The inappropriate use of anti-psychotic medication in long-term care homes in the Sudbury area is slightly lower than the national average.
The Canadian Institute of Health Information shows roughly one-in-four residents in the city are given tranquilizing drugs, even though they're not psychotic.
The national average is one in three.
The abuse of anti-psychotic medication is one measurement managers can use to judge quality of care, said Douglas Yeo, a spokesperson with the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
"Maybe this home has an issue with the rate of anti-psychotic use, or the rates of falls are too high, or the rate of depression is too high. Focus on that. "
Nickel Belt NDP MPP France Gelinas, who worked in the health care field for years, said she remembers the practice of restraining people — physically — with Velcro ties.
"Now, [we're] not allowed to do this, [which is a] good thing," she said.
"[But] now we're doing this with medication — shame on us."
Gelinas noted that many medications given to seniors are "actually on a list that should not be prescribed to older people. But they continue to be for the purpose of making people docile and passive — and this is wrong."
The Local Health Integration Network's Long-Term Care officer said the over-use of anti-psychotics is being addressed.
Kirsten Farago reports more than 70 workers have been re-trained to manage dementia patients without drugs.
"These workers look at ways to address the root cause, as well as strategies, to deal with them."
This is not a new issue. A 2007 report from the Auditor General pinpointed anti-psychotics as over-prescribed and dangerous to seniors.