Psychiatric Medication Awareness Group: psychiatric medications, addiction, recovery, withdrawl, risks & side-effects

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What People Need to Know | Recent News
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About This Site

This site is dedicated to providing accurate information about psychiatric medications including their addictive nature and how to get help.

These pages are a good starting place:

Please read our disclaimer.

What People Need to Know About Psychiatric Drugs

booklet cover

What People Need to Know About Psychiatric Drugs
by Dr. Janet C. Currie, M.S.W., PhD. (revised 2022)

COVID Increased Use

The COVID pandemic has led to an increased use of sleeping pills and drugs for depression and anxiety.

Our belief is that all Canadians have the right to have independent, objective and accurate information about prescription drugs so that they can have informed discussions with their healthcare providers and make the best decisions about their health.

Consumer Information Lacking

In Canada and elsewhere, much of the information available to consumers on prescription drugs comes directly or indirectly from the companies that manufacture them. Even the package insert that is included with some medications lists only a few potential side effects.

This booklet provides information to consumers about the use and safety of the most commonly prescribed sleeping pills and drugs for mental health conditions in Canada.

Six of the most widely used SSRIs antidepressants were studied in clinical trials that only lasted six weeks. Yet SSRIs are commonly prescribed for months or years.

The booklet also discusses non-psychiatric medications that can cause mental health symptoms, the risks of a prescribing cascade, how to discuss prescription drugs with your doctor and guidelines for safe tapering and withdrawal, where this is possible.

Learn how to obtain the booklet…

Recent News

September 14/22 — More than 1 in 5 residents in long-term care given antipsychotics without a diagnosis, data shows.

The medication is intended to sedate, and is used off-label to combat a variety of behaviours, from wandering to insomnia.


While there are questions about when and where these medications are appropriate, there is little disagreement that the current levels of use are higher than they should be.

July 31/22 — Psychotropic (Psychiatric) Drugs Prescribed to Those with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disabilities (PDF)
by Dr. Janet C. Currie, M.S.W., PhD.

Reasons, prevalence, adverse effects and potential for deprescribing

This overview was developed for those belonging to or working with the ASD and intellectually disabled community. It provides current thinking on potential risks of the drugs, the ways they can affect thinking, mood and behavior, whether deprescribing works and what we know about best practices.

July 21/22 — Little evidence that chemical imbalance causes depression, UCL scientists find.

Many people take antidepressants because they have been led to believe their depression has a biochemical cause, but this new research suggests this belief is not grounded in evidence.
— Joanna Moncrieff, professor of psychiatry at University College London

July 9/22 — The Dangers of Psychiatric Medication (YouTube video).

I brought two experts on — Dr. Jim Wright and Dr. David Cohen — to discuss the actual reality behind psychiatric medications and pharmaceuticals and dependency and withdrawal and suicide. This is an episode everyone should listen to if they or a loved one is on psychiatric medication or considering one or acting strange after being medicated.
— Mikhaila Peterson

June 18/22 — Stop dishing out antidepressants, doctors told.

Doctors should prescribe fewer antidepressants and for a shorter time, experts said, after a review found no strong evidence that the drugs were effective.

Archived News

Older stories are archived on the Older Stories page.


Our Disclaimer

PMAG does not provide individual advice or respond to individual requests for assistance. We encourage you to seek qualified medical support. More…


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Dr. Ashton

Dr. Ashton photo
Dr. Heather Ashton on YouTube

Marcia Angell Series

The New York Review of Books:

  1. The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why?
  2. The Illusions of Psychiatry

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Updated: September 14, 2022