Far as I’m concerned Jane Addams was a heavenly saint. Founder of Hull House and America’s first social worker, and she has got to be rolling in her grave.
Last Fall the sickeningly confused National Association of Social Workers (NASW) sent an email to their members, an Invitation to Join The National Adherence Initiative for Schizophrenia, which “invited” them to cough up names of their labeled schizophrenic clients who don’t follow their med regime.
“Partial adherence” is what we’re coyly calling choice these days. The issue is medication compliance. The traitors are the NASW, which is creating a database of non-compliant folks in order to do who knows what in pushing these deadly, expensive and ineffective pills down their throats.
The brief text in the email asked social workers to consider enrolling “in a nationwide data collection effort.” It stated: “Partial adherence is a significant problem in the treatment of schizophrenia … and can affect up to 75% of patients.” It invited participants to “identify up to 10 clients with schizophrenia that you feel are at risk for partial adherence.”
Guess who’s behind the initiative?
The last line of the text informed that this initiative “is sponsored by Janssen, L.P. in partnership with NASW.” The pharmaceutical company Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, markets Risperdal (risperidone), an antipsychotic drug that grossed $2.3 billion in US sales in 2005. Social workers who enrolled received a packet from Janssen, with the “study instrument,” that spoke of nothing but the importance of drug treatment adherence for schizophrenia.
Some social workers are protesting, they’ve put together a sharply worded what-for and are collecting signatures online:
The undersigned social workers and social work educators and researchers are, for several reasons, concerned about the NASW’s active participation in this pharmaceutical company marketing initiative.
First, now is a time of unprecedented awareness of the pharmaceutical industry’s stake in framing how distress and mental disorders are seen and how they are treated (3). This industry has used every means at its disposal—including one-to-one enticement of professionals (4), sponsorship and delivery of continuing “education” (5), sponsorship of advocacy groups, ghost-writing of “scientific” articles and dissemination of unsupported “medication algorithms” (6), direct-to-consumer advertising, intense legislative lobbying (7), as well as suppression of research findings, illegal marketing of psychotropic drugs for off-label purposes (8), and cash payments to state officials to include atypical antipsychotics on Medicaid formularies (9)—to remain the dominant player in health and mental health. Regardless of evidence of drugs’ efficacy or safety, the industry’s unrivaled ability to spread money to influence thinking, practice, and policymaking means that the mental health system serves the industry, rather than the opposite.
and so on and so forth and here and then a signature straggles in, dribs, drabs, and drops in the bucket. Bless ‘em anyhow for going against the tide, standing up for the right to “adhere” in accordance with a person’s own God given right to say yes, maybe, we’ll see, I’ll think about it some velvet morning when I’m straight, but never on Sunday, sorry, not today, no.