Tell New York to Stop the Chemical Restraint of People with Disabilities
  • Petitioned OPWDD People First

This petition was delivered to:

OPWDD People First
OPWDD
OPWDD Commissioner
Courtney Burke
OPWDD Acting Deputy Executive Commissioner
James Moran
OPWDD
Katie Marlay
OPWDD Commissioners Correspondence Unit
New York State House
New York State Senate

Tell New York to Stop the Chemical Restraint of People with Disabilities

    1. Petition by

      The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

A recent New York Times expose documented the extensive overmedication of people with disabilities in residential service-provision. According to the Times, people with developmental disabilities in group homes in New York are more likely to be given Ativan, an anti-anxiety drug that also serves as a tranquilizer, than multivitamins. In many cases, psychotropic medication is prescribed as a chemical restraint to control behavior, even when it lacks any therapeutic purpose. Data from the National Core Indicators project, a national database run by the Human Services Research Institute and the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disability Services, shows that the percentage of people with developmental disabilities receiving psychotropic medications is much higher than the percentage who have the co-occurring mental health conditions that might justify their use. This is a critical issue, and it is imperative that New York's Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and State Legislature take action to address it.

Recent signatures

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    1. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Daira Hopwood OLD TRAFFORD MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM
      • over 2 years ago

      Many of these drugs are work no better than placebo (e.g. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(08)60072-0/abstract ) and it is bad medicine, at best, to prescribe them to people with developmental disabilities.

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    • Charles Smyth ORANGE, CT
      • over 2 years ago

      I have a friend with a daughter in a NY home & I want to help protect her.

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    • Erin Miller NEW BERLIN, WI
      • over 2 years ago
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    • Erin Miller NEW BERLIN, WI
      • over 2 years ago

      There is a wide range of other tools residential services can use as well. Tools such as Positive Behavioral Intervention (PBIS). PBIS works by communicating to people with disabilities what care workers want rather than leaving residents to guess. By preventing problems, there are less side effects and it is more cost effective than medication alone. In addition, some people with developmental disabilities are known to be *so* much more sensitive to chemicals that 1/3 the typical dose works for them. (As though medicating a patient at 3 times the typical upper limit wasn't alarming enough) Medication is a powerful tool but it must be used carefully.

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    • Kelly Greene MIAMI, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      Inappropriate use of medications is a criminal offense and should be treated as such.

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