Should psychologist be able to prescribe psychotropic drugs?

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  • Publicado : 6 de junio de 2011
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Every day thousands of patients suffering from psychological disorders go without the medical attention they need. Often, they have to go to multiple professionals to obtain both medication and psychological therapy. This prolongs their condition and causes it to worsen. This unnecessary discomfort could be alleviated if psychologist could prescribe psychotropic drugs to their patients.
Asstated by Patrick DeLeon and Debra Dunivin in their article “The Tide Rises” (284-292) one of the reasons it has become necessary to enable psychologists to prescribe psychotic drugs is because of the multitude of cases in which the client needs the pharmaceutical intervention and should not have to go to multiple professionals to obtain the help they need.
Other psychologists have pointed out thenecessity of combining psychotropic drug prescriptions with psychosocial interventions (Abrams, Flood, and Phelps, 493-501). Too often, physicians prescribe psychotropic drugs to patients who are suffering from symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other disorders without ensuring their treatment in psychological therapy.
In a randomized study of patients with generalized panic disorder, Heuzenroeder,Donnelly, Haby, Mihalopoulos, Rossell, Carter, Andrews, and Vos (602-612) found that cognitive behavioral therapy was significantly more effective in the treatment of the disorder, resulting in a greater decrease in symptoms and an increase in functioning than psychotropic drugs. Such findings lend credibility to the idea that these pharmaceuticals cannot be prescribed alone in the treatment ofpsychological disorders and thus should be overseen by psychologically trained experts rather than medical experts.
Furthermore psychologists are gaining more influence as trained and effective service providers to the public in the area of behavior and psychology and the extension of this social status should now be expanded further to give them prescriptive privileges. The granting ofprescriptive privileges would simply increase the value that psychologists would be able to offer their clients.
Considering the fact that psychologists treat clients every day that are taking psychotropic drugs, the issue of training on the medical presentations and usages of these drugs is critical, regardless of their ability to prescribe. Carlson, Demaray, and Hunter-Oehmke (623-633) showed in theirstudy of 320 schools that one in four of the students seen by school psychologists are currently taking psychotropic drugs. Furthermore, nearly every psychologist surveyed indicated that they had been consulted in medical evaluations of students in consideration for pharmaceutical prescriptions.
As such, DeLeon and Dunivin (284-292) made an excellent point in that the rise in usage of these drugssignals a significant trend in American public health in which psychologists should be included. An increase in psychopharmacology courses is necessary not only because of the benefit of knowledge to psychologists but because of the open dialogue and collaboration that it establishes between the medical and psychological communities.
In order for proper medical management to occur, bothpsychologists and physicians must be in alignment. This is currently not the norm. DeLeon and Dunivin argued that the ability of psychologists to prescribe medications would facilitate more collaboration and a platform for discussion between the medical and psychological establishments regarding prescriptions.
They went on to implicate the medical profession in propagating the myth that they are the onlyones who possess this expertise and that psychologists should be excluded. This indicates that the public health hazard argument constitutes little more than territory protection.
On the other hand Robiner (284-292) claims that if psychologist were enabled to prescribe psychotropic drugs then the possibility of adverse effects for patients would increase. Because inadequate knowledge is the...
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