Friday, December 28, 2012

"The Pills Made Me Do It"

"The public is being misinformed about the precision of these selective serotonin uptake inhibitors..."

~ Candace B. Pert, Research Professor, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington

Shortly after the Newtown massacre on December 14, a Facebook friend, Darin Raney, posted the following:

If I had a billion dollars, I would bet every dime of it that the elementary school shooter was taking an SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor).

I posed the following question in response:

You think SSRIs enable people to point Glocks at five-year-olds and pull the trigger?

I expected Darin to backpedal and reference the usual litany of causes of violence - like poverty, poor parenting, video games, Hollywood, etc. - but he stuck to his guns, so to speak:

I KNOW. 14,000 suicides and homicides per YEAR are linked to SSRIs. Every single mass shooting in this country since 1989 has had an SSRI involved. It’s a $68 billion/year industry.

At this point I asked if he knew of any links I could visit to learn more and he posted several within 30 seconds, including this one. Click on this and you’ll find a comprehensive list of instances in which Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Strattera, Chantix and other drugs were linked to murder and violence.

You’ll also see headlines like "Prozac At Higher Doses May Cause Destabilized Behavior: Molecular Brain Journal," "12-Year-Old Kills His Grandparents," "15-Year-Old Girl Kills 6-Year-Old Brother," "O.J. Simpson on Double Dose of Prozac at Time of Murders," and "12-Year-Old Kills Self: On Both Antidepressants & ADHD Med." And you’ll learn that the “SSRI Defense” is an actual legal strategy that’s been used several times. (And hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against drug manufacturers seeking compensation for harm attributed to SSRIs.)

An article at another link, written after the Aurora tragedy, points out that at least fourteen recent school shootings were committed by people taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs:

1. Huntsville, Alabama, February 5, 2010: 15-year-old Hammad Memon shot and killed another Discover Middle School student, Todd Brown. Memon had a history for being treated for ADHD and depression. He was taking the antidepressant Zoloft and "other drugs for the conditions."

2. Kauhajoki, Finland, September 23, 2008: 22-year-old culinary student Matti Saari shot and killed nine students and a teacher and wounded another student before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.

3. Dekalb, Illinois, February 14, 2008: 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amount of Xanax in his system.

4. Jokela, Finland, November 7, 2007: 18-year-old Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School in southern Finland, then committed suicide.

5. Cleveland, Ohio, October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon had been placed on the antidepressant Trazodone.

6. Red Lake, Minnesota, March 2005: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, on Prozac, shot and killed his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation where he shot dead seven students and a teacher, and wounded seven before killing himself.

7. Greenbush, New York, February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano strolled into his high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher Michael Bennett was hit in the leg. Romano had been taking "medication for depression."

8. Wahluke, Washington, April 10, 2001: Sixteen-year-old Cory Baadsgaard took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates and a teacher hostage. He had been taking the antidepressant Effexor.

9. El Cajon, California, March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, on the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor, opened fire on his classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School.

10. Williamsport, Pennsylvania, March 7, 2001: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was taking the antidepressant Prozac when she shot at fellow students, wounding one.

11. Conyers, Georgia, May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with the stimulant Ritalin when he opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates.

12. Columbine, Colorado, April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris and his accomplice, Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves. Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox. Klebold’s medical records remain sealed.

13. Notus, Idaho, April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin.

14. Springfield, Oregon, May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 25. Kinkel had been taking the antidepressant Prozac.

Still another link discusses “inappropriate prescribing” and claims that "all too often, Americans are taking medications that may not work or may be inappropriate for their mental health problems."

Years ago I was prescribed Strattera and Adderall for ADHD, and I still take 300 milligrams of Wellbutrin every day to combat depression. Although I've never felt the urge to force my way into an elementary school and murder 20 first-graders, I can’t deny the overwhelming evidence that there’s a direct link between SSRIs and murder, suicide and violence.

Did we need another reason to distrust Big Pharma?

Sources:, American Psychological Association,, International Coalition for Drug Awareness.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! i never knew. My anti-depressants made me angry, but i didn't go out looking for people to hurt. Eventually i just quit taking them so i would quit screaming at the people on tv, lol. Still i would be more likely to hurt myself than others. The human psyche is a strange creature.