Interfaith Groups Agree: Psychotropic Drugs Are Doing More Harm Than Good
Religious groups, lawyers, doctors, scientists, and members of the general public agree: psychotropic drugs are dangerous.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a program funded by the Church of Scientology, is asking lawyers to examine the “needless psychotropic drugging of normal children.”
CCHR set up an exhibit at Chicago’s American Bar Association Annual Meeting held July 30 – August 4. A human rights attorney, Allison Folmar, addressed the crowd at the exhibit’s opening. Maryanne Godboldo, Folmar’s client, refused to administer a potentially lethal antipsychotic drug to her daughter. Her daughter was then forcibly removed from her mother’s care and forcibly drugged, after her mother engaged in a 10-hour standoff with police and an armed assault by the SWAT team. Folmar eventually won the case and custody was restored to Godboldo, but during the 10 months her daughter was in the state’s care, she was “forced to take mind-altering drugs against her will.”
CCHR is hoping to spread awareness of the harm of psychotropic drugs and encourage attorneys to fight the battle against the needless drugging of children. They have helped to get over 150 laws passed that protect people from abusive or coercive practices in the field of mental health.
The Church of Scientology sponsors the CCHR program because psychotropic drugs are against both the Code of a Scientologist and the Church’s Creed. The Code of a Scientologist is a list of 20 points Scientologists pledge. Many of the points are directly related to mental health:
1. To keep Scientologists, the public and the press accurately informed concerning Scientology, the world of mental health and society.
…5. To expose and help abolish any and all physically damaging practices in the field of mental health. …7. To bring about an atmosphere of safety and security in the field of mental health by eradicating its abuses and brutality.
However, Scientologists are not the only religious group who are against psychotropic drugs. There’s a growing concern in this area from both religious and secular camps.
In the summer of 2013 the Vatican held a conference entitled “The Child as Person and as a Patient: Therapeutic Approaches Compared,” at which results of their years long study were announced, that psychosocial therapy is a safer alternative to drugs. One psychologist declared “giving these children drugs are not treating the root of their problems and are just ‘sedating and controlling’ them to make the unruly children more ‘manageable.’ ”
In 2006, Psychiatric Times published an article entitled “Religious/Cultural Heritage and Patient Perceptions of Psychotropic Drugs” that studied a sample of Jews, Muslims, Protestants, and Catholics with the goal of determining “the level of comprehension these subjects had about drugs in general and psychotropic drugs in particular, why they did or did not use them, and what stood in the way of their use.”
In the study, three of the main fears of psychotropic drugs were:
Fear of physiologic or psychological dependence.
Fear of changes in cognitive abilities.
Fear of a change in personality or of feeling ill.
Each religious group studied was fearful that the drugs would have uncontrollable effects or cause madness. For Catholics, physical discomfort or the physical feeling of the drug was a big concern, such as the drugs making them feel tired or putting them to sleep. Muslims, who, as women of the family, are obligated to take care of the family and cannot afford to skimp on their duties because of sickness or lethargy, also echoed this worry about physical side effects.
90 million Americans are on psychotropic drugs, 40 million Americans are on illegal drugs, so it is safe to say it's a drugged up culture.
— Injustice Facts (@injustcef) August 19, 2015
The heart plays a central role in Muslim beliefs as “the center of moral and spiritual life.” The largest concern for those of the Muslim tradition is that the drugs will physically harm the heart. In the Muslim culture, heart disorders are believed to cause madness.
Protestants are against using chemical remedies because they do not want to rely on something artificial to help them and believe they should resolve their challenges on their own. A core value of Protestants is not to be dependent upon something, which influences the way they choose to care for their illnesses and handle their prescriptions and treatments.
For both religious Jews and cultural Jews, memory is an essential part of their beliefs. Jews abstain from psychotropic drugs because they believe they will suffer memory loss.
Dr. Mercola and Dr. Peter Breggin are also campaigning against using psychotropic drugs on kids.
Dr. Peter Breggin has posted a series of videos on psychiatric diagnosing and drugging of children. His “Simple Truth 9: Stop the Psych Drugging of Children — Now!” video “calls for concerned citizens to take a stand against giving psychiatric drugs to children.”
“I believe it is time to set our sights on a day when children will be protected by a ban against giving them any psychoactive substances, including psychiatric drugs, which are more dangerous, damaging and demoralizing than alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes.”
Dr. Mercola, a NY Times Bestselling author and man behind the “World’s #1 Natural Health Website,” has shown support or Gary Null’s documentary, The Drugging of Our Children, that argues children who are prescribed mind-altering drugs are being turned into “lifetime paying patients.”
Those “lifetime paying patients” may also end up dead by the very same drugs. This past May, Professor Peter Gøtzsche, a research director at Denmark’s Nordic Cochrane Centre, said psychiatric drugs have led to over 500,000 deaths in people 65 and over. He says the harmful effects vastly outweigh the “minimal” benefits.
It’s been estimated that 17 million kids around the world are on psychiatric drugs, with 10 million in the U.S. alone.
- Citizens Commission on Human Rights
- American Bar Association
- American Bar Association (PDF)
- Code of a Scientologist
- Church of Scientology Creed
- “Religious/Cultural Heritage and Patient Perceptions of Psychotropic Drugs”
- World Religion News
- Mad in America
- Global Health Center