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Some Key Findings
from the
World Assembly for
Mental Health

Joan E. Gadsby
Vancouver, Canada
July 24, 2001

"Prescription Drugs are Big Business" highlighting trends in pharmaceutical sales from 13 key world markets and the continued indiscriminate prescribing and usage trends for central nervous system drugs including benzodiazepines and antidepressants throughout the world.

Some key findings from the World Assembly For Mental Health, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, July 24, 2001 are:

  1. The extensive worldwide concurrent prescribing of benzodiazepines with antidepressants to approximately 60% of patients/consumers (often prescribed to counteract the effects of one category of drugs with the other).

  2. Many patients are prescribed several different benzodiazepines and several different antidepressants at the same time. Then in addition, in some cases, patients are further prescribed neuroleptics and then antipsychotics totally devastating their lives. It is not unusual to find patients on 3 - 7 different central nervous system drugs.

  3. The increasing prescribing and usage of antidepressants including Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and Luvox worldwide which also have significant side effects, including addiction, overdose potential and withdrawal (documented in the presentation).

  4. The creation by major international drug companies of expanded markets and new markets for these drugs and who spend billions of dollars in marketing and promotion.

  5. Substance use and mental illness co-exist in an estimated 50% - 70% of clients/patients diagnosed with "alleged" "psychiatric disorders". While it is recognized that some clients require these medications to treat specific medical conditions, it is also acknowledged that accurate diagnoses and good monitoring by doctors are key to determine how many disorders are in fact substance induced. (Reference DSMIV guidelines) i.e. substance induced anxiety disorders, substance induced mood disorders and substance induced depressive disorders. Many disorders disappear or lessen in severity once a patient is off these medications, when their usage is reduced, when they are appropriately prescribed, used and monitored and as a result of lifestyle and other significant changes.

    Joan E. Gadsby
    July 30, 2001

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Joan Gadsby's Main Page

Benzodiazepines – Time For Action And Accountability

Presentation – World Assembly For Mental Health

Responsible and Informed Use of Antidepressants

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