More than 30,000 people with autism and learning disabilities being wrongly prescribed with dangerous drugs

UK – The Telegraph reported last week that over 30,000 people who are diagnosed with autism and or a learning disability are being prescribed dangerous medication which act as a “chemical cosh”.

Research has found that thousands of individuals with autism and learning disabilities, including both adults and children, are being prescribed anti psychotic and anti depressive medication that can dramatically shorten their lives and is often prescribed without a diagnosis.

NHS England told it was “completely unacceptable” that these people were being given such drugs, often for several years without sufficient follow up reviews.

The research that was led by Public Health England (PHE) also found that children were being prescribed drugs that were unsuitable and dangerous when taken in the long term.

Dan Scorer, head of policy at Mencap, said:”The research findings issued today by the NHS shine a light on the shocking scale of the inappropriate use of medication.” He further added that it is “outrageous”  and unacceptable that thousands of people are being prescribed such drugs without “appropriate clinical justification.”

Director of the National Autistic Society’s (NAS) Centre for Autism, Carol Povey told:

“The high number of people on the autism spectrum being prescribed psychotropic drugs like antidepressants and antipsychotics is concerning and must be addressed urgently. Figures from one of the reports reveal that autistic adults are prescribed antipsychotic medication at roughly 10 times the rate of the general population.”

NHS England have previously been criticised for failing to keep its promise of moving thousands of people with a learning disabilitiy and autism out of Victorian style Institutions.

If you want to learn more about these findings please visit the NHS England website. Urgent action pledged on over-medication of people with learning disabilities. Autism Daily Newscast reported on this issue back in November 2014, Care in crisis – individuals with autism and learning disabilities dumped in institutions.

Source: Laura Donnelly: The Telegraph: More than 30,000 people with autism and learning disabilities ‘under the chemical cosh’