Psychiatric Drug Facts via :

“Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems… Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision.” Dr. Peter Breggin

Aug 2, 2011

Why Must People in Crisis be Forced to Give Up Smoking?

My son smokes and it is obvious to me that when he is forced to stop---when in the hospital, that it causes him further distress.  I do not like seeing him in distress; and knowing that some of his distress is due the limiting of his autonomy and his right to smoke---which is admittedly, a nasty habit.   Nonetheless, it is something he should not be forced to give up due to seeking help when experiencing extreme states and in emotional crisis.

It is obvious to me that smoking bans which force people in crisis to give up smoking is another way that psychiatric patients are treated differently; i.e. discriminated against.  Having a psychiatric diagnoses is nothing like being  diagnosed with a physical illness, such as diabetes; or any other condition which may require ongoing care and assistance from professionals or paraprofessionals.

Forcing a psychiatric patient to give up smoking, is yet another way that people with a diagnosis of "mental illness" are not in fact allowed the freedom and autonomy that a person with any other diagnosis may take for granted.   
via:  ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Photo of Rebekah BeddoeRebekah Bedoe, now in her 30s, lives with her husband, daughter and very spoilt Labrador golden retriever cross. Her book Dying for a cure was published in March 2007.
Author's website: Dying for a cure

"Any psychiatric nurse will tell you that patient cigarette smoking is as much a feature of psychiatric wards as the patients are themselves. ‘Near impossible to avoid in a place like this,’ a patient of a psychiatric clinic said to me one day. And it wasn’t too long before I saw what they meant.

Upon early morning rising, well before breakfast had been served, the vast majority of patients were in the designated garden area smoking. After meals there they would be again, smoking. Before queuing for medicine, and as soon as the pills had been washed down, a quick cigarette was on nearly everyone’s agenda. In between sessions of group therapy, the clinic halls resembled those of a primary school at bell time. No running allowed, patients almost race walked, the garden their destination. Cigarettes would be pulled from packs before the outside doors were swung open. One step across the threshold and lighters were already lit. First drags had been sucked down before the door had even closed behind.

Soon, if hospital authorities have their way, this scenario will be obsolete across Australia. In an effort to bring inpatient psychiatric facilities in line with all other health care facilities, smoking will no longer be allowed, not anywhere on the premises. Some psychiatric units are already leading the way, having switched their environments to completely smoke free. Designated outdoor smoking areas therefore have now ceased to exist". read the rest at:
Smoking Bans: A Threat to Mental Health
via: Psychotherapeutic Drugs
"QuestionI am an R.N. at a state hospital. It has been declared a “smoke-free” environment, except for out on grounds. Many patients are smokers who will never be allowed on grounds, and so they can’t smoke. Since the rule change, the violence on my all-male unit has increased, with patients demanding cigarettes and assaulting staff members when they are denied smoke breaks. The evidence shows that nicotine has a calming effect on schizophrenics and bipolars, but the psychiatrist argues that smoking reduces the effectiveness of psychotropic medications. What is your professional opinion?

Answer. I addressed this complicated and controversial issue in my column for the April 1998 Psychiatric Times (“Smoke, Schizophrenia, and Cytochromes”). In essence, you and your unit psychiatrist may both be right, which means that the issue requires a very careful, case-by-case assessment. Dr. Donald Goff notes that surveys of schizophrenic patients show smoking rates of 74% to 92%, compared to 35-54% for all psychiatric patients and 30-35% for the general population." (emphasis mine)
read the rest:Smoking Patients and PsychotropicMedications

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