An inquiry into the use of tranquillizing drugs with mentally disturbed patients
Burch, Leonard E.
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Introduction. In the past few years many popular weekly and monthly periodicals, as well as the daily newspapers, have featured articles pertaining to the psychopharmaceuticals currently being used and studied. These articles have stimulated the lay public to an awareness of various drugs, their curative effects on psychotic states, and their tranquillizing effects on people experiencing various degrees of anxiety. It is the feeling of the writer that this public interest in psychopharmaceuticals has created a situation in which physicians receive request after request for prescriptions of some anxiety reducing agent. This public demand for tranquillizers has led the pharmaceutical houses to invest heavily in research and the production of various drugs to meet this demand. These same pharmaceutical houses send their representatives to the doctors' offices, to attempt to convince the doctors to prescribe their particular products. In addition to the public interest in the use of drugs, there has been a wide use of drugs in treating mentally disturbed patients. Practically every large mental institution in the United States is using drugs for various disturbed states. In view of this lay and professional interest it seems the counselor, in the school and elsewhere, will likely be confronted by situations which demand a knowledge of the currently used psychopharmaceuticals. However, it is quite unreasonable to expect the busy counselor to read the immense amount of literature being published each week in popular magazines and in professional journals. It is with helping the counselor become acquainted with these drugs in mind that this paper is being written. It is not intended to be a complete coverage of every drug that has been tested or used. It is, however, intended to be an informative report on the psychopharmaceuticals that are being used regularly in mental institutions, out-patient clinics, and in doctors' offices. Method of Research The method of research used in preparing this paper is a survey of the literature. Included in the report will be the action of the drugs, the specific uses as indicated, the psychiatric effects and the possible untoward reactions or side effects.