The following video was published on YouTube by Human Rights Watch on February 5, 2018. Thanks to Susan MacCauley and Jason Burton from Alzheimer’s WA for highlighting it. Jason posted on LinkedIn: “Great new short video released to coincide with the Human Rights Report into misuse of antipsychotic medication in dementia care in USA. Hard to believe that we made these drugs legal for this misuse in Australia. Who could have possibly thought it would be a good idea to treat distress and unmet need through sedation?”
I’ve been writing, publishing and talking against the misuse of antipsychotics for years as well, along with many other advocates and activists including Leah Bisiani. It happens in most countries that I know of, and I also believe that BPSD worsens the problem, instead if improving care, as it claims to do.There are a number of projects specifically focused on reducing the use of anti psychotics as well, worth reading about, for example the HALT project in Sydney. It really is a human rights issue, and a form of chemical restraint and serious abuse.
It says on the YouTube post of this video:
“Nursing homes across the United States routinely give antipsychotic drugs to residents with dementia to control their behavior, despite regulatory prohibitions on this misuse of drugs as “chemical restraints,” Human Rights Watch said in a report and video released today. This abusive practice remains widespread even though the use of antipsychotics is associated with a nearly doubled risk of death in older people with dementia. The 110-page report, “‘They Want Docile’: How Nursing Homes in the United States Overmedicate People with Dementia,” estimates that every week in US nursing facilities, more than 179,000 people, mostly older and living with dementia, are given antipsychotic drugs without a diagnosis for which their use is approved. Often, nursing facilities use these drugs without obtaining or even seeking informed consent. Using antipsychotic medications as a “chemical restraint”—for the convenience of staff or to discipline residents— violates federal regulations and may amount to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment under international human rights law.”