Psychoactive drugs slow down or overstimulate specific parts of the nervous or endocrine systems. They are effective partly because of the damage they do.

Many mood altering drugs cause significant damage at moderate doses and even permanent physical or mental disability over time. Some are life threatening.

For many people the side effects are worse than the diseases they are prescribed for. They include confusion, rigidity of movement, torpor, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and reduced intellectual capacity and all the risks that come with these. Some drugs like anti-psychotics and amphetamines destroy neurons causing progressive and irreversible brain shrinkage. The unintended consequences and risks can be unpredictable.

Most people prescribed drugs already have some impaired mental physical or emotional functioning. Drugs can close down what remains of their life. ECT and extensive use of some drugs can erase memory and personality.

Not all the dangers are noted in official publications. Some only get there after extensive research, public outcry or intervention by regulators.

Users might not take some drugs if they knew the risks. Some prescribers and medical staff disclose the benefits but not all consequences. Their advice is not always completely independent as some treatments are more lucrative than others and some are more convenient.

Prescribers and dispensers usually provide official information on the side effects and contra-indications if they are asked. More detailed and independent information can be researched on the internet.

Many prescribers do not monitor thoroughly for side effects so it may be wise to keep an eye out for any changes in health or feelings. They don't get paid extra for getting it right.

Drug treatment medicates organisations as well as their patients. Drugs reduce communication especially if patients are sedated. Time and attention is taken up with medication use and compliance.

Both staff and patients interaction is reduced so throughout the organisation there are less communication skills, problem solving, personal involvement, social connection and sharing of experiences of success.


Quitting some of these drugs is extremely distressing due to withdrawal symptoms. The quit pages have some suggestions.