Largely because of the unprecedented marketing by the pharmaceutical industry as well as the transition of behavioral health to primary care venues, spending for psychiatric drugs has increased to over $40 billion in sales in 2010. Concurrently, the use of psychotherapy has declined and community behavioral health intervention has fallen or remained flat. Are these patterns justified by the clinical trial evidence?
This conference answered that question but more importantly offered effective, empirically demonstrated non-medical solutions for behavioral and emotional problems typically treated only with psychotropics.
Psychotropic Medications: Problems and Solutions
Robert Whitaker has investigated the astonishing rise in the number of people enrolled in government disability due to mental illness over the past 20 years. He shared his research on how psychiatric medications affect the long-term course of schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorders. Additionally, he highlighted innovative programs in Europe that might be models for reforming care in the United States.
How and Why to Stop Taking Psychotropic Medications
David Cohen, PhD, LCSW, presented an up-to-date critical review of psychiatric drug withdrawal, tapering, and dose reduction strategies described in the medical literature, along with recommendations for client-centered work around drug withdrawal issues.