7, 1999 5:57 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
for Public Accuracy
Husseini, (202) 347-0020 or (202) 332-5055
David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
- June 7 - The White House Conference on Mental Health convened today in Washington.
These policy analysts are available for interviews:
DR. PETER BREGGIN, (301) 652-5580, http://www.breggin.com
Author of "Talking Back to Prozac" and "Talking Back to Ritalin: What Doctors
Aren't Telling You About Stimulants for Children," Breggin said: "Psychiatric
drugs are far more dangerous than the public is led to believe. The White House
conference is trying to sell the American public on psychiatric drugs and involuntary
SALLY ZINMAN, (916) 443-3232, http://www.cnmhc.org
Director of the California Network of Mental Health Clients, Zinman took part
in Monday's White House Conference on Mental Health. She is among several invitees
calling upon Tipper Gore and the administration to oppose the increased use of
involuntary psychiatric treatment. Zinman said: "I hope to raise consciousness
about the drive across the country to expand forced treatment. It's a drive that
is fueled by demonizing people with psychiatric disabilities as causing violence
in the country. I want to raise awareness of the mental patients' movement and
its achievements in the last 25 years including the self-help peer support programs
that exist across the country."
DAVID OAKS, (541) 345-9106, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Co-coordinator of the Support Coalition International, Oaks said: "We have several
concerns about the approach that focuses on forced psychiatric drugging instead
of on support services and alternatives people can voluntarily use. There are
studies of MRI and CT scans that show the shape and size of the brain change as
the result of the long-term use of the neuroleptic drugs. This makes it far more
difficult for patients to come off these drugs and can result in patients being
left with even worse emotional and mental problems. There are also two recent
studies which show African Americans are especially hard hit by the drugs typically
used in psychiatric procedures. They tend to be given the more powerful neuroleptic
drugs more quickly, more frequently, and at higher dosages than whites. We are
seeing an attitude that all behavioral problems have a biochemical cause and therefore
a biochemical solution. This view is being pushed by the pharmaceutical industry.
Already 39 states have laws on the books under which people can be ordered to
take drugs on an out-patient basis, even in their own homes."
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