Psychiatric drugs are not always the wonder drugs they are so often cracked up to be. It’s estimated that a 1/3 of the patients given such drugs stop taking them due to the severity of the effects these drugs have on them. Now some Brit doctors have come up with an ingenious solution to the problem. They are paying patients to take drugs.
As reported by a recent BBC article, Psychiatric jabs for cash tested.
As a trial, 68 patients with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia will get £15 for every jab of anti-psychotic drug, earning them a possible £720 in a year.
A team at Queen Mary, University of London, hopes to encourage “difficult” patients to comply with treatment.
What these doctors are not telling their patients is that serious health risks are associated with the taking of psych drugs. 1 in 4 people maintained on neuroleptic drugs, the drugs used to treat psychosis, will develop a serious, often irreversible, crippling neurological disease, Tardive Dyskinesia, within five years time. The longer a person is maintained on a neuroleptic drug, the greater the chance of developing this movement disorder. People maintained on psych drugs are developing TD at the rate of 5% a year.
A little bit of information goes a long way, doesn’t it?
Some people value their health; some people value the health of their brains. Ancient Egyptians may have believed that the organ of thought didn’t serve much of a purpose in the afterlife, but in this life, we now know better.
I imagine there are other moral questions to ask of these methods as well. Is, for instance, corruption actually the best method of mental health treatment?
When all other attempts to achieve adherence have failed, bribery may be an option, according to Professor Stefan Priebe, who led the Queen Mary team.
There are people who wouldn’t take these psych drugs for all the money in the world.
Ironically the article I read this in uses a term I’ve heard used by psychiatrists at a conference I attended recently. You’ve heard of non-compliance, right. Well, now they’re using the term non-adherence. What is non-adherence? Non-adherence is non-compliance. A treatment plan, usually involving the taking of psych drugs, is the thing the patient is not adhering to, or non-compliant with. I guess it sounds better to have your objecting patients resemble bad tape rather than it does to have them seem like disobedient sheep.