Research shows that all too often, Americans are
taking medications that may not work or may be
inappropriate for their mental health problems.
BY BRENDAN L. SMITH
Writing a prescription to treat a mental health disorder is easy, but it may not always be the safest or most effective route for patients, according to some recent studies and a growing chorus of voices concerned about the rapid rise in the prescription
of psychotropic drugs.
Today, patients often receive psychotropic medications
without being evaluated by a mental health professional,
according to a study last year by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC). Many Americans visit their
primary-care physicians and may walk away with a prescription for an
antidepressant or other drugs without being aware of other evidence-based treatments
— such as cognitive behavioral therapy — that might work better for them without
the risk of side effects.
MONITOR ON PSYCHOLOGY • JUNE 2012