Psychbuster Event

June 22nd, 2006 | Events and Photos

22 June 2006

AbleChild's parent members and children rallied against labels and drugs on June 22, 2006 in West Haven , CT. Members protested outside the Savin Rock Conference Center where a “Children's Behavioral Health Expo” was being held.

AbleChild’s parent members and children rallied against labels and drugs on June 22, 2006 in West Haven , CT. Members protested outside the Savin Rock Conference Center where a “Children’s Behavioral Health Expo” was being held.

Calls Come For FDA ADHD Panel Member to Step Down

January 5th, 2006 | Press Releases

Patricia Weathers
President
www.ablechild.org
(845) 677-8115

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
www.ablechild.org
(203) 966-8419

Victims and Advocates who plan on testifying before the February 9th FDA Risk Management Advisory Review Panel on ADD Drugs’ Link to Deaths, Heart Attacks are asking for one of it’s panel members to step down due to a concern over a conflict of interest. Stephanie Crawford, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy has been selected to sit on the advisory panel to weigh-in on ADD Drug Risks.

Parent and child advocates question Ms. Crawford’s longstanding affiliation with the University of Illinois and its long history with ADHD Research. The University of Illinois receives millions of dollars in Attention Deficit Drug Research. Both ADD and ADHD known as Attention Deficit Disorder with or without hyperactivity are subjective psychiatric labels for which there are no demonstrable objective tests. Without legitimate scientific testing to verify the existence of these labels, researchers have resorted to using highly subjective questionnaires, surveys, or rating scales in determining a diagnosis. A widely used and controversial rating scale, the “Acter’s profile for boys (or girls)” comes from the University of Illinois and its research department. This one screening method or random survey is being unlawfully used within the public education system without the approval of any Local, State, or Federal Government to diagnose school children throughout the United States . These research screenings are being casually passed off to parents and school personnel without full informed consent and are currently being legally challenged within Federal Courts. “Parents are simply not being told that their children are participating in research,” says Sheila Matthews Founder of Ablechild a non-profit organization.

Ms. Crawford’s own participation in ADHD Research under grant application PA-98004 Drug Abuse and ADHD in Adults and Their High Risk Offspring further demonstrates the just cause for her removal from the panel. Though the FDA has a conflict of interest screening process and waiver criteria, there are still some conflicts of interest that are simply not manageable and should be challenged.

To have a panel member that works for this particular University that receives a tremendous amount of pharmaceutical and psychiatric financial support to conduct research on this very same label defeats the purpose, authority, and function of the panel itself.

Wisconsin Mother Struggles to Meet the New Year

December 29th, 2005 | Press Releases

Patricia Weathers
President
www.ablechild.org
(845) 677-8115

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
www.ablechild.org
(203) 966-8419

Lisa Payne
Parent
(920) 592-9558

AbleChild Rings in the New Year by Giving a Voice to those Clearly Forsaken by State Mental Health Vendors.

Lisa Payne of Green Bay , Wisconsin found little to be joyful about during the Christmas and Holiday season. Her daughter is still locked away in an Illinois State psychiatric “treatment” center, having been placed on a variety of mind-altering drugs by State appointed legal guardians.

Previously featured on Montel Williams, Lisa Payne was a survivor of domestic violence. A victim at the hands of her abusive husband, she was left for dead and her mother was murdered. Her daughter saved her life, called 911, and stayed by her side as help arrived. “I know my daughter needs my help now, I just don’t know how I can ensure that she gets it,” she said.

When Lisa awoke from a coma induced by the beatings, she discovered the Department of Children and Family Services had taken custody of her daughter. An agency originally designed to help children “at risk” or in traumatic situations; they had resorted to simply placing her daughter on psychiatric drugs and refused any input whatsoever from her as the biological mother. Making matters even worse, Lisa has now been court ordered to take antidepressants, undergo urine tests to ensure that she is complying with their drug regiment, and mandated to counseling. The Supreme Court ruling on the right to “treatment” never intended to result in the forced drug “treatment” of individuals.

Lisa Payne is up against a legal system that has been unchallenged regarding forced drugging of children in State care. Her chances of ensuring the safety for her child, looks grim. Her daughter is in another State and she cannot afford to travel to visit her. The court in Illinois has also refused to allow her daughter to transfer to a different psychiatric center closer to home. Her next court date is not scheduled until May of 2006.

She thinks about her possible visit sometime in January to bring her daughter gifts for the Holiday. “Maybe a pair of jeans” she tells Ablechild . “She doesn’t fit in her jeans anymore; her clothing size has been reduced from a size 9 to a size 3 due to the drugs effects. I am watching from an unbelievable distance as my daughter suffers in pain, and I have no say in her “treatment”. Now she is hearing voices. They tell me that it is from all her “trauma”, I know it’s from the drugs,” she adds.

Lisa Payne can be reached at 920-592-9558.

Mother Mary, Christmas Brings Tears for Some Mothers

December 19th, 2005 | Press Releases

Patricia Weathers
President
www.ablechild.org
(845) 677-8115

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
www.ablechild.org
(203) 966-8419

Lisa Payne
Parent
(920) 592-9558

Lisa Payne of Green Bay , Wisconsin finds little to be joyful about during these most holy days of Christmas. Her daughter is locked away in a psychiatric “treatment” center having been placed on a variety of mind-altering drugs by the State of Illinois . She thinks about her possible visit sometime in January to bring her daughter gifts for the holiday. “Maybe a pair of jeans” she tells Ablechild . “She doesn’t fit in her jeans anymore; her clothing size has been reduced from a size 9 to a size 3 due to the drugs effects. I am watching from an unbelievable distance as my daughter suffers in pain, and I have no say in her “treatment”. Now she is hearing voices. They tell me that it is from all her “trauma”, I know it’s from the drugs,” she adds.

Previously featured on Montel Williams, Lisa Payne was a survivor of domestic violence. A victim at the hands of her abusive husband, she was left for dead and her mother was murdered. Her daughter saved her life, called 911, and stayed by her side as help arrived. “I know my daughter needs my help now, I just don’t know how I can ensure that she gets it,” she said.

When Lisa awoke from a coma induced by the beatings, she discovered the Department of Children and Family Services had taken custody of her daughter. An agency originally designed to help children “at risk” or in traumatic situations; they had resorted to simply placing her daughter on psychiatric drugs and refused any input whatsoever from her as the biological mother. Making matters even worse, Lisa has now been court ordered to take antidepressants, undergo urine tests to ensure that she is complying with their drug regiment, and mandated to counseling. The Supreme Court ruling on the right to “treatment” never intended to result in the forced drug “treatment” of individuals.

Lisa Payne is up against a legal system that has been unchallenged regarding forced drugging of children in State care. Her chances of ensuring the safety for her child, looks grim. Her daughter is in another State and she cannot afford to travel to visit her. The court in Illinois has also refused to allow her daughter to transfer to a different psychiatric center closer to home. Her next court date is not scheduled until May of 2006. Lisa Payne can be reached at 920-592-9558.

Deceptive Interview Demands Response from AbleChild

November 29th, 2005 | Press Releases

Patricia Weathers
President
www.ablechild.org
(845) 677-8115

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
www.ablechild.org
(203) 966-8419

 Pharmaceuticals Chief Focuses His Attention on Drug Deficit and Away from Drug Abuse Reality, in an Interview with Matt Emmens, CEO of Shire Pharmaceuticals by Stephen Foley.

AbleChild could simply not ignore the recent U.K. interview with Mat Emmens, CEO of Shire pharmaceutical, when discussing attention deficit disorder and it’s “validity”… Mr. Emmens tells the many of us who don’t buy into the ADHD label, “That the people who say ADHD is not real don’t use data and the people who say it is real use data.” If we didn’t know any better this statement would be taken at face value, except for its “minor” glitch; that being, Shire Pharmaceutical, and its financial stake, aka financial conflict of interest, in promoting a biased marketing campaign to push its products, aka drugs.

The simple reality is that scientific data doesn’t support ADHD as a disease warranting these conveniently marketed drugs. “Scientific double talk” by all those profiting off of subjective labels and coined drugs is a marketing tool and nothing more. Buyer beware is the term we often hear when we sense something amiss, but can’t quite put our finger on it.

We only have to look a little deeper at Shire’s motivating factors for its recent promotion of ADHD and its “validity”. Shire’s profitable ADHD drug Adderall is coming off patent soon and the company is obviously and eagerly looking to expand its interests in ADHD drugs. It has already initiated an agreement with New Rivers Pharmaceuticals to launch a drug for ADHD specifically made to reduce the potential for amphetamine addiction in children.

Mr. Emmens failed to mention that drugs like Shire’s Adderall are central nervous stimulants listed by the Drug Enforcement Administration as Class II category drugs, which are in essence equivalent to cocaine, with the same abuse potential. Could this be why America has an epidemic of high school and college kids abusing these drugs, using them as enhancement agents, study aids, and even grinding pills down to snort for a greater high? As reported by United Press International, a study that came out this July revealed that the number of teens who have abused prescription drugs has tripled in the past 10 years. Drugs that were reported abused were stimulants such as Adderall. “Today more people are abusing controlled prescription drugs than the combined number who use cocaine, hallucinogens, amphetamines and heroine,” Joseph A. Califano, president of the National Center on Addiction and Drug Abuse at Columbia University. On top of this The News Tribune reported on September 13th that the Drug Effectiveness Review Project, based at Oregon State University published a 731-page report on the safety and efficacy of ADHD drugs. This report was based on the group analyzing 2, 287 extensive studies of drugs to include Adderall. Their conclusion was that there was no scientific proof to say that these ADHD drugs were either safe or helpful.

We can certainly understand that Mr. Emmens would say just about anything to protect his rapidly growing pharmaceutical company, of which has made a not so insignificant profit of $550m on Adderall alone this year. Emmens is certainly paying for the drug data, evaluating it, concealing it, modifying it, and selling it without losing a night’s sleep. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that he would push and defend the same data that results in drug promotion, and increased sales and revenues. Protect his interests, so to speak.

With the billion dollar pharmaceutical industry and its choke hold on an American public who has fallen into what resembles a kind of stupor, an alarming, overly relaxed state of acceptance of drug company advice, Matt Emmens comments don’t seem all in all out of the ordinary. The U.K. has every reason to be wary of this pharmaceutical giant’s game plan and its stealthy attempt to mask its motivations and leave another country in the dark.

As an American non-profit organization representing parents that have been victimized by those with conflicts of interests in both medical, mental health, and pharmaceutical establishments, we applaud the U.K. for being rightly skeptical. America ’s embrace of junk science is rather sickening. Our children and families have been harmed by drugs in the guise of “treatment” long enough. The U.K. should not follow in our folly.

For more information on psychiatric labels and drugs, please visit us at www.ablechild.org .

Ablechild’s Statement on Teen Screen

October 10th, 2005 | Press Releases

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
www.ablechild.org
(203) 966-8419

 “ AbleChild strongly opposes Teen Screen. Giving teenagers subjective questionnaires and surveys on suicidal behavior simply does not prevent or stop suicide. This is risky research that lacks scientific merit. Teen Screen is nothing more than the bio-behavioral health industry’s attempt to garner big government funding for useless programs that profitably promote a course of recommended psychotropic drug “treatment” which has been clearly linked to suicide and violent behavior.”

Chairman Sensenbrenner Backs Majority Leader DeLay on the Importance of Parental Rights

August 1st, 2005 | Press Releases

Patricia Weathers
President
www.ablechild.org
(845) 677-8115

 

Congressman James Sensenbrenner, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has weighed in on the importance of maintaining parental consent rights. These parental rights are now in jeopardy if H.R. 181, The Parental Consent Act of 2005 dies in committee.

Congressman Sensenbrenner has emphatically stated, “It is not, and should not be, the role of government to subject children to arbitrary mental health screenings without the consent of their parents. Parents, children, and their private doctors should determine whether a child has mental health problems, not government bureaucrats.”

His statement comes just after House Majority Leader Tom DeLay stood up for parental rights and released this statement last week. “In the wake of the creation of psychiatric labels, every parent should be wary of relinquishing their responsibility to the government to define and assess their child’s mental health status.”

The highly controversial issue of mandatory mental health screening programs of American school children initiated by the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health is the subject of widespread debate. This debate arises due to the use of subjective, unscientific psychological testing methods used for screening children for mental illness without the provision of full parental informed consent in place. This “testing” is currently awaiting federal funds to expand the implementation of screening programs nationwide.

“If H.R. 181 is passed it will prevent wasteful and potentially devastating federal funding while safeguarding the informed consent rights of all parents in what is a most serious matter, their children’s health and safety”, says Patricia Weathers President and co-founder of AbleChild.org a national non-profit group of parents committed to ensuring that the issue of informed consent and an individual’s right to “opt out” of psychological testing is a national priority.

Dr. Grace Jackson, a board certified psychiatrist since 1996 recently stated, “Contrary to the reports which have been emphasized by the major news outlets, there is no evidence to justify the claim that psychiatric disorders arise from anatomic or physiological abnormalities in the brain. Based upon a variety of theoretical and practical limitations, the functional imaging technologies cannot identify the origin of mental phenomena.”

In light of such growing controversial fervor and obvious lack of agreement on the issue of psychiatric diagnoses within the medical establishment itself, any promotion or implementation of mandated, which is equivalent to forced, screening methods should be viewed as a national threat to public health, and should be challenged by the American public.

For more information on mental health screening programs, psychiatric drug risks, and the FDA’s warnings regarding psychiatric drugs, please visit www.ablechild.org .

Majority Leader Fights for Parents’ Rights

July 18th, 2005 | Press Releases

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
www.ablechild.org
(203) 966-8419

Gloria Wright
Vice President
glorous002@ablechild.org

 AbleChild, a national parent organization, dedicated to educating the public on informed consent and an individual’s right to refuse psychiatric services, stands with Majority Leader Tom DeLay in support of H.R. 181 – The Parental Consent Act of 2005.

“The federal government should become advocates in strengthening American families and encouraging parental participation in decisions that directly effect their children’s health and overall wellbeing,” said Majority Leader Tom DeLay. “In the wake of the creation of psychiatric labels, every parent should be wary of relinquishing their responsibility to the government to define and assess their child’s mental health status,” he added.

AbleChild has recently been informed that H.R. 181- The Parental Consent Act of 2005, may die in committee and the House of Representatives may not get a chance to vote on this critical informed consent bill.

H.R. 181 prohibits the federal government from being able to fund any universal or mandatory mental health screening programs. According to Michael Cannon and Marie Gryphon of the Cato Institute, “Empowering public schools to ‘play a larger role in mental health care for children’ could do special needs students and their parents more harm than good.”

Without passage of H.R. 181, the federal government will fund universal mental health screening programs and provide the mental health and psychiatric industry open access to America ’s children without the consent of their parents. This will invariably result in an increase in prescribing psychotropic drugs to many of the 56,000,000 children in America ‘s public schools.

On June 29, 2005, the FDA determined the need to add new warnings regarding psychiatric side effects to the drugs used as treatment for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), a highly subjective diagnosis and the subject of much debate within the medical establishment and among the public. The FDA’s recent determination was prompted by reports of hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and aggressive and psychotic behaviors brought about by the use of these drugs. Ablechild emphatically takes the position that no child should be subjected to the dangers of these drugs, nor to the life-long labels associated with subjective mental disorders without first being provided with full informed parental consent and the right to refuse.

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, “Every indicator available, including scientific abuse liability studies, actual abuse, paucity of scientific studies on possible adverse effects associated with long-term use of stimulants, divergent prescribing practices of U.S. physicians, and lack of concurrent medical treatment and follow-up, urge greater caution and more restrictive use of Methylphenidate.” Methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, is only one such drug, which is widely prescribed to children labeled ADHD.

To err on the side of caution is prudent, both on the subject of mandating mental health screening programs for children and prescribing drugs. AbleChild and parents nationwide are encouraged by Congressman Tom DeLay’s willingness to stand up for parental rights and the health of children.

American Medical Association Endorses Drug Experiments on Children

July 18th, 2005 | Press Releases

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
www.ablechild.org
(203) 966-8419

 The American Medical Association has issued a report advocating the training of investigators to study the effects of psychotropic drugs on children, adolescents, and young adults. According to the AMA, “SSRIs should remain available for use in children and adolescents, including for unlabeled uses.” SSRIs were a popular class of antidepressants that have been the subject of widespread controversy, banned in Great Britain in 2003 for use in children and adolescents due to their propensity to induce suicidal thoughts and ideations, and more recently given black box labels in 2004 by the Food and Drug Administration.

The AMA’s statements indicate that it views both the FDA Black Box Suicide Warning on these drugs, and the issue of full informed consent as a restriction. This comes despite their conclusions that “The use of antidepressants is associated with a doubling in the number of reports indicative of suicidal thinking and behavior in children and adolescents with Major Depressive Disorder and other psychiatric disorders.”

Ablechild contacted the FDA to obtain a comment regarding the AMA’s report which promotes the experimental use of drugs that are known to increase suicidal tendencies. According to FDA Spokesperson, Susan Cruzan, “The FDA has reviewed all the scientific data and incorporated two advisory boards’ recommendations on the link to suicide ideation, resulting in a Black Box Warning recommending close oversight for all that use antidepressants to look for increased suicide ideation. The FDA worked with the manufacturers on the Black Box warning mandated on all antidepressants.”

According to Bill Hall, Health & Human Services Spokesman, “HHS regulates all human subjects research carried out by those institutions and organizations that have signed assurances with the HHS Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP).” Unfortunately, OHRP is not funded to track all unlabeled usage of psychotropic drugs as promoted by the AMA in their recent report.

Based on the statements of both organizations we have concluded that there is insufficient oversight of experimental use of psychotropic drugs on children.

OHRP must protect all citizens from becoming unknowing victims of experimental research.

The promotion of unlabeled SSRI use on children by the AMA, when the dangers and risks associated with the usage is well documented, is unethical and irresponsible. It undermines the FDA’s role, its recommendations, and jeopardizes overall public health.

The AMA needs to be reminded that disclosing drug risks to the public and promoting full disclosure should not be seen as a barrier, but as requisite to public health and safety.

PARENTS’ GROUP REQUESTS MEETING WITH FDA HEAD TO ENACT STRONGER DRUG WARNINGS FOR KIDS

July 14th, 2005 | Press Releases

Patricia Weathers
President
www.ablechild.org
(845) 677-8115

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
www.ablechild.org
(203) 966-8419

Parents say psychiatric drugs are making children violent and suicidal and FDA must act.

The national parents’ group, AbleChild: Parents for a Label and Drug-Free Education, has asked the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Acting Commissioner, Lester Crawford, for a private meeting to discuss additional advertising warnings for psychiatric drugs. The request for a meeting comes on the heels of a joint letter signed by actors Kirstie Alley and Kelly Preston along with medical doctors demanding stronger warnings.

“Celebrities, physicians and parents have been asking for full disclosure of the dangerous side effects of psychiatric drugs for years which the FDA has recently begun investigating. They are now warning that stimulant drugs, like antidepressants, can cause suicide and violence,” stated Mrs. Sheila Matthews, Vice President of the group, also known for its website, www.ablechild.org.

The group represents more than a thousand parents who have been coerced into putting their children on a psychiatric drug and who lobbied for passage of a federal law, signed by President Bush last December that now prohibits such coercion in schools. For some of the parents, the law came too late: coroners determined their children died from the psychiatric drug they were forced onto.

Mrs. Matthews said their letter to Commissioner Crawford stated that not only do the drug warnings need to be strengthened, but the way manufacturers and the American Psychiatric Association promote the drugs as necessary to “balance” out a “chemical imbalance” or “neurobiological disorder” is misleading and must change.

“While studies may suggest brain differences or ‘chemical imbalances’, there is no conclusive evidence, as the APA and manufacturers’ websites imply”, Mrs. Matthews said. “This violates the informed consent rights of parents. The risks could be reduced if the public was provided with accurate and complete information, not just with what ‘sells’, which only protects a multi-billion drug industry”, she added.

Additionally, “Ms. Preston and Ms. Alley have a long history of speaking out on this issue as a voice for parents and children—ever since the Columbine high school shooting when it was determined ringleader Eric Harris was taking an antidepressant known to cause violent mania. I think they could help us present information to the FDA which would be of immense benefit to all.”

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