According to a new study involving 247,858 individuals ages 5-24 receiving Medicaid, high doses of antipsychotic medications (more than 50mg of chlorpromazine (Thorazine) equivalents) had an 80% increased risk of unexpected death compared to a control group, "Wayne A. Ray, Michael Stein, Katherine T Murray, D. Catherine Fuchs, Stephen W. Patrick, James Daugherty, Kathi Hall et al, "Association of Antipsychotic Treatment With Risk of Unexpected Death Among Children and Youths," JAMA Psychiatry, epub (December 12, 2008): doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.3421. The individuals in the study "had no diagnosis of severe somatic illness, schizophrenia or related psychoses or Tourette syndrome or chronic tic disorder."
The authors recommended psychosocial interventions and limiting antipsychotic treatment to "the lowest dose and shortest duration possible." Yet individuals often take high doses for long durations, never coming off antipsychotics while we make applied behavior analysis a luxury treatment, available to only to families who can pay for it. As discussed in my book, in a year, 70% of children with autism age 8 and up receive psychiatric medication despite a lack of evidence. However, applied behavior analysis has thousands of studies to show evidence and does not have side effects. Yet our society for the most part refuses to fund ABA, including for my brother Stuart who is on twenty medications including two antipsychotics. Our FDA tried to ban my brother Matthew's two second skin shock which has kept him off antipsychotic medications almost thirty years. Instead our government is choosing and trying to force others to take medications with adverse effects including sudden unexpected deaths, because our education and adult special needs programs for the most part are not funded to provide ABA.