National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Access to Medications

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 Resources for Consumers and Families

 NAMI's Position

The Importance of Medication

NAMI members strongly support research to discover a cure for severe brain disorders.  Until then, more than anyone else, NAMI consumers and families recognize the need for medications that can control the symptoms of these brain disorders.

NAMI believes that professional judgement and informed consumer choice should determine the choice of medications.  Choice of treatments should be based on our knowledge of effectiveness and side effects and should be consistant with existing treatment guidelines.

Medications for mental illness differ from one another - either in effectiveness in treating specific symptoms or disorders, or in their side effects.  There is ample evidence that newer medications offer some advantages over conventional medications in either effectiveness or side effects.