We grieve as a nation for the victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Many are asking why? Why did Adam Lanza do this and why have all of the other school shootings in recent years happened? If you spend the time to research this question, the answer is quite clear. Our political system and the mainstream media by in large refuses to acknowledge the evidence.
Americans comprise 5% of the world's population, but consume over 50% of the world's prescription drugs. Side effects from some of these medications can include violent as well as delusional behavior, even in individuals that never experienced that type of behavior before. The main drugs of concern are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibiting antidepressant drugs including Elavil, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Anafranil, Norpramin, Sinequan, Prozac, Luvox, Remeron, Serzone, Pamelor, Paxil, Vivactil, Zoloft, Surmontil and Effexor. Dr. Joseph Mercola estimated that 40,000 deaths per year are associated with anti depressant drugs.
In the United States the use of these SSRI anti depressant drugs have increased 400% during the last 2 decades. Psychological counseling for these individuals decreased during this same time period. It is a lot easier to give a drug to numb someone's mind than it is to actually figure out the cause of a problem and try to fix it. Counseling, exercise, nutritional therapy including supplements and sunshine have been successful in treating depression with no side effects.
MSNBC reported that 14 of the worst 24 worldwide civilian mass shootings in the past 50 years were in the United States.
Many times the medical records of juveniles are sealed, so the list below of United States shootings linked to anti depressant medications may be too short. This list can also be found in public records:
DeKalb, Illinois – February 14, 2008: 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people and wounded 16 others before killing himself. He was taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien.
Omaha, Nebraska – December 5, 2007: 19-year-old Robert Hawkins killed 8 people and wounded 5 before committing suicide. He was under the influence of the “anti-anxiety” drug Valium.
Cleveland, Ohio – October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding 4 before taking his own life. He was taking the antidepressant Trazadone.
Blacksburg, Virginia – April 16, 2007: 33 were killed and 29 were injured. The psychiatric drug history of Seung-Hui Cho in the Virginia Tech Massacre was never made public. Initial reports stated that “depression medication” was found among Cho’s belongings. But neither his toxicology reports, nor his recent medical history were ever released.
Red Lake Indian Reservation, Minnesota – March 21, 2005: 16-year-old Native American Jeff Weise, reportedly under the influence of the antidepressant Prozac, went on a shooting rampage at home and at his school, killing 9 people and wounding 5 before committing suicide.
Greenbush, New York – February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano entered 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.”
El Cajon, California – March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman was on 2 antidepressants, Effexor and Celexa, when he opened fire at his California high school wounding 5.
Williamsport, Pennsylvania – March 7, 2000: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was on the antidepressant Prozac when she shot at fellow students in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, wounding 1.
Conyers, Georgia – May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with a mix of antidepressants when he opened fire on and wounded 6 of his classmates.
Columbine, Colorado – April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox when he and his partner Dylan Klebold killed 12 classmates and a teacher and wounded 23 others before taking their own lives. The coroner confirmed that the antidepressant was in his system through toxicology reports while Dylan Klebold’s autopsy was never made public.
Notus, Idaho – April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired 2 shotgun rounds in his school narrowly missing students; he was taking a mix of antidepressants.
Springfield, Oregon – May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his own parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing 2 and wounding 22. Kinkel had been on Prozac.
Some would argue that these individuals were disturbed to begin with and that is why they were prescribed the anti depressant drugs. If that is the case, then why historically did these shootings start after these drugs were on the market and why are the greatest concentration of these shootings where the drugs are used the most?
The pharmaceutical industry is well aware of this situation, just as the tobacco industry was well aware of the dangers of cigarette smoking long before it was common knowledge. This is not new and these side effects have been well documented in medical journals. The documented side effects of SSRI drugs use or withdrawal include but are not limited to apathy, dissociation disorder, hallucinations, nervousness, insomnia, violent behavior, suicidal tendencies and homicidal tendencies.
Anti depressant drugs are estimated to be a $50 billion a year cash cow for the pharmaceutical industry. Unknown millions are spent on direct advertising to the consumer through television, radio and print advertising. The United States and New Zealand are the only two countries that allow advertising of prescription medications directly to consumers. Much of this advertising has been criticized as being deceptive. Even more money is spent advertising to doctors and giving them free samples.
The lawsuits against the pharmaceutical industry for the side effects of anti depressants have cost the industry just a small fraction of their profits. It may be just the cost of doing business, but the cost of human lives can't be measured in dollars.
The pharmaceutical industry consistently outspends other industries in lobbying dollars in Washington, lobbying on at least 1,600 pieces of legislation between 1998 and 2004. According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, pharmaceutical companies spent $900 million on lobbying between 1998 and 2005, more than any other industry. During the same period, they also donated $89.9 million to federal candidates and political parties.
It is time for:
1. Doctors to start treating patients who have depression without drugs first and dispensing anti depressants with much more discretion. Doctors must also closely monitor those patients that are taking them and must be held accountable when they don't follow that protocol.
2. Pharmaceutical companies must also be held accountable for any deceptive advertising and marketing practices and make public all of the data that they have about the side effects of anti depressant drugs.
3. Politicians must realize that they are working for the people and not the pharmaceutical industry.
Was Adam Lanza was taking anti depressant medications? We should know soon if the toxicology reports are released. If he was, that may very well answer the question "why".
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