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

News & Updates

Urgent Warning | What People Need to Know
Recent News | COVID-19 Notice | Our Disclaimer

About This Site

This site is dedicated to providing accurate information about psychiatric medications including their addictive nature and how to get help. We do not provide personal input/advice about individual tapers. Please read our disclaimer.

These pages are a good starting place:

Urgent Warning and Caution

In my over 20 years of helping people understand the psychiatric drugs they are taking, providing them with information and support on how to withdraw safely, I have never seen the degree of over-diagnosing of psychiatric problems and almost immediate prescribing of one or more psychiatric drugs.

Recently, people have been writing to me that have received multiple, even contradictory diagnoses, and many, many prescriptions for multiple drugs from a range of healthcare providers including therapists and psychiatrists.

When these citizens have tried to find others who respect her wishes NOT to take psychiatric drugs, they are offered more drugs. Some people tell me that now they are told they must take all these new drugs — some for ADHD and some for the symptoms from other drugs — to help with the symptoms of the ADHD drug.

Mainstream Media Promoting Psychiatric Drug Use

Even worse, the mainstream media seems to be actively marketing both diagnoses AND the use of psychiatric drugs.

The CBC, Canadian Broadcasting Media, CNN and many others are often featuring stories about ADHD, bipolar and other conditions, interviewing those taking the drug that describe their recovery as a miracle. Local newscasts are airing interviews with patients claiming they understand that they “need” these drugs; that they are helping them.

It is interesting that most people diagnosed with ADHD are being prescribed Vyvanse — one of the MOST expensive drugs — a stimulant/amphetamine which affects two chemicals in the brain. This class of drugs can have many serious negative effects including increased anxiety, stomach problems, nausea, lack of appetite, weight loss, headaches, abdominal pain, nervousness, aggressiveness, increased heart rate and tics.

All psychiatric drugs eventually lead to tolerance and addiction and must be slowly tapered off.

Do These Drugs Actually Work for ADHD?

In general terms ADHD is characterized by difficulty focusing, hyperactivity and short attention span. But remember, the cause of ADHD is unknown and there are no specific indicators or tests to identify it. There is strong indication that our reliance on screens has shortened our ability to concentrate and increased our anxiety.

How to Protect Yourself from Being Overprescribed Any Kind of Pyschiatric Drug

  1. Do not accept a quick diagnosis of a mental health problem or a quick drug prescription without considering the risks and benefits.
  2. If you are told you need the drug because you lack a certain chemical in the brain (so-called “chemical imbalance theory”) don't believe them! That theory was developed by drug companies as a marketing tool to sell more drugs — they have admitted this.
  3. If you are told you can't get addicted on a psychiatric drug if you take a small dose or use it only occasionally this is not true either.
    • If you are prescribed any kind of benzodiazepine like Ativan or Klonopin or most antidepressants, using them at any dose (even a small dose occasionally, like a few days a week or a few days a month on a regular basis) can lead to addiction.
    • You may be told that your 1 milligram a day of Klonopin is a small dose but it really isn't!

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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…

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Recent News

January 2/24 — Remembering Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe by Robert Weissman:

America has lost a towering public health leader and an unparalleled consumer champion, Public Citizen has lost one of our founders and I and many others have lost a great friend. My dear friend Sid Wolfe passed away earlier today. He was 86 years old.


Dr. Sidney Wolfe founded the Health Research Group in 1971 with Ralph Nader, part of the enterprise that launched as Public Citizen that same year.


Sid invented a new approach of "research-based advocacy" to get dangerous drugs and devices off the market, win new protections for worker health and safety, address doctor misconduct, challenge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to do its job, and hold pharmaceutical companies accountable.


Read the entire article….

Archived News

Older stories are archived on the Older Stories page.

Marcia Angell Series

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Dr. Heather Ashton on YouTube


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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Updated: February 13, 2024