April 1965

Influence of Policy and Drugs On Colorado State Hospital Population

Author Affiliations

Department of Sociology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City (Dr. Smith); Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California at Los Angeles, formerly Superintendent, Colorado State Hospital (Dr. Bower); and Research Sociologist, Colorado State Hospital, Pueblo, Colo (Mr. Wignall).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12(4):352-362. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01720340024004

Introduction: Differential Effects of Psychotropic Drugs on State Mental Hospital Populations  RECENT STUDIES of mental hospitals show significant changes in the characteristics of patient populations since the introduction of psychotropic drugs in 1955.6 Findings from these studies suggest that drug therapy is the critical variable accounting for these changes.4 It is sometimes inferred that the use of psychotropic drugs has produced such marked therapeutic results that patient populations of mental hospitals across the country have been reduced automatically with their introduction.Brill and Patton recently presented data from which they argue that abrupt changes occurred in the New York State System of Mental Hospitals as the result of introducing psychotropic drugs.1-3 They also raise the question of the role played by other causes in the reduction of patient populations, but their evidence clearly points to the use of psychotropic drugs as a necessary

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