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Avoiding Drugs as Chemical Restraints: Resources

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Consumer and family resources on avoiding drugs as chemical restraints.

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Advocating for Quality Care and Treating Symptoms of Dementia without Drugs

Troubling Trends in Antipsychotic Drug Usage and Schizophrenia Diagnoses Among Nursing Home Residents

PowerPoint slides

More than a decade after the creation of a federal campaign to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs with nursing home residents living with dementia, and strengthened federal protections for residents around their use, newly released data shows usage rates are rising, particularly during the pandemic. Additional reports and studies show that schizophrenia diagnoses among nursing home residents, one of three diagnoses where antipsychotic use is not included in reported rates, has also been steadily increasing, particularly among Black residents. Listen to this discussion about what could be contributing to these increases and identify strategies for recognizing and addressing these troubling trends.

Speakers: Shekinah Fashaw-Walters, Assistant Professor, Division of Health Policy & Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota; Kelly Bagby, Vice President for Litigation for Health, Hunger, Housing and Human Services, AARP Foundation

Finding Real Solutions for Behavioral Health Needs in Persons with Dementia

PowerPoint slides

Too often, caregivers are ill-equipped to address the needs of persons living with dementia, especially those related to behavioral health. This webinar explores strategies, effective treatments, and support for residents and families who often need help understanding their rights and how to get good care.  

Avoiding Inappropriate Use of Antipsychotic Drugs: Knowing Your Rights

Webinar slides

Deadly Drugs Misused in U.S. Nursing Facilities: AARP helps family win damages in suit over wrongful death


Articles and Studies

Read below articles and studies on the misuse of Antipsychotic drugs.

Consumer Voice Executive Director, Lori Smetanka, Writes Article on Antipsychotic Drug Use in Nursing Homes - October 19, 2021
In light of recent investigative reports from the New York Times about increases in schizophrenia diagnoses for residents, with higher rates of diagnoses for Black residents, purportedly to prescribe antipsychotic drugs, Consumer Voice Executive Director, Lori Smetanka, wrote an article for the American Society on Aging's Generations about the spike in antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes. 

GAO report, Antipsychotic Drug Use: HHS Has Initiatives to Reduce Use Among Older Adults in Nursing Homes, but Should Expand Efforts to Other Settings, GAO-15-211 - January 2015

OIG report, CMS Could Improve the Data It Uses to Monitor Antipsychotic Drugs in Nursing Homes, OEI-07-19-00490 - May 2021

OIG report, Medicare Atypical Antipsychotic Drug Claims for Elderly Nursing Home Residents, OEI-07-08-00150 - May 2011

House Ways & Means Committee Report, Under-Enforced and Over-Prescribed: The Antipsychotic Drug Epidemic Ravaging America's Nursing Homes - July 2020

Human Rights Watch report, They Want Docile: How Nursing Homes in the United States Overmedicate People with Dementia - February 2018

New York Times Article on Racial Disparity in Schizophrenia Diagnoses in Nursing Homes (Read as a PDF) - October 15, 2021

New York Times Article Highlights How Antipsychotic Drugs Are Misused in Nursing Homes (Read as a PDF) - September 11, 2021