as documented in current social justice literature. Although the below study is in Western Europe, the US has seen the most dramatic rise in incarceration of any country, as well as in the increasing financial ties between the pharmaceutical companies and the for-profit prison labor force.

 

One of the roots of the disastrous "chemical imbalance" narrative goes back to the inaccurate theory that chlorpromazine (Thorazine) emptied out mental institutions beginning in the 1950's. But since the SSRI and stimulant epidemics began in the 90's, it's clear that narrative was more science fiction than fact - Whitaker, Harrow, and now this study show that mental illness has not been reduced. It's just been relocated.

 

 

 

 

BMJ Open. 2016 Apr 29;6(4):e010188. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010188

How has the extent of institutional mental healthcare changed in Western Europe? Analysis of data since 1990

Chow WS1, Priebe S1.

 

Abstract - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27130161

 

Full article - http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/4/e010188.long

 

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

It has been suggested that since 1990, de-institutionalisation of mental healthcare in Western Europe has been reversed into re-institutionalisation with more forensic beds, places in protected housing services and people with mental disorders in prisons. This study aimed to identify changes in the numbers of places in built institutions providing mental healthcare in Western Europe from 1990 to 2012, and to explore the association between changes in psychiatric bed numbers and changes in other institutions.

 

SETTINGS AND DATA:

Data were identified from 11 countries on psychiatric hospital beds, forensic beds, protected housing places and prison populations. Fixed effects regression models tested the associations between psychiatric hospital beds with other institutions.

 

RESULTS:

The number of psychiatric hospital beds decreased, while forensic beds, places in protected housing and prison populations increased. Overall, the number of reduced beds exceeded additional places in other institutions. There was no evidence for an association of changes in bed numbers with changes in forensic beds and protected housing places. Panel data regression analysis showed that changes in psychiatric bed numbers were negatively associated with rising prison populations, but the significant association disappeared once adjusted for gross domestic product as a potential covariate.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Institutional mental healthcare has substantially changed across Western Europe since 1990. There are ongoing overall trends of a decrease in the number of psychiatric hospital beds and an increase in the number of places in other institutions, including prisons. The exact association between these trends and their drivers remains unclear. More reliable data, information on the characteristics of patients in different institutions, long-term pathway analyses and effectiveness studies are required to arrive at evidence-based policies for the provision of institutional mental healthcare.

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Thanks for posting this interesting article Shep.

 

increasing financial ties between the pharmaceutical companies and the for-profit prison labor force.

Gee i wonder what this is all about. The mind boggles.

Sounds like the iatrogenically harmed are not the only things that are being relocated.

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Thanks for posting this interesting article Shep.

 

increasing financial ties between the pharmaceutical companies and the for-profit prison labor force.

Gee i wonder what this is all about. The mind boggles.

Sounds like the iatrogenically harmed are not the only things that are being relocated.

 

 

Yes, the financial ties are there. In fact, most of the pharma companies are involved, along with many other large corporations - https://www.buycott.com/campaign/companies/504/boycott-companies-that-use-prison-labor

 

It's hard to find much about this in mainstream media, which is owned by only six corporations now - http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6 And many corporate advertisements for mainstream news are coming from big pharma - ads for the latest and greatest new drugs.

 

Like you said, the mind boggles. It really does.

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This will cease to be profitable once the prisoners have been on the drugs long enough to start suffering the ill effects.  

 

Maybe that can change the profit model?

 

Or is a sick, drug dependant prisoner cheaper than a well, productive one?  (scratches head)

 

yet that seems to be what we're doing to society as a whole, too.  It's like a microcosm of the greater society, except that it's the prison population.

 

Makes me glad I no longer live in the USA.  But it's heartbreaking still.

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Yes, for-profit prisons make profits in many ways. Large corporations use prison labor, but once someone is sick, it's the pharmaceutical companies that benefit.

 

This is PubMed article about research done in a prison in Madrid - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23128679

 

There are signs that compassive use of the latest generation of antipsychotics and antiepileptics, and the newer antidepressants are a main cause of the dramatic increase in cost, and cost efficiency has not always been clearly demonstrated.

 

So big pharma is is definitely profiting from this in the US, UK, as well as many other countries. It's really global at this point. The US is definitely worse because of the failed war on drugs and mass incarceration, especially for non-violent drug offenses. And we all know how psychiatrists like to turn the side effects of street drugs into "unmasking" illnesses like bipolar disorder. 

 

And once people are released from prison, they aren't always provided consistent followup care. You have to wonder how much recidivism is a result of cold turkey withdrawal. This creates even more mental illness and the epidemic rages on. 

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