David Cohen: Prescription Drugs, Psychiatric Medicine, Big Pharma & the Medicalization of Everything
Updated: Aug 17
About the Guest: David Cohen, PhD is a professor at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. His research looks at psychoactive drugs (prescribed, licit, and illicit) and their desirable and undesirable effects as socio-cultural phenomena “constructed” through language, policy, attitudes, and social interactions.
Episode Summary: Nick talks to Dr. David Cohen about: prescription psychiatric drugs, including SSRIs, benzodiazepines and stimulants (e.g. Adderall); the history of how some of the most widely prescribed psychiatric drugs came to be so popular; how pharmaceutical companies go about marketing these drugs and the conditions they aim to treat to both physicians and the public; the quality of the evidence supporting their use; what we are learning about the potential for dependency, long-term health effects, and actual level of benefit that comes from chronic psychiatric drug use; why many psychiatric drugs are increasingly prescribed in combination; and more.