This is Science Today. Social welfare professor
Steven Segal of the University of California, Berkeley
did a study of mentally ill patients in several
county hospital emergency wards. He found that African-American
patients were given twice the dosage of anti-psychotic
drugs as other patients, for no apparent reason
other than their race. High doses of anti-psychotics
make patients restless and uncomfortable.
Segal: That type of side effect can discourage people from continuing to use this treatment. Now this treatment may very important for them to use over time, but if you have real negative side effect to a medication, you're unlikely to continue with it.
Narrator: While Segal's research was done only in California, he says there's no reason to think it isn't a national problem.
Segal: We're concerned. We think that it's important that other facilities take a look at their procedures to make sure that this isn't happening there. That's what this is about.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.