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CCHR Launches Report on Failed Mental Health Programs & Psychedelics Rebirth

The mental health watchdog Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR) launched its online report and resource about failed mental health programs which are impacting psychiatric policy today. The release of Why Psychiatry Sees Itself as a Dying Industry–A Resource on Its Failures and Critics coincides with California legislators considering passing a law that will legalize possession of psychedelic hallucinogens and promote researching the mind-altering chemicals as treatment for “mental illness.”[1] A petition that CCHR’s Sacramento chapter posted online opposes this, joining many others concerned about resurrecting psychedelics that were a past failed psychiatric experiment. In California, LSD was also linked to the horrific Charles Manson murders in the 1960s.[2]

It was the street use of and research into LSD in the 60s and 70s that led to Congress shutting down all LSD mind-control research in 1977.[3] Medical experts said LSD induced a “psychotic psychedelic experience characterized by intense fear to the point of panic, paranoid delusions of suspicion or grandeur, toxic confusion, depersonalization” and all of these could “be of powerful magnitude.”[4]

CCHR says resurrecting LSD–a failed and dangerous therapy–to replace current failed treatments shows a fundamental disregard for human life because of the drugs’ mind-altering properties, also borne out by the psychiatric-intelligence community’s past research of LSD, psilocybin and amphetamines. As extensively researched in Tom O’ Neill’s book, Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties, LSD helped create the mindset of the Charles Manson Family who, after many months of use of the drug, gruesomely murdered nine-month pregnant actress, Sharon Tate and four others in California August 1969.[5]

CCHR’s report highlights similar failed mental treatment programs using a hefty body of evidence showing the lack of science behind psychiatry’s diagnostic system that led to unworkable and potentially damaging treatments, which includes psychedelics. United Nations Special Rapporteur and psychiatrist Dainius PÅ«ras, M.D., recently noted that with psychiatry’s reliance upon biomedical interventions, we shouldn’t be surprised that “global psychiatry is facing a crisis, which to a large extent is a moral crisis, or a crisis of values.”[6]

“California investing in LSD and psilocybin research and street possession that has the potential for creating more ‘Charles Manson’ killers on our streets is the wrong direction to be going,” Jan Eastgate, international president of CCHR said. “CCHR’s latest report extensively details psychiatrists’ own studies, surveys and reports about why they believe medical students and others don’t see them as ‘real’ doctors, are not taking up psychiatry as a specialty, and why the profession is facing a ‘global crisis.'”

PsychCentral, an independent mental health information website overseen by mental health professionals, points out what lies behind this: “Doctors do not lock up those who neglect to take their heart medications, who keep smoking even with cancer, or are addicted to alcohol. We might bemoan these situations, but we are not ready to deprive such individuals of their liberty, privacy, and bodily integrity despite their ‘poor’ judgment.”[7]

The Psychiatric Bulletin published an article about psychiatry’s poor image saying it has never enjoyed the “respect and social prestige of other medical specialties.” “It is clear that psychiatrists are in the unusual position of having the frightening, legal power to lock up patients. To be classified as mad is to be at the mercy of the psychiatrist-led system, with therapists able to deny patients contact with the outside world and to administer treatments that may well be experienced as punishments for failing to conform to society’s norms of sanity,” according to the article. It also referred to “unproven, painful, even permanently damaging treatments on vulnerable patients” and “There are some good reasons for our mistrust and fear of psychiatrists. There is a substantial group within the psychiatric community which is critical of current treatments.”[8]

In October 2020, the World Psychiatric Association issued a Position Statement about improving mental health care, because widespread coercion in psychiatry violates patients’ “rights to liberty; autonomy; freedom from torture, inhuman or degrading treatment….”[9]

CCHR says that when treatments fail and psychotropic drug patents run out, there are usually efforts to resurrect old treatments as “new miracles,” such as electroshock treatment and now psychedelics. “The reason for the new market is there’s profit to be made,” Eastgate says. The psychedelic “therapy” industry is predicted to reach $7 billion by 2027.[10]

CCHR, which was established in 1969 and is responsible for over 190 laws that inform and protect consumers about mental health treatment risks. It suggests policymakers and appropriations committees apprise themselves of past psychedelic drug research risks, read CCHR’s report to prevent funding programs that have failed and involve dangerous practices, and base reforms on CCHR’s Mental Health Declaration of Human Rights.

[1] leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220SB519

[2] www.change.org/p/california-state-house-stop-california-legislators-from-making-psychedelic-drugs-legal; Tom O’ Neill, Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties, (Little, Brown & Co. New York, June 2019), pp. 312-319

[3] “Renewed Psychedelic Drug Research is a Bad ‘Trip’ for Mental Health,” CCHR International, 5 Feb. 2020, www.cchrint.org/2020/02/05/renewed-psychedelic-drug-research-is-a-bad-trip-for-mental-health/; Brianna Nofil, “The CIA’s Appalling Human Experiments with Mind Control,” The History Channel, www.history.com/mkultra-operation-midnight-climax-cia-lsd-experiments

[4] Wayne O. Evans, Ph.D. and Nathan S. Kline, M.D., Psychotropic Drugs in The Year 2000: Use by Normal Humans (Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, 1971), p. 89

[5] Op. cit., CCHR International, 5 Feb. 2020

[6] Awais Aftab, MD, “Global Psychiatry’s Crisis of Values: Dainius PÅ«ras, MD,” Psychiatric Times, 3 June 2021, www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/global-psychiatry-crisis-values

[7] Thea Amidov, “Uncivil Commitment: Mental Illness May Deprive You of Civil Rights,” PsychCentral, 4 Mar. 2013, psychcentral.com/blog/uncivil-commitment-mental-illness-may-deprive-you-of-civil-rights#1

[8] Jacqueline Hopson, “The demonisation of psychiatrists in fiction (and why real psychiatrists might want to do something about it),” The Psychiatric Bulletin, Vol. 38, Issue 4, Aug. 2014, pp. 175-179, pb.rcpsych.org/content/38/4/175.full

[9] “Implementing Alternatives to Coercion: A Key Component of Improving Mental Health Care,” World Psychiatric Association Position Statement, Oct. 2020, 3ba346de-fde6-473f-b1da-536498661f9c.filesusr.com/ugd/e172f3_635a89af889c471683c29fcd981db0aa.pdf

[10] “CCHR Warns Against $7 Billion Psychedelic Drug Push to Treat Mental Issues,” CCHR International, 2 Mar. 2021, www.cchrint.org/2021/03/02/cchr-warns-against-7-billion-psychedelic-drug-push-to-treat-mental-issues/, citing: Derek Beres, “How will psychiatrists administer psychedelic treatments?” Big Think, 1 Feb 2021, bigthink.com/mind-brain/psychiatrists-psychedeli-therapy

Citizens Commission on Human Rights International
Citizens Commission on Human Rights International
https://www.cchrint.org
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