Psychotropic Drugs and Mass Shootings – Connected?

The San Bernadino slaughter is now known to have been a terrorist attack. But what about all of the others?

There is a growing body of evidence that the widespread use of psychotropic drugs is somehow connected to the growing rash of mass shootings in the United States. How widespread are we talking about? The latest figure I can find is $70 billion in sales for 2010.  It is estimated that more that 20% of the population now regularly takes psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs prescribed by their physicians.

What qualifies as a psychotropic drug? These are pharmaceuticals that are designed to change behavior or mood: depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, OCD, ADD/ADHD, etc. When someone takes an occasional Valium for muscle spasms in their back, it isn’t classified as psychotropic use. When someone takes it every day for anxiety relief, it is.

What’s the connection to mass shootings? The time line. Back in the 50’s there were basically no psychotropic drugs and no mass shootings. There were plenty of guns around, so that wasn’t it. You could buy anything you wanted by simply mailing a check in. I owned a rifle and a pistol by the time I was 14 (1968) but I only shot tin cans and bottles – no people.

In the 60’s, Valium was so new that the Rolling Stone’s had a hit song about “Mother’s Little Helper.” Sales were so good that pharmaceutical manufacturers saw the profit potential and started cranking out their own ways to manage people’s ‘feelings.’ How profitable are they? Thirty of the ‘latest/greatest’ psychotropic Abilify will cost you $1000. That’s for 30 tiny pills. A one-month supply. No wonder sales of that drug alone topped $7 Billion last year.

As time past, these drugs became stronger and use became more widespread. Now it seems that more hyperactive kids are being given Ritalin that “time outs.” It took a Federal Law to stop school systems from forcing parents to drug their children by withholding education from those children if they aren’t drugged.

So now, in 2015, over 20% of people from 6 years old up are being given psychotropic drugs that have become “the standard of care” as a result of pharmaceutical company sales tactics that label any behavior or mood outside of some idyllic “norm” a newly created “disease.”

Author Diane McGuinness said it beautifully in The Limits of Biological Treatments for Psychological Distress – “The past 25 years has led to a phenomenon almost unique in history. Methodologically rigorous research . . . indicates that ADD [Attention Deficit Disorder] and hyperactivity as “syndromes” simply do not exist. We have invented a disease, given it medical sanction, and now must disown it.”

How’s that related to mass shootings? As the use of psychotropic drugs has increased, so has the incidence of mass shootings. Let’s take a look at some of the known side effects of these drugs.

Suicidal and/or violent behavior, sexual dysfunction, manic behavior, crying spells, insomnia – just to name a few. There’s also nausea, vertigo, an increased risk of diabetes, etc., but those aren’t pertinent to this conversation. What is pertinent is what we know about these shooters:

Eric Harris, 17, Columbine HS – Zoloft and Luvox. His partner’s records are sealed.
13 dead (+ the 2 shooters), 23 others wounded.

Adam Lanza, 20, Sandy Hook Elementary – Lexapro and Celexa
27 murdered + his own suicide.

Jeff Weiss, 16, Red Lake HS – Prozac
10 dead, 12 wounded

Aaron Alexis, 34, Washington Navy Yard – Trazadone
13 dead (including Aaron), 3 wounded

The list could go on and one, but I think I’ve made my point. Dr. Peter Breggin, MD Psychiatrist spells it out in this video as well:

The takeaway I’d like you to have is this: Even though psychotropic drugs have become common and accepted as the “standard of care”, don’t forget that their purpose is to change brain chemistry by use of chemicals that are completely foreign to the human body. The reaction you may have is completely unknown. If you, or your children, or your grandchildren are prescribed these medications, please remember to be cautious. Be very cautious.