The daily newspaper for Eugene, Oregon, USA — The Register-Guard — ran a guest commentary by long-time mental health worker Chuck Areford highly critical of the powerful psychiatric drugs known as neuroleptics or antipsychotics. This was followed by a guest perspective by a psychiatrist defending the drugs, as well as letters to the editor. Now Ron Unger, a mental health counselor and coordinator for MindFreedom Lane County, has weighed in. Follow the debate here, as well as links to research, citations, etc.

Debate in The Register-Guard newspaper continues about antipsychotic psychiatric drugs

Chuck Areford, long-time mental health worker, began the debate in the pages of The Register-Guard by critically of the antipsychotics, also known as neuroleptic psychiatric drugs.

Debate in The Register-Guard about Neuroleptic Psychiatric Drugs

Here is an overview of the debate so far in the pages of The Register-Guard about antipsychotic psychiatric drugs, also known as neuroleptics. Below is more information, including a link to helpful resources, citations and sources of information for Ron Unger’s most recent guest commentary on 1 April 2008.


  • 16 March 2008: Original guest commentary by mental health worker Chuck Areford that began the debate, “Antipsychotic drugs are doing harm.”
  • 16 March 2008: Version of Chuck’s guest commentary above with references to citations.
  • 25 March 2008: Guest commentary reply by psychiatrist Richard Staggenborg, MD, “Antipsychotic meds have proven role.”
  • 27 March 2008: By coincidence, during this same month neuroleptic drugs are debate, there is also a debate in the commentary section of The Register-Guard about the wisdom of allowing pharmaceutical industry gifts to doctors. This included an article about physician Gail Hacker who refuses such gifts, guest column (Mr. Smyly, by a pharamceutical rep), a letter to the editor, and a response by Dr. Hacker. To read this whole simultaneous debate click here.
  • 29 March 2008: Two letters to the editor were published in The Register-Guard in support of Chuck’s article, that you can read here: a letter by Hugh Massengill and a letter by David W. Oaks, Director, MindFreedom International.
  • 1 April 2008: Mental health counselor Ron Unger weighs in on the debate, responding to Dr. Straggenborg. Here is Ron’s guest commentary as submitted to The Register-Guard.
  • 7 April 2008: University of Oregon Professor Pam Birrell, PhD adds her voice to the debate, saying that non-drug approaches in mental health care are possible and workable. To read her letter click here.
  • Here are those helpful resources, citations and sources of information for Ron Unger’s 1 April 2008 article.
  • MindFreedom has a Mad Market of helpful books on these topics! Here in our Eugene office, we have a free lending library with many of these books. Or you can go to our online store by clicking on Watch for books such as Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry, and Coming off Psychiatric Drugs.
  • See “Related Content” at the bottom of this web page for links to more information in this MindFreedom web site “knowledge base” about psychiatric drugs and the psychiatric drug industry.

Find out more about MindFreedom:

Wherever you live, learn about MindFreedom International, one of the main independent grassroots groups working for human rights and alternatives in psychiatry. More MFI information is on this site in our “About Us” section.

Be sure to join MindFreedom! You can join by walking into the office, phoning up, or logging onto the secure “join area” of this web site. For info on how to join click here.

For those of you live in Lane County, here’s some special information:

Welcome readers of The Register-Guard in Lane County!

If you live in the Eugene area, you have an advantage: This is where the office of MindFreedom International is located! You can phone us at 541-345-9106 or e-mail to Or drop by our office. Here’s our contact info. We have a free lending library with many of the books in our Mad Market.

Learn more here in Lane County!

Please note there is a special free event sponsored by MindFreedom in the Eugene Public Library, Wednesday, 2 April 2008, at 5:30 pm: A speaker from India, Bhargavi Davar, PhD, will discuss mental health concerns in poor and developing countries. Why are their outcomes better than in the developed world, such as in the USA? What is the future of globalization of the psychiatric industry. For more info on this special free event click here.

Get active!

Especially if you are local, please consider submitting your own letter to the editor of The Register-Guard. The iron is hot. The debate is on. Please e-mail in your personal story and/or an important fact now. Click here for info on how to submit a letter to the editor to the RG.

MindFreedom has activities going on globally, state-wide in Oregon and here in Lane County, including:

  • E-mail news and discussion lists both for Lane County and State of Oregon so you can keep getting the news! Sign up for Oregon news list here. Sign up for Lane County news list here.
  • An “Opal Network” in Lane County is encouraging all who support the voice of mental health clients to unite. Click here to learn about the April meeting: 29 April 2008.
  • MindFreedom is helping to launch a new state-wide coalition called “OCSC.”
  • And more!

For information about Oregon activities click here. For information about Lane County activities click here.