A. PURPOSE OF PSYCHOACTIVE MEDICATIONS
Psychoactive medications are medications that are prescribed for the purpose of enabling a person to perform better, managing a person’s behavior or treating a mental illness. They possess the ability to alter mood, anxiety level, behavior, cognitive processes or mental tension. Common groups of psychoactive medications are anti-psychotics or neuroleptics, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, sedatives or hypnotics, psychostimulants, and mood stabilizers.
B. REFERRAL TO A PSYCHIATRIST
If it appears that a person has a mental illness or would benefit from taking a psychoactive medication, the person will be referred to a professional for an assessment. If available, it is recommended that this assessment be with a psychiatrist or with a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner under the supervision of a psychiatrist. If not available, a physician may be contacted.
C. PSYCHOACTIVE MEDICATION TREATMENT PLANS
Every psychoactive medication prescribed for a client needs a written Psychoactive Medication Treatment Plan. This plan should include medication, dosage, diagnosis, purpose, side effects and should be signed by the physician. All psychoactive medications require the written consent of the client. If a client has a guardian, the guardian must also consent.
D. MONITORING AND REVIEW OF PSYCHOACTIVE MEDICATIONS
The Client Services Coordinator and the Mental Health Specialist will monitor the client for any side effects and any side effects noted will be reported to the physician in a timely manner. Clients taking psychoactive medications need to see their physician at least every three months to review their medications, unless a different schedule has been recommended by the physician.
The Psychoactive Medication Treatment Plan shall be reviewed by the prescribing physician at least annually.
E. POSITIVE SUPPORTS
If positive supports have been identified that will assist in the treatment, reduction or elimination of the person’s symptoms or behaviors, these should be documented in a written plan. For instance, a Positive Behavior Support Plan, a Psychoactive Medication Treatment Plan, an Individual Service Plan or an Individual Instruction and Support Plan.
F. EXCEPTIONS TO POLICY:
Any exceptions to this policy must be reviewed and approved in writing by the Division of Developmental Disabilities regional office.