The Bitter Pill

The Official Blog of UNITE –

Alaska Says Children Cannot be Protected from Drugging


March 31, 2009

Jim Gottstein

Alaska Admits It Is Incapable of Protecting Children and Youth in Its Care from Harmful Psychiatric Drugging

Today, responding to the State of Alaska’s admission in PsychRights v. Alaska that it was incapable of protecting the children and youth in its care from improper and harmful psychiatric drugging, the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights®) told the court it must step in.

PsychRights v. Alaska was filed last Fall to halt the State of Alaska’s practice of administering and paying for psychiatric drugs being given children and youth without safeguards being in place to make sure proper decision making occurs. In trying to get PsychRights v. Alaska “thrown out of court” the State admitted it was incapable of protecting the children and youth in its care as follows:

A reading of the Complaint makes obvious that the true subject of plaintiff’s grievances is not the Department, but prescribers of psychotropic pharmaceuticals, the pharmaceutical companies which produce and market them, and the overall culture of pediatric psychiatry. The implication that the Department possesses meaningful authority and control over these matters-or is in any realistic position to administer the relief requested even if the court were to order it-is a fiction.

“The point is the State has the responsibility to properly care for the children and youth in its care regardless of the ‘culture of pediatric psychiatry,'” according Mr. Gottstein. Today’s court filing tells the court, “It is shameful the State is abdicating its responsibility when it should be working to correct the problem.”

In the absence of the State being willing to address the problem without court intervention, the lawsuit seeks to solve it by obtaining a court order prohibiting the psychiatric drugging of children and youth by the State unless and until

(i) evidence-based psychosocial interventions have been exhausted,

(ii) rationally anticipated benefits of psychotropic drug treatment outweigh the risks,

(iii) the person or entity authorizing administration of the drug(s) is fully informed of the risks and potential benefits, and

(iv) close monitoring of, and appropriate means of responding to, treatment emergent effects are in place.

Practically every day brings revelations that pediatric psychopharmacology is the result of illegal drug company actions to improperly influence psychiatrists to prescribe extremely harmful drugs to children and youth, in spite of there being no real evidence of their efficacy. “Rather than meeting its mandate to properly care for and protect these children and youth from harm, the actions of the State are reprehensible,” Mr. Gottstein declared, adding “The State is also trying to hide its complicity by stopping the discovery process.”

The defendants in the lawsuit are the State of Alaska, its Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), and responsible officials, Sarah Palin, Governor, William Hogan, Commissioner of DHSS, Tammy Sandoval, Director of the Office of Children’s Services (OCS), Steve McComb, Director of the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), Melissa Stone, Director of the Division of Behavioral Health (DBH), Ron Adler, CEO of the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API), and William Streur Deputy Commissioner and Director of Medicaid. All of the substantive filings in the lawsuit are available on the Internet at

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights is a public interest law firm devoted to the defense of people facing the horrors of unwarranted forced psychiatric drugging and electroshock. PsychRights is further dedicated to exposing the truth about psychiatric interventions and the courts being misled into ordering people subjected to these brain and body damaging drugs against their will. Extensive information about these dangers, and about the tragic damage caused by electroshock, is available on the PsychRights web site:

# # #

Filed under: child endangerment, courts, CPS, drugging children, PsychRights, ,

PsychRights Article Excerpt on Legal Force and Psychiatry

Please make a donation to PsychRights by visiting their website. There you can also get an idea of all the wonderful and crucially needed work this organization is doing, including launching a Soteria house, a pro bono legal representation campaign for involuntary patients, exposing drug risks, and suing to force an end to drugging of foster children.

Psychiatry: Force of Law
by James B. Gottstein, Esq.
November, 2002

The purpose of this article is to set forth just the basic legal principles, underpinnings and practices employed in the widespread use of legal force to compel unwilling patients into locked psychiatric hospitals and, most importantly, force brain damaging drugs and other brain damaging treatments such as Electroshock upon them over their desperate, but hopeless objections.  The companion article, Unwarranted Court Ordered Medication: A Call to Action, describes what might be done about it and this article is really background for that one.  In addition, there are a number of excellent law review articles on the subject, a small sampling of which are listed at the end of this article.

The impetus for this article is the realization that the scientific basis for these forced treatments is non-existent and they are permanently damaging hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people.  No other field of medicine allows this sort of forced treatment.  Of course, there are many people who see psychiatrists and voluntarily, even eagerly, take psychiatric medications.  This article has absolutely no complaint about this.  It is unwarranted forced treatment that is being addressed.  This article also does not address the issue of somewhat more subtle coercion such as “if you don’t take the medication, we will take your housing away from you” or “if you don’t take your medication, we will have you committed to the mental hospital.”  This article is solely concerned with using the force of law (court orders) to compel people to submit to unwarranted psychiatric treatments they do not want.  What  unfolds is a legal system of Catch-22’s for the patients and one where the courts have not only abdicated to “professionals” their responsibility to protect the rights of people coming before them, but also condones perjury in furtherance of this abdication.

Go to and click on Psychiatry: Force of Law to read the rest of the article.

Filed under: forced 'treatment', Jim Gottstein, Psychiatry: Force of Law, PsychRights

Alaska Soteria House Seeks Staff for Fall Opening

Soteria House in Alaska Seeks Staff.  Soteria House to Open This Fall.


Soteria-Alaska is a home where people who are experiencing symptoms that are associated with diagnoses of mental illness can live while they begin their recovery process.  The primary services are peer support, homelike environment/milieu, inclusion in the community.  Families are encouraged to participate at the desire of the resident.  The home will welcome the sharing of diverse cultural traditions as determined by the residents in the home.  Soteria-Alaska is a place for people who might otherwise go to the hospital if an alternative was not available or who have been in the hospital for a brief period of time, but would benefit from the Soteria environment.  It is not a permanent residence.  It is a 24 hour staffed home that is located in Anchorage , but accepts residents from all of Alaska .  Soteria values choice, self determination, the power of peer support and respect for all people.


Soteria-Alaska is recruiting for a House Manager and eight to ten Residential Assistants. 


The House Manager will oversee day to day operations, supervise staff under the direction of the Executive Director and with the Executive Director set the tone of the environment.  People who understand and exemplify the Soteria philosophy are encouraged to apply.  Individuals with personal experience with recovery and people with licensure or eligible for licensure in Alaska will be strongly considered for theHouse Manager position.


Residential Assistants will work under the supervision of the House Manager and the Executive Director.  They will provide support to individuals who are experiencing acute symptoms such as hearing voices, fear, anxiety, and inability to sleep.  They will participate with residents in the operation of the house such as shopping, cooking and cleaning.  Residential Assistants will be compassionate and respectful and will honor personal choice of individuals while acknowledging the needs of the community.  Individuals with personal experience with recovery will be strongly considered for Residential Assistant positions.


Volunteers and Student Interns are welcome to join the Soteria House team.  Volunteers and Students will work under the supervision of the House Manager and the Executive Director and will work along side Residential Assistants in providing support to residents.  Soteria-Alaska has signed a memorandum of Agreement with the Alaska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and welcomes participation from individuals seeking training and experience who are clients of DVR.


Soteria has some limited, affordable, temporary housing available to people who are relocating to Anchorage to work in Soteria House.


Contact:  Susan Musante, Executive Director Soteria-Alaska, Inc. and CHOICES, Inc. (907)333-4343


James B. (Jim) Gottstein, Esq.

Law Project for Psychiatric Rights
406 G Street, Suite 206
Anchorage, Alaska  99501

Phone: (907) 274-7686)  Fax: (907) 274-9493

            Law Project for
       Psychiatric Rights

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights is a public interest law firm devoted to the defense of people facing the horrors of forced psychiatric drugging.  We are further dedicated to exposing the truth about these drugs and the courts being misled into ordering people to be drugged and subjected to other brain and body damaging interventions against their will.  Extensive information about this is available on our web site, Please donate generously.  Our work is fueled with your IRS 501(c)tax deductible donations.  Thank you for your ongoing help and support.

Filed under: Jim Gottstein, PsychRights,

An Open Letter To Congress On The MOTHERS Act

Filed under: Amy Philo, antidepressants, Congress, forced 'treatment', Isaac Philo, Jim Gottstein, Julie Edgington, lawsuits, Manie, Melanie Stokes, mothers act, Pregnancy, PsychRights, suicide, Zoloft

PsychRights Argues For Pro Bono Movement

A call for attorneys in New York – a memo on “Kendra’s Law”

This is a fascinating read detailing all the reasons why we need attorneys in each judicial district to step up to the plate and defend patients against forced drugging. As Gottstein states, his memo does not fully address the crisis of forced ECT, or the mass drugging of America’s children, which is clearly an emergency. 

But obviously the time could not be more appropriate to defend adults against forced drugging. We are faced, after all, with the possibility of forced drugging via The MOTHERS Act. I can’t imagine anything worse than drugging mothers, especially when these mothers are or become pregnant while on drugs. To drug unborn babies should be classified as criminal, but presently it is revered by the completely unethical mental ‘health’ community. This absurd and deluded group of people actually argues that the benefits of medication outweigh the risk to the unborn or newborn baby. 

Let’s compare the benefits to the risks.

  • Antidepressants (stimulants in the same category as LSD and cocaine): proven no more effective than a placebo.
    Risks/effects: suicide, homicide, stillbirth, spontaneous abortion, fatal birth defects, SIDS, psychosis, diabetes, coma, death via serotonin syndrome…
  • Mood stabilizers (anticonvulsants): Benefits? Perhaps prevention of seizures caused by antidepressants (stimulants)
    Risk: double the rate of suicide according to the latest data…
  • ‘Antipsychotics’ (misnamed, actually neruoleptics in the same class as rat poison): Benefits? You will sleep more, because you will be asleep most of the time (potentially involuntarily when the nurse gives you a shot in the behind)…
    Risk of death increased by a rate of 2.5 per increment of neuroleptic, with long-term use, shave off 25 years from your life. Evidence that these drugs are actually PRO-psychotics.

Please read the memo by Gottstein and the attached affidavits by Whittaker and Jackson. Here is a snippet:

(a) Neuroleptics dramatically increase the likelihood that a person will become chronically  disabled.  

(b) Long-term recovery rates are much higher for unmedicated patients than for those who are maintained on neuroleptic drugs. 

(c) Neuroleptics cause a host of debilitating physical, emotional and cognitive negative effects, including substantial brain damage, and lead to early death. 

(d) The new “atypical” neuroleptics are not better than the old ones in terms of their safety and tolerability, and quality of life may even be worse on the new drugs than on the old ones.  

III. Involuntary Administration of Neuroleptics is Experienced as Torture by Many…

Filed under: antipsychotics, Congress, forced 'treatment', Jim Gottstein, mothers act, Paxil in pregnancy, PsychRights, seizures, suicide, toxicity deaths, , , , ,

Pro-Bono Attorneys Defend NY Against Forced Drugging: Call for Volunteers

Law Project for Psychiatric Rights, Inc.
406 G Street, Suite 206, Anchorage, Alaska 99501 ~ (907) 274-7686 Phone ~ (907) 274-9493 Fax


August 18, 2008

Dan Hazen
(315) 528-3385

Jim Gottstein
(907) 274-7686

PsychRights’ Launches Pro Bono Recruitment Effort with MindFreedom’s Ann L Human Rights Alert

As part of their Joint Task Force on Mental Legal Advocacy & Activism, and in connection with last week’s MindFreedom Alert: Say “No” to NY Forced Psychiatric Drugging of “Ann L, the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights) today announced the launch of its effort to recruit pro bono attorneys to help defend New York citizens facing the horror of forced psychiatric drugging in the community.

PsychRights’ President, Jim Gottstein, said, “people think forced drugging makes the community safer, but the opposite is true. It is well established that psychiatric drugs forced on people increase rather than decrease violence.” “The idea that forced community psychiatric drugging makes people safer is a fraud perpetrated on the public by organizations like the Treatment Advocacy Center,” continued Mr. Gottstein.

The scientific evidence on this, the ineffectiveness of these drugs for most and extreme harm to all caused by these drugs, along with a legal analysis, has been put together for attorneys in Memorandum (Preliminary) Forced Psychiatric Drugging in the Community –Pro Bono Opportunity of Great Significance. Dan Hazen, PsychRights’ Northeast Coordinator said, “We hope members of the New York bar will read the memorandum and decide this is an issue deserving of pro bono services.”

Attorneys interested in signing on or desiring more information may contact either Mr. Hazen or Mr. Gottstein at the contacts above or below.

David Oaks, MindFreedom’s Director, said, “We are very pleased to collaborate with PsychRights, combining legal advocacy and grass roots activism.” In closing, Mr. Gottstein stated, “If nothing else, attorneys should be offended by the sham nature of the legal proceedings in which New York citizens are ordered by the courts to take these very debilitating, largely ineffective, and extremely harmful drugs.”

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights is a public interest law firm devoted to the defense of people facing the horrors of unwarranted forced psychiatric drugging and electroshock. PsychRights is further dedicated to exposing the truth about psychiatric interventions and the courts being misled into ordering people subjected to these brain and body damaging drugs against their will. Extensive information about these dangers, and about the tragic damage caused by electroshock, is available on the PsychRights web site:

# # #

Filed under: forced 'treatment', Jim Gottstein, MindFreedom, PsychRights, , , , ,


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