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Inappropriate prescribing of psychoactive drugs


, : Inappropriate prescribing of psychoactive drugs. Annals of Internal Medicine 83(6): 896-897

There is a great deal of concern about overprescribing of psychoactive drugs but little consensus as to the magnitude of the problem. To varying degrees, physicians, patients and industry are responsible. Physicians may overprescribe for profit, because of organic or psychiatric problems, or because of a lack of current information about the issues involved. The vast majority of inappropriate prescribing is due to well-intentioned physicians who are ill-informed or manipulated by patients. The physician must be able to identify the drug-dependent individual, treat him and refer him to other resources in the community as appropriate. The medical community and federal and state governments have taken steps to assist, but individual physicians can do a great deal in this area. Much more needs to be done to properly inform the patient and make him more responsible. Collaboration between the medical community, industry, government and the consumer is essential.

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