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Laws Needed for Documenting Psychiatric Drug Links
CCHR, a mental health industry watchdog, which has documented over 1,000 cases of potential psychiatric-drug-induced acts of violence since the 1980s, reinforces the need for mandated toxicology tests in violent crimes.

LOS ANGELES - Missouriar -- The new year has only begun and already the mental health industry watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR) says the failure of governments to investigate the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence is putting communities at risk. CCHR has long called for mandatory toxicology tests to be performed on those responsible for acts of mass violence, including stabbings, and for a national register of drug findings to be maintained and publicly accessible. It praised the recent efforts of Sheila Matthews, co-founder of AbleChild, who is leading the crafting of HB 2933 which was recently filed in Tennessee, aimed at revamping autopsy procedures for mass shooters.[1]

The bill would mandate comprehensive toxicology reports during autopsy, covering current psychotropic and prescription drug use plus a 10-year history of the drug use, to be publicly disclosed. Matthews stresses the crucial need for stronger testing and reform in medical examiner offices to uncover potential links between psychotropic drugs and mass shootings.

The recent incident at the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, serves as yet another tragic reminder of the imperative to investigate the potential connection between psychiatric drugs and acts of violence. A 36-year-old woman injured two individuals, one her 7-year-old son, when she opened fire at the Lakewood Church, a non-denominational evangelical Christian church located in Houston, Texas.[2] In an all too familiar scenario, the perpetrator had a history of being treated for "mental health" issues—which can often mean hospitalization and psychotropic drugs. A relative said the woman was taking "medication" for schizophrenia,[3] which is usually powerful antipsychotic drugs.

CCHR maintains a list on its website of school shooters and other acts of violence that were committed by people either under the influence of or withdrawing from psychotropic drugs. But these acts of violence are not limited to shootings; they include stabbings, the use of bombs, and other forms of senseless violence.

Another recent example was on February 3, when a man armed with a knife and a hammer in Paris, France injured at least three people at Gare de Lyon train station. The 31-year-old man was carrying "medicines" that suggested he was undergoing psychiatric treatment.[4]

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In January 2023, a midwife and mother fatally strangled her three children (ages 5, 3, and 8 months) and then attempted suicide while her husband was out buying food. She survived a 20-foot fall. She had been prescribed 9 different psychotropic drugs between October 2022 and January 2023, including sedative-hypnotics, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. An attorney said the drugs had "caused homicidal ideation, suicidal ideation." The mother and husband "went to doctors repeatedly saying 'Please help us.' This was turning her into a zombie....'"[5]

In October 2022, in Long Beach, California, a 21-year-old went on a stabbing spree killing a woman outside of a homeless housing facility.[6] At least three others were stabbed.[7] From a girlfriend's account, he may have stopped taking his "meds" for schizophrenia.[8]

CCHR points out that he could have been in the throes of antipsychotic drug withdrawal. A 2022 study of 18,043 screened studies, controlled and cohort trials that assessed withdrawal symptoms after discontinuation of oral antipsychotics concluded: "Withdrawal symptoms appear to occur frequently after abrupt discontinuation of an oral antipsychotic." Restlessness, anxiety, tension, and insomnia are some of the side effects.[9]

CCHR published a fully documented report, Psychiatric Drugs: Create Violence & Suicide—School Shootings and Other Acts of Senseless Violence, that provides more than 30 studies that link antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychostimulants, mood stabilizers, and sedative-hypnotics to adverse effects, including hostility, mania, aggression, self-harm, suicide, and homicidal thoughts.[10]

With tens of millions of Americans prescribed psychopharmaceutical drugs, clearly, not everyone taking them will experience aggressive and violent side effects. However, at least 49 international drug regulatory agency warnings have verified these as legitimate side effects. According to these agency warnings, a percentage of these people will, and no one knows who will be affected next.

With more than 45 million Americans taking antidepressants alone it is no wonder the nation experiences high rates of violence, asserts CCHR. The Epoch Times recently reported on the prescribing of antidepressants in the U.S. and the link to suicides. More than one in eight Americans take these drugs and it has become a booming market, projected to reach over $23 billion in revenue by 2030.[11]

That's incentive enough for the psychiatric-pharmaceutical industry wanting to thwart legislation such as that introduced in Tennessee.

CCHR says the evidence is clear that since the introduction of antipsychotics in 1955 and the newer Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants, in 1987, both have been documented to be linked to violent effects in a percentage of the people taking them. Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Joseph Glenmullen reported, "The irritability and impulsivity" from antidepressants, for example, "can make people suicidal or homicidal."[12]

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Taxpayer funds have been allocated to all types of violence preventive measures, yet notably absent is the investment in investigating the links between psychotropic drugs and acts of violence.[13] Many psychiatrists deflect legislators' focus from iatrogenic drug-induced violence by asserting the absence of studies on the correlation between psychotropic drug usage and the risk of committing homicide. However, therein lies the dilemma. It is improbable that a credible study could ethically secure approval to intentionally induce violent behavior through prescription drug administration.[14]

This is another reason for the need for drug data collection through medical examiners. CCHR says that it is imperative that governments investigate psychotropic drug-induced acts of violence.

About CCHR: CCHR was founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and the late Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry, and prolific author of books on psychiatry. It has helped achieve over 190 laws enacted that protect rights within the mental health system and bring to account violations of rights.

[1] tennesseestar.com/policy/co-founder-of-ablechild-sheila-matthews-details-work-on-tennessee-bill-to-help-determine-link-between-psychotropic-drugs-and-mass-shooters/khousler/2024/02/14/

[2] apnews.com/article/church-shooting-joel-osteen-texas-d3c7011f83c57206dc2348cc33035c97; www.khou.com/article/news/crime/lakewood-church-houston-shooter/285-dc80c9f7-4728-4016-bb34-574582f50f4b

[3] www.cnn.com/2024/02/13/us/joel-osteen-lakewood-church-shooting-tuesday/index.html

[4] abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/paris-police-3-people-injured-stabbing-attack-gare-106918262

[5] www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11710075/Midwife-mother-strangled-three-children-death-overmedicated-prescription-drugs.html

[6] lbpost.com/news/stabbing-spree-long-beach-arrest-suspect-yohance-sharp-mental-illness; www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/woman-dead-3-people-injured-apparent-california-stabbing-spree-rcna52642

[7] kfiam640.iheart.com/content/2022-10-21-man-pleads-not-guilty-to-killing-lb-woman-other-stabbings/

[8] lbpost.com/news/stabbing-spree-long-beach-arrest-suspect-yohance-sharp-mental-illness; www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/woman-dead-3-people-injured-apparent-california-stabbing-spree-rcna52642

[9] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7552943/

[10] www.cchrint.org/2023/04/14/cchr-urges-government-to-investigate-link-between-psychopharmaceutical-drugs-and-senseless-violence/; nypost.com/2022/07/05/texas-teen-accused-of-plotting-mass-shooting-at-amazon-warehouse/

[11] www.theepochtimes.com/health/overprescribed-suicides-haunt-the-dubious-approval-of-antidepressants-5498641?utm_source=andshare

[12] articles.dailypress.com/2004-03-21/news/0403210207_1_dr-joseph-glenmullen-corey-baadsgaard-school-shootings-and-murder-suicides

[13] www.cchrint.org/2022/07/11/billions-spent-on-violence-prevention-ignores-how-psychotropic-drugs-cause-hostility/

[14] www.cchrint.org/2022/07/11/billions-spent-on-violence-prevention-ignores-how-psychotropic-drugs-cause-hostility/

Contact
Amber Rauscher
***@cchr.org


Source: Citizens Commission on Human Rights
Filed Under: Government

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