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Monday, April 07, 2003

When I was a student at UAF, back when the sign out front simply read "University of Alaska," one of my professors showed us an old television documentary about psychiatric drugs. Pretty frightening stuff, seeing the overall impact the treatments had one some people. Granted, there were a few instances of people being institutionalized as mentally is for nothing more profound than mild retardation or simply being themselves. One case I always remember was an elderly black man with horrible trembling and a near inability to speak. He had been under treatment with psychatric drugs for decades and his physical manifestations were due, in entire part, to the results of the drugs he was prescribed his while life. It turns out that he never did have any mental illness of any kind. This morning's Anchorage Daily News has a story about a woman fighting the Alaska Psychatric Institute over her medication regime. Granted, from the story one would conclude she has problems. However, it does raise questions about the overall treatment and care regime in place at API and how the State of Alaska deals directly with chronically mentally ill Alaskans. Read it here.

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