18 April 2007

virginia tech - do the math

more senseless killing that very well could have been avoided.

i just heard about this awful attack today. i caught a bit on npr about one of the professors that was killed - how he had survived the holocaust, and put himself against the door, blocking the gunman's entrance, to allow his students time to escape through the windows. i listened to the memories being shared about the others who lost their lives yesterday. i cried until i was dry.

and as i listened, i thought of other school shootings - and i kept thinking, "wonder what antidepressant he was taking?"

i just remembed to google "virginia tech shooter medicated" and lo and behold - the first result was a piece in which his parents told authorities that he had been being medicated for depression for some time and that his behavior had become more and more eratic and violent astime went on.

what the fuck is it going to take to make sure that people are being properly monitored while taking meds that the pharma companies know good and well can provoke these types of violent thoughts/actions? this isn't the first time. it won't be the last.

i also found this, written by steve wagner, the director of litigation & prosecution for the advocate group citizens commission on human rights, www.cchr.org.

29 people have been killed and 62 wounded by school shooters taking violence- and suicide-inducing psychiatric drugs. These notorious schoolyard crimes include, among others, the 2005 Red Lake Indian Reservation shooting by Jeff Weise—on Prozac, the 1999 Columbine shooting by Eric Harris—on Luvox, and a 1998 shooting in Springfield, Oregon by Kip Kinkel—on Prozac. Including Monday morning's murder in a one-room schoolhouse in Pennsylvania, three shootings have occurred within the last week. One of these three shootings occurred at a school in Bailey, Colorado, less than an hour's drive from Columbine. Rocky Mountain News reports that outside Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado, antidepressants were recovered from shooter Duane Morrison's jeep, after he took several girls hostage and killed one of the school girls before taking his own life.

This is to say nothing of the numerous other acts of seemingly "senseless violence" carried out by adults who were later exposed as having been under psychiatric treatment, including "Unabomber" Ted Kaczinski, Michael McDermott (on Prozac when he shot and killed seven co-workers in December 2000), John Hinckley, Jr. (attempted assassination of President Reagan), Byran Uyesugi (Hawaiian Xerox employee who shot and killed seven co-workers in November 1999), Mark David Chapman (assassinated John Lennon) and many others.

Was Charles Carl Roberts IV, who murdered five Amish schoolgirls before shooting himself, on these behavior-altering drugs, like so many ofther perpetrators of "senseless violence?"

The U.S. FDA warns that antidepressants can cause suicidal ideation, mania and psychosis. The manufacturers of one antidepressant, Effexor, now warn that the drug can cause homicidal ideation. This month, a study came out in the Public Library of Science-Medicine journal, conducted by Dr. David Healy, director of Cardiff's University's North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine, which found that the antidepressant Paxil raises the risk of violence. Though the study focuses specifically on Paxil, Healy reasoned that other antidepressant drugs like Prozac, Celexa and Zoloft, most likely pose the same risk of violence. "We've got good evidence that the drugs can make people violent and you'd have to reason from that that there may be more episodes of violence," Healy said.

The connection to psychiatry's violence-inducing drugs and treatments has been made in incident after incident. It is acknowedged by the FDA and reputable medical researchers. With this knowledge, one can finally put some sense into these "senseless acts."

With three such incidents in the last week alone, investigators must look in the most obvious place for the causes for such psychotic, suicidal behavior and consider the potential culpability of the psychiatrists who prescribe such drugs.

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