Should school-shooter victim families sue Serco’s patent officers for Big Pharma wrongful deaths?

Source: Huffington Post

Is it Drugs Not Guns that Cause Violence?

April 21, 2013 • By Hyla Cass, M.D.

With the media fixated on guns and violent video games, Connecticut’s chief medical examiner says he’s seeking genetic clues to help explain why a shooter killed twenty children and six adults in a Newtown elementary school. 60 Minutes reported that Adam Lanza was taking prescribed medication, but the mainstream media failed to follow up on this.

Sure, guns are rampant, too easy to get, and should clearly not fall into the hands of mentally disordered people, and violent video games are priming the pump – – all issues that I deem important to address, but I will leave that to all the others who have done it justice to date.

A common thread amongst the most horrific school shootings of the past 25 years is that the majority of the shooters were taking a psychiatric medication.

As a psychiatrist who is all too familiar with this issue, I am dismayed at this oversight, and believe that these tragedies should also contain some lessons going forward – both for the public and for prescribing doctors.

These drugs do not always cause violent behavior, of course, and in many cases, they are used to treat it. However, certain medications, such as Prozac, have been linked to increase risk for violent, and even homicidal behavior. Several of the most tragic cases of violent murder by prescription takers should be noted.

Many legal cases, with closed books due to settlement, document cases of suicides and homicides in individuals who had not been violent prior to taking medication, and often they were newly prescribed or on an increased dose.

Below are some of the mass-murderer statistics (thanks to Deborah Merlin and her book, Victory Over ADHD ):

The Virginia Tech shooter murdered thirty-two. Cho was prescribed the antidepressant drug Prozac prior to his rampage.

Jeffrey Weiss went on a shooting rampage on March 21, 2005, at Red Lake High School that left ten dead, including him. Earlier that day, Weiss had killed his grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend. He was on Prozac and the dosage had recently been increased.

Eric Harris, one of the killers at Columbine High School, was on the antidepressant drug Luvox. Court records show that the prescription for Harris had been filled ten times between April 1998 and March 1999.Three and a half months before the shooting, the dosage had been increased. The Physician’s Desk Reference records show that during controlled clinical trials of Luvox, manic reactions developed in 4 percent of the children given the drug.

Please go to Huffington Post to read the entire article.

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