Summary and Analysis

A new study published in World Psychiatry has reported that “both medication and therapy had limited efficacy” in treating “a comprehensive range of psychiatric disorders.” Given that addiction is also classified by mainstream medicine as a ‘psychiatric disorder’ (called ‘Substance Use Disorders’ in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, DSM V) the findings of this study may also be relevant to the use of addiction treatment drugs. Importantly, the study investigators included in their research both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for substance use disorders. They found that the use of “pharmacotherapy” in addiction treatment had a “small effect” in outcomes.

Further, according to the researchers, biases in the psychiatric research literature could lead to an overestimation of treatment efficacy. For instance, a treatment that is just marginally better than a placebo might meet the criteria for statistical significance while failing to be clinically significant.

Excerpted from World Psychiatry

As reported by Mad In America, and elsewhere, researchers analyzed data from thousands of studies across a comprehensive range of psychiatric disorders. They found that both medication and therapy had limited efficacy in treating these problems. They further found that, while pharmacotherapies are recommended as first line treatments, “evidence has emerged that their efficacy may be overestimated” due to a variety of shortcomings in clinical trials (e.g., publication bias, weak control conditions such as waiting list).

Use this link to view the study (page 133):