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PRINCIPLES TO ENSURE YOUTH AND ADULTS HAVE ACCESS TO EFFECTIVE, EVIDENCE-BASED MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES


The Truth in Drugs campaign seeks to establish new standards of patient care so that millions of Americans receive the mental health services they need and deserve. These new standards must include the following principles to assure patients receive the best care possible:

1. Restore psychotherapy as the first line treatment for behavioral disorders.
2. Before a medication is prescribed for a mental disorder, patients need to be appropriately evaluated and diagnosed by a doctoral-level mental health specialist.

3. If medications are part of a treatment regimen, the patient must be treated by a mental health professional until the patient has significantly improved and been stabilized.

4. All patients have a right to know that there is no consistent evidence that any psychotropic medications repair a chemical imbalance.

5. All patients have a right to access all of the scientific data regarding psychotropic medications they are prescribed.

6. Patients have a right to know the safety and efficacy of all treatment options.

7. All patients have a right to change treatment options at any time.

8. Patients have a right to be exposed to the fewest possible side effects and the lowest risk of adverse events from psychotropic medications based on the best available data.

9. Patients should not be prescribed medications for conditions that are not approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), known as "off-label" prescribing.

10. Patients treated with psychotropic medications should be placed on a short-term trial lasting no longer than the time period reported in the clinical trial for that drug.

11. Patients should not be prescribed doses above the upper range for which the drug has been recommended and approved without scientific data supporting this practice.

How You Can Help

Join the Truth in Drugs Campaign! We call on doctors, patients, their family members and community organizations to unite behind these principles to assure that youth and adults receive the best and most appropriate care possible. The more we all speak with one voice, the better our chances of putting patient interests first when providing mental health services. Together, we can restore a safe and effective mental health system on which millions can depend.