(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Truth. Citizen Truth encourages opinion pieces from a wide array of political spectrums in the hopes of fostering understanding.)

The consequences arising from the massive proliferation of pharmaceutical drugs in the United States are staggering. The fallout from the pharmaceutical industry can be felt in all corners of America, by people from every background and economic standing, but recent developments revealing that immigrant children held at detention centers were forcibly drugged with a variety of psychotropic substances against their will are among the most troubling incidents to have come to the forefront of America’s pharmaceutical nightmare.

Despite the depths of these horrific human rights abuses, incidences such as this are unfortunately not uncommon in the slightest, nor are they limited to immigrant children that have been separated from their parents and placed in detention centers.

Children and adults being forced to take multiple psychotropic medications that often interact negatively with one other is nothing new; this happens every day in both adult and juvenile correctional facilities and hospitals.

I know this because I’ve experienced this first-hand.

During high school I was placed in a psych ward and forcibly injected with multiple antipsychotic drugs against my will after my parents called the police in the middle of a heated argument. I had done nothing violent and had broken no laws, yet I was restrained by two police officers and taken to the psychiatric unit at the nearby university medical center, where my mother was allowed to accompany me. Once I was admitted to the psych ward, I was subjected to humiliating verbal abuse from the attendants and forced to strip naked and change into a hospital gown in front of everybody, patients and doctors.

After this, I was administered multiple, terrifying, psychotropic drugs against my will, even though my distraught mother begged the undereducated medical student who was in charge of my case not to put these drugs into my system.

But he did it anyways.

And he did it with the help of two overweight security guards who wrestled me to the floor, placed me in a chokehold, and constricted my airways while medical students, who really were not qualified to be doing any of this anyway, injected the mind-altering drugs into my buttocks.

This was not only extremely humiliating–it was also the most traumatic experience of my life.

I was the victim of physical abuse throughout my childhood and was sexually abused by a family member in my teens, experiences that left me scarred and have caused me to have problems with anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. These events were absolutely horrendous, and I still don’t know if I will ever be able to move on past these experiences, but the trauma from these events pales in comparison to the way it felt when my brain was forcibly altered against my will until I became a mindless zombie with no sensations, desires, or emotions.

If you are being abused physically, your mind and emotions will suffer immensely, but at least you have the security of knowing that your brain in functioning the way that it’s supposed to. When you’re being abused physically, you know that you are in your right state of mind and that the person who is abusing you is the one in the wrong. When a cocktail of toxic and hazardous psychoactive chemicals is dumped into your bloodstream, the person administering the drug has taken everything away from you.

You don’t even know who you are anymore.

I was incredibly lucky. Since the “doctors” at the psych ward couldn’t diagnose me, and I had proven that I was not a threat to anyone, including myself, they had no choice but to let me go (though I’m sure they would have loved to keep me there for more torture if they’d had the chance). Again, I’d like to emphasize that my mother was with me in the psych ward when I was psychologically abused with these horrific chemicals, and despite her pleas, they continued to inject me again and again.

I was left a shell, my face an empty mask with nothing behind it. After this experience, I’ve devoted my time to educating myself about the horrors of these psychotropic drugs and the ways they are prescribed and administered, typically against the receiving individual’s will.

The abuse that takes place in prisons, detention centers, and hospitals is barbaric, and reminds us of the “chemical castration” procedures that LGBTQ individuals were forced to endure less than a hundred years ago. The scariest thing is that many of the people who are subjected to these treatments have no say in the matter, and never have the opportunity for their voice to be heard. After they have been the victim of this abuse for too long, it’s too late: their brains have literally been turned to mush at the hands of devious doctors who use an arsenal of dangerous medications to turn people into zombies.

What has happened to these children in the detention centers where they are housed is despicable, and hopefully ICE, Border Patrol, and the Trump Administration comply with the judicial order mandating that they stop this barbaric practice.

We must also remember the thousands of American citizens who are quite literally penned up in prisons and psych wards and are subjected to psychoactive chemical torture on a regular basis, and we can only hope that those institutions, too, will have mandates to comply with to stop the abuse of these patients.

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