Journal article Open Access

Intramuscular injection and its impact on perspectives in mental health medication, psychotherapy, ethics, peer process, and recovery

Guttman, Maxwell

The advent of the three-month injectable intramuscular (IM) injections for antipsychotic medications is a giant step forward in traditional medication management in mental health. This advancement should be a signal to clinicians, and peers in mental health alike, that thinking beyond immediate symptom management and stabilisation needs to be an urgent and necessary shift in the current medication management paradigm. As practitioners in mental health, we set goals and objectives with our consumers and are too often limited by the crisis driven needs of those on oral medications with higher statistics for relapse and a lower medication efficacy. This is an important advancement in delivery systems for this class of medication, signalling that there are more available treatment options for those carrying a diagnosis of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders. We need to move beyond the stigma that IM injections are for those just labelled 'non-compliant' but is, in fact, another option for people committed to their mental health. This discussion will hopefully raise a larger conversation and should not be taken as a recommendation to do anything. Instead, it is information to supplement the knowledge of mental health consumers, raise awareness, and provide the importance of choice to a person's treatment carrying these diagnoses.

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