Is violence the best kept secret in psychotropic drugs?
After the Parkland shooting, one of America’s largest mental health advocacy groups released a report not calling for more gun control, but instead more control over the prescription pad.
In their report, they made the case that the one thing that ties mass shootings together is the shooter was on legally prescribed drugs.
It wasn’t that the shooters were suffering from undiagnosed issues, they were diagnosed and given drugs.
Over 30 studies have now linked antidepressants, antipsychotics, stimulants, mood stabilizers and sedatives with hostility, mania, aggression, self-harm and thoughts of killing themselves or others.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights showed in more than 60 major cases of violence, it was done under the influence of legally prescribed drugs or those who were suffering from withdrawal from them.
The group’s president, Jan Eastgate, said:
“The goal of this report is to help law enforcement, educators and policy makers to learn how psychotropic drugs are a hidden link to the prevalence of violence and suicide in the community. Facts, statistics, studies and expert opinion in the report show the medical concerns about the rise of senseless acts of violence coincident with the increase in psychotropic drug prescriptions and usage.
“Psychiatric drugs create dependence, suicide and violence in a percent of individuals taking them. That is a documented fact. The disastrous consequences are felt by all. As so many lives are at stake, it is vital that each person who is in a position to take action avail themselves of this information to help protect our communities.”
This isn’t just the opinion of a few people. Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Glenmullen says people who take these drugs “become very distraught. … They feel like jumping out of their skin. The irritability and impulsivity can make people suicidal or homicidal.”
Is there just too much money being made to stop this tide?
Two of the most profitable drugs of recent years have been Abilify and Cymbalta which have sales of over $2 billion a year.
One in six U.S. adults take psychotropic drugs, and the trend keeps getting bigger.
With this many people on these drugs, you would think that America would not have a problem with depression or other mental health issues.
But the Citizens Commission report asks the harder question, what if the drugs are actually creating the problem they were supposed to correct?
We have been conditioned to believe that getting help for a mental health issue is taking a pill.
The report makes the case that we are actually throwing gasoline on a fire when we do.
But the other major problem with our psychotropic drug crisis is this:
We are really not sure what these drugs do to developing brains in our young people.
While we have done brain scans of adults when they start taking these drugs and we can see how it affects parts of the brain, we have not done these on teens.
This is not to mean that everyone who takes a Prozac is going to become a mass murderer, this is obviously not the case, but we can’t ignore the fact that the one common denominator in nearly every mass shooting in the last decade has been carried out by someone on one of these drugs.
There are 410 warnings to doctors and patients about the dangers of psychotropic drugs and 27 of those are warnings about violence.
Five percent of those who take these drugs get a side effect noted as “physical agitation.” This is the leading reason for people to drop out of drug trials.
This is often 10 times more common than those who are getting the placebo.
British psychiatrist Dr. David Healy noted that 90% of the school shootings in the last decade were linked to widely prescribed antidepressants.
In short, we have highly profitable drugs, that have questionable effectiveness, linked to some of the worst cases of violence in our society.
Do you think we have a bigger problem than guns in the hands of private citizens?