Long-time human rights activist and psychaitric survivor Hugh Massengill weighs into the debate in the pages of The Register-Guard about the role of neuroleptic psychiatric drugs, also known as antipsychotics. The debate began when mental health worker Chuck Areford wrote a hard-hitting commentary critical of neuroleptics that was published 16 March 2008 in the paper.

letter to editor

29 March 2008 – The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon, USA

Drugs can influence treatment

Chuck Areford’s gutsy guest viewpoint (Register-Guard, March 16) shed light on a dark truth: The mental health system has allowed itself to be prostituted by drug company billions and thus sometimesallowed clients to die.

The fact that if one enters the community mental health system, one loses an astounding 25 years of life-span is devastating.

Studies have shown that it isn’t genetic or biological reasons that often cause psychosis; it is trauma. And recent large studies have shown that the billions spent on anti-depressant pills largelyhave been wasted.

The Eugene Human Rights Commission, after years of work by its Mental Health and Human Rights Subcommittee, has voted to pass on to the Eugene City Council a “resolution affirming the city’s commitment to human rights within mental health care.” It asks that, “All mental health services offered within the city of Eugene incorporate self-determination and consumer choice as much as possible, with accurate information provided to consumers about those choices. Special emphasis should be placed on providing alternatives wherever possible to treatments, such as many medications in current use, which are known to have substantial risk of harm.”

I urge the council to strongly consider and pass the resolution.

Hugh Massengill


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