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Coalition of 100 Mental Health Advocacy Groups Condemns Psychiatric Drug Implants

MINDFREEDOM NEWS RELEASE: 25 September 2003

A coalition of 100 advocacy groups working in the mental health field is condemning experiments with psychiatric drug implants. The Executive Director for MindFreedom Support Coalition International said, "These psychiatric drug implant devices currently in development are inherently coercive. They violate core principles of self-determination, empowerment and human rights. We ask for an immediate halt, and an investigation."

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania announced they are now experimenting with surgically-implantable discs capable of releasing neuroleptic psychiatric drugs for five months, and potentially up to a year. Researchers are apparently concerned about public reaction to the controversy, because today, 25 Sept., they hold what they are calling a "free public forum" in Philadelphia on the implant issue.

MindFreedom has created a special area of its web site on implants, including information on today's event, latest news and background: www.MindFreedom.org.

"Informed consent for neuroleptic use is a complete disaster," said Oaks. "Coercion and force are commonplace. Humane alternatives to a chemical-based approach have been shown to work, but are seldom offered in the USA mental health system."

Mainstream medical studies cited by MindFreedom's web site point to risks that are not on a list of hazards posted by implant researchers for their forum: Recent MRI and CT scan studies, plus autopsy and animal studies, reveal that neuroleptic drug use is associated with major structural changes to the size and shape of the brain. Their "risk list" also omits death. At the first sign of "neuroleptic malignant syndrome," for example, neuroleptics should be stopped, which is more difficult to do with an implant

MindFreedom is calling for a congressional investigation. Oaks said, "The psychiatric drug industry is helping to fund these experiments. The Stanley Foundation, another of the main implant funders, is also the main funder of lobbying campaigns to promote more forced psychiatry. This isn't real science. This is part of a chemical crusade."

MindFreedom Support Coalition International is a Non-Governmental Organization with Consultative Roster Status in the United Nations. This non-profit founded in 1987 now unites 100 Sponsor Groups to win human rights & alternatives in mental health.

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Ted Chabasinski

Ted received electroshock at the age of six, and spent 10 years of his youth locked up inside a state psychiatric institution. He became a psychiatric survivor movement leader in 1971, and later became an attorney. He has served on the board of MindFreedom International for several years. (Photo by Tom Olin)
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