Allen Frances

Author: Allen Frances

Dr. Allen Frances is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and former Chair at Duke University. He was previously chair of the DSM IV Task Force and played an instrumental role in the preparation of DSM III.

He was described by the New York Times as “the most powerful psychiatrist in America” and is the author of the internationally best-selling book Saving Normal, winner of three book awards.

His other recent book, Essentials Of Psychiatric Diagnosis, provides the clearest guide to the use and misuse of psychiatric diagnosis.

Dr. Frances blogs regularly on Huffington Post, Psychiatric Times, Psychology Today, and Education Update. He also Tweets @AllenFrancesMD.
  • Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry

    Former Chair at Duke University

    Former Chair of the DSM IV Task Force
Sleeping Pills Are Addictive, Unsafe, and Ineffective

Sleeping pills are to be used short-term and only after the patient has been briefed on all the many problems they frequently cause.

Will the Magic Mushroom Help Dying Cancer Patients?

New research indicates one Psilocybin trip, lasting a mere eight hours, can reduce anxiety and depression in about 80% of cancer patients.

A New Patient-Initiated Coalition Battles Benzos

Benzodiazepines have been in widespread use for fifty years, but the clinical trials of these drugs were short-term and their long-term safety was never established.

How Low Can Pharma Go in Pushing Its Opioid Drugs?

I often equate the motives and methods of drug companies and drug cartels, but Pharma’s moral bankruptcy can surprise even me.

Pros and Cons of Pot Prohibition

During the recent election, recreational pot was approved by voters in California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada – losing only in Arizona.

Pharma Finds Yet Another Way To Exploit The Opioid Epidemic

It is not in Pharma’s DNA to miss any opportunity to find profit in patient suffering, even if its own products are at the root of the suffering.

DEA Has the Wrong Priorities…and Kratom is the Wrong Target

When it comes to rating drug danger, Kratom seems to be something of a mild pussycat, while prescription opioids are the most ferocious of tigers.

Is Ketamine Really a Miracle Drug for Depression?

Ketamine is now being given a third possible starring role as a new miracle drug for depression.

OxyContin’s Killer Offspring: Fentanyl and Carfentanil

Carfentanil, a veterinary medicine used for things like anesthetizing elephants, has recently hit the streets and is causing large clusters of overdose and death.

Connecting the Dots Between Opioid Drug Pushing and World-Class Philanthropy

The honor that comes from the Sackler family’s philanthropy is tainted by dishonor in knowing their fortune was accumulated via the OxyContin epidemic.

Opioid Companies Lobby Against Medical Marijuana

The exponential growth of addiction to prescription opioids offers a classic example of selfish corporate greed swamping any vestige of corporate conscience.

DSM-5 Made a Mistake Eliminating Substance Abuse

Two conflicting DSM-5 and DSM IV diagnoses have radically different implications for treatment planning and for prognosis.

Any Psychiatric Symptom Can Be Caused By a Substance

One of the most common mistakes in a psychiatric diagnosis is ignoring the possibility that a substance problem could be causing the presenting symptoms.

Yes, Benzos Are Bad For You

Most people take benzodiazepines long-term, in addictively high doses, and for the wrong reasons.

Behavioral Addictions: A Dangerous and Slippery Slope
When are behavioral addictions considered useful concepts?

A seemingly small change in DSM-5 disguises what is really a giant conceptual leap in the behavioral addiction arena.