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The Elephant in the Room: Rampage Shootings, Bizarre Violence and Prescription Drugs


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The Elephant in the Room: Rampage Shootings, Bizarre Violence and Prescription Drugs

August 8, 2012 · by PharmaWatch Canada · in drug safety, industry influence. ·

 

James Holmes was arrested for the Aurora Colorado shooting in a cinema killing 12 people and injuring 58 others.Media reporting after rampage shootings, such as the one that occurred in Aurora, Colorado, in late July, invariably focus on gun control, fueling not inappropriate outrage at some of the inadequacies in American law regarding the ease with which lethal weapons can be legally purchased.

 

This focus misses a big part of the picture. The perpetrators of these atrocities — some of which have been planned obsessively for weeks, if not months — are often in bizarre mental states. The website www.ssristories.com (no longer being updated due to the passing of the dedicated administrator, Rosie Meysenburg) is a lay advocate’s effort to catalogue rampage shootings over the past couple of decades from media reports. It is no coincidence to those who are familiar with the debilitating and disabling effects of psychiatric drugs that many perpetrators had a history of psychiatric drug use and abuse that was reported in the media. These are catalogued by drug and type of event in a searchable database on the SSRI Stories website. Many well-researched studies related to violence and psychiatric drugs have been published in reputable journals. Indeed, a recent study found that “in general, antidepressants are neither safe nor effective; they appear to do more harm than good.”

 

We need better gun and weapon control, but we also need much better monitoring of prescription medication use and abuse as well as an accurate tabulation of outcomes (short- and long-term) related to treatment protocols. (See Robert Whitaker’s excellent book Anatomy of an Epidemicfor a discussion of this issue.) We need to understand just what power these drugs — the antidepressants, the anti-psychotics, the hypnotics and the painkillers — have to alter and change judgment, including moral judgment (the difference between good and evil), impulsivity and empathy. Some studies have shown that SSRIs can even change sleep architecture in a profound way that allow people to be dreaming while apparently awake.

 

Evidence suggests that the problem of seemingly random violence may be located in the mind of the perpetrator and, in combination with easy access to guns, leads to shocking and deadly outcomes. When the mind has been altered iatrogenically through the use of prescribed medications, we are dealing with an “elephant in the room” that should no longer be ignored. Nor should we ignore the fact that too often these drugs are prescribed by licensed doctors who appear to be ignorant of potential adverse reactions and the risks they are creating. Solving the problem of how psychotropic drugs can potentially create pure evil and wreak havoc in our world faces many challenges, including the privacy rights of individuals being treated, the lack of public access to prescription drug treatment records and the iron grip that the pharmaceutical industry has on clinical research, ensuring that almost no negative findings ever see the light of day.

 

Immediately following the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre (PDF) a lockdown of medical information about the perpetrator, Seung-Hui Cho, seemed to go into high gear. In early reports a roommate reported seeing Cho, who had a history of treatment for anxiety, taking a medication the morning of the massacre, and there was speculation he may have been taking Accutane for acne. This was later omitted from media reports. His records from the counselling department mysteriously disappeared for two years but were finally found in the home of the counsellor who had been dismissed from his job shortly before Cho’s rampage and had taken the records home when he cleaned out his office. These records, published in 2009, two years after the massacre, reveal a recommendation for outside counselling but no apparent follow-up or follow-through by Cho. There is no evidence in the records that Cho was taking medications prescribed to him by a doctor except possibly for a skin condition. He had however taken antidepressant medication in 1999 (in other reports confirmed as Paxil) for a year as an eighth grader because of shyness and anxiety. While the long-term effect of taking this at such a young age has never been scientifically demonstrated, there is the possibility this did influence his development in some way.

 

The Columbine shooters were both in treatment for anger management and this was underplayed during the investigation. It was only because Eric Harris, one of the shooters, applied to be in the military that we learned he was on antidepressants. To my knowledge the complete records have never been disclosed and may now have been destroyed. According to a lawsuit brought by the first student shot at Columbine against the drug maker Solvay, Harris was initially prescribed Zoloft, but after he became “restless and unable to concentrate” by his own report, he was switched to Luvox which he took for two years before the massacre. He had therapeutic levels of Luvox in his system at the time of his death.

 

more here: https://pharmawatchcanada.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/the-elephant-in-the-room-rampage-shootings-bizarre-violence-and-prescription-drugs/

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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The possible connection between psychiatric drugs and this kind of weirdly planned vengeful violence is fascinating, isn't it?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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Good article.

 

The mania and psychosis during startup is comprehensible. The complete personality change and inclination to elaborate plans of violence are mindboggling. The number of people existing in 'altered states' is like a Sci-Fi movie. Scary.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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