At least 1 million people that are incarcerated suffer from mental illness, and of these only 15% of local inmates and 27% of state prisoners currently receive some treatment in the form of psychotropic drugs. Many of these sick inmates will be “treated” with these powerful drugs linked to addiction, cyclical crime, and violent homicidal outbursts.
Sadly, prisoners don’t receive natural health treatments for anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric disorders that could actually help. Instead, they’ll be prescribed psychotropic drugs that are linked to violent, homicidal, suicidal, and criminal acts.
Why are prisons prescribing highly addictive, violence-sparking drugs to a population already prone to violence and crime?
There’s already evidence that psychotropic drugs, particularly antidepressants, may be linked to the rise in mass public shootings. In Time Magazine’s list of top ten legal drugs linked to violence, seven are psychotropics. (anti-depressants)
The US Army has admitted that the shooter at Fort Hood in 2014 had been prescribed psychotropics. (anti-depressants)
According to statistics 18% of federal prisoners and nearly 17% of state prisoners say they committed their offense to obtain money to buy drugs. Close to 80% of inmates already have some sort of substance abuse problems.
So why is it a good idea to give inmates already vulnerable to substance abuse even more addictive drugs?
Could this could serve to perpetuate the cycle of drug-fueled crime?
Given the overall costs, and the large number of incarcerated people, public safety, and our taxpayer money being spent, it seems a foregone conclusion that inmates should not be pushed into these drugs.
Let’s take a look at who stands to benefit from all those Big Pharma profits and finance dollars.
State and county jails are the biggest winners here. Because Medicaid is a federal program, and because they can charge the cost of the Affordable Care Act enrollees to the federal government, their budgets will shrink drastically, it’s estimated that $6.5 billion in annual healthcare costs will be shifted to the federal government (i.e., taxpayers like you).
We can’t help but think that jails see some appeal to a population controlled by drugs. What they may actually get is anything but a sedated inmate population.
If the Affordable Care Act program is implemented in prisons nationally, there will be a huge jump in enrollment numbers, especially in the coveted young adult group.
60% of the prison population is between the ages of 18 and 34.
For Big Pharma psychiatric drugs are a big fat cash cow. Sales of a single schizophrenia drug (Zyprexa) represented 23% of Eli Lilly’s total earnings in 2008 alone. Johnson & Johnson’s antipsychotic franchise generates over $3.8 billion annually.
This program cracks an untapped market wide open, generating billions in new sales and since psychotropic drugs are so addictive, what could be lifelong customers.
So far, only six states and counties are signing up prisoners under the new Affordable Care Act rules. But if this program is implemented nationally, many of the seven million Americans behind bars, on parole, or on probation, as well as the thirteen million booked into county jails each year, would be eligible for taxpayer-subsidized drugs linked to violence.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time we’ve used government-subsidized healthcare to boost Big Pharma profits: after all, children on Medicaid are four times more likely to be prescribed antipsychotic drugs.