Published On: Wed, Sep 30th, 2020

‘Black stock’ of antipsychotic drugs at MHF

CAY HILL — The Mental Health Foundation in Cay Hill has a large stock of leftover medication, referred to by its staff as “black stock,” for patients who do not have health insurance. Apart from doctors and nurses, all staff has access to the black stock, which is not under lock and key.

People with substance-induced psychosis regularly report to the Mental Health Foundation. Any abuse of a substance like alcohol, drugs, hallucinogens, inhalants, stimulants, or sedatives can trigger a psychotic episode, which includes symptoms like hallucinations and delusions. Alcohol and marijuana pose the biggest risk. Many of the cannabis available on the streets is skunk – high in THC, the chemical that gets users high, but very low in CBD, the drug’s mitigating chemical.

Addicts usually do not have health insurance. The Mental Health Foundation stores leftover pills and injections to give to patients without insurance when needed. This is done on the instructions of a doctor.

Both the regular medicine supply and the ‘black stock’ of the Mental Health Foundation are in a room that all staff can access. The medication is not under lock and key. According to insiders, the black stock is “extensive.” Members of the medical staff have warned management of the risk of misappropriation of medication. Both interim director Eileen Healy and her successor Dr. Kitty Pelswijk have been asked to take measures and to ensure that the entire stock of medicines is monitored. Abuse of antipsychotic drugs can have very serious consequences. Nevertheless, management does not introduce stock registration.

Drug-induced psychosis, also known as ‘stimulant psychosis’, is often short-lived. Typically, once the drug is out of the body and withdrawal is complete, the symptoms of psychosis go away. In some cases, they may persist but not for more than a month. Once a person has experienced an episode of psychosis, they are more likely to go through it again. This is especially true of drug-induced psychosis.

Studies have shown that substance use increases the risk of certain psychotic conditions. One study of over three million people found that any diagnosis of substance abuse increases the risk of schizophrenia by six times. The reason for the increased risk is not fully understood. It may be that people who are already predisposed to a psychotic disorder are more likely to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

According to several sources, MHF regularly fails to take blood and urine for a lab test before treating psychotic patients. Blood tests and physical examinations are essential not only to find out if someone has liver, kidney, or heart problems but also to determine if the person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Reportedly, a number of patients diagnosed as schizophrenic, and given specific medications for this, were in reality in crisis due to drug-induced psychosis and should not have been given drugs for schizophrenia.

Misdiagnoses and over-medication have been a problem in MHF for years, according to insiders. This would be the reason that the government indicated in 2018 that the institution may only work with BIG-registered doctors. That decision has not been formalized since then.

MHF’s Board of Directors has been made aware of administrative and organizational problems several times, including by means of a letter from the trade union. This year, the medical staff demanded that Eileen Healy step down as interim director and distance herself entirely from the MHF. The Board of Directors has also been warned that Dr. Kitty Pelswijk is not qualified for the position of interim director.

The Board of Directors, led by Dr. Felix Holiday, has ignored the cry for help from the employees of the Mental Health Foundation. The board recently made the appointment of dr. Pelswijk as interim director official, effective 1 October. 71-year-old Eileen Healy will remain associated with the institution as a consultant after her departure. Hired through her consulting firm St. Martin’s Care Consultancy, Healy continues to make her mark.

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