Going Through Withdrawals on Mind-Altering Meds

“…I was sent to see a psychiatrist who said it was anxiety and depression, and for the following 4 years prescribed 22 different types of mood-altering drugs…”

 

What a wonderful site.

My name is Carol and I live in the UK.

At present I am going through severe withdrawals. I was first given opiate painkillers(Pethidine/Demerol) for pain and after a year became the opposite of my usual bubbly, jolly, extrovert self. The doctor said I was depressed and added Doxepin to the opiate. Six months later my hell began when I developed severe anxiety and panic attacks. The doctor said “Too much Pethidine,” and stopped it dead. Within 2 days I couldn’t function, so I was sent to see a psychiatrist who said it was anxiety and depression, and for the following 4 years prescribed 22 different types of mood-altering drugs including Valium, Clobazam, Oxazepam, Stelazine, Melleril, Chloral Hydrate, Anafranil, Surmontil, Seroxat, Temazepam, Zopiclone, Nitrazepam, Prozac, Temgesic and others.

I attended a mental health day center twice weekly and became suicidal so went into hospital as a voluntary patient. While there and on these drugs, I developed this fear of mental illness especially Schizophrenia. I told my Psychiatrist this, he laughed and said “Don’t be so silly, you are too old for it ,you don’t even have a family history of anxiety let alone that. I’m discharging you from my care–no more pills, go out and get a job, that’s what you need.”

It was an awful 10 months then I started to have the odd better hour, but then disaster struck and I had to have a operation. I was in for three weeks and had opiate injections several times a day. Two days after I came home all my symptoms came back–panics, severe anxiety plus much more but the thing that scares me the most are the irrational repetitive fear thoughts. They are connected to my fear of schizophrenia as one is “What if I hear voices?” and the other is “What if I think the TV or Radio etc is talking to me?” Then I work myself up into sheer panic. Part of me knows it’s silly and irrational but another part of me says “Yes but what if”. It’s a disgrace what doctors do to people with these awful pills.

As well as the Internet groups benzo@onelist & benzo-problems.org/ I also get much support and friendship from a wonderful project here in the UK. It is called the Bristol and District Tranquilizer Project and was set up by a marvelous lady called Val Stevens who herself went through sheer hell whilst on and coming off of Ativan.

It is through here that I wish to say to my saviors, Val, Ian, Margaret, Dave, Roy, Babs, Tom, Ann that myself and my husband Steve and children will be forever grateful for everything they have done and are still doing for me. We will never be able to repay them. I adore each and everyone of them for they too have suffered this hell yet devote their lives to helping others on a daily basis. I respect each and everyone of them for their courage as I do all my fellow sufferers at the Project and around the world.

I never thought that I would say that good has come out of my hell but if it wasn’t for these drugs, I would not have had the privilege of meeting so many wonderful people and having such dear friends.

Thank you Val, Ian and gang for giving me and my family hope again. The Project can be contacted at 42-44 Triangle West in Clifton, Bristol UK The helpline is 0117-9349950 Mon-Thurs 10am-4pm. Thank you so much.

Please feel free to put my story on your site.

Carol

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 79.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

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LEXAPRO & ALCOHOL & MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Murder: Woman Stabs Man To Death: CA

Paragraph eleven reads:  “During the interview, Rothwell
at times explained she was really drunk during the incident. However, she also
denied feeling “buzzed,” explaining she could “see straight” and was not falling
down drunk. She also admitted she drinks “a little bit” and takes medical
marijuana everyday. Rothwell said she takes Lexapro for anxiety and
depression and that she had taken her medication the night of the
incident.
Rothwell told police she has anger problems and when her
father died two years ago it “kinda pushed” her over the edge. She admitted to

stabbing a friend Alex Montes in the arm approximately a year and one-half
before when they were drunk and playing around. Rothwell explained she was not
mad at Montes, but he had said  ‘you won’t [stab me],’  so she did.
Rothwell agreed there were similarities about the two incidents with Rivas and
Montes because each man had dared her to stab him.”

SSRI Stories
Note:  The Physicians Desk Reference states that
antidepressants can cause a craving for alcohol and can cause

alcohol abuse. Also, the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and
the alcohol simultaneously, thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and
the antidepressant
in the human body.

http://www.leagle.com/unsecure/page.htm?shortname=incaco20100422068

PEOPLE v. ROTHWELL

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and
Respondent,
v.
SAMANTHA ELIZABETH ROTHWELL, Defendant and
Appellant.

No. G040557.

Court of Appeals of California, Fourth
District, Division Three.

Filed April 22, 2010.

Christine Vento,
under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and
Appellant.

Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Attorney General, Dane R. Gillette,
Chief Assistant Attorney General, Gary W. Schons, Assistant Attorney General,
Jeffrey J. Koch and Pamela Ratner Sobeck, Deputy Attorneys General, for
Plaintiff and Respondent.

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED IN OFFICIAL
REPORTS

OPINION

O’LEARY, Acting P.
J.

Samantha Elizabeth Rothwell appeals from a judgment after a jury
convicted her of second degree murder and found true she personally used a
deadly or dangerous weapon, a knife, in the commission of the crime. Rothwell
argues her federal constitutional rights were violated when the trial court
refused to instruct the jury to consider evidence of her intoxication in
determining whether she acted with conscious disregard for human life. We
disagree and affirm the judgment.

FACTS[ 1 ]

One afternoon, a group of 10 to 15
friends rented a room at the Hotel Huntington Beach to celebrate Nicole Alcala’s
birthday. Rothwell, one of the invitees, and her friend, Kristina Torres,
arrived around 8:30 p.m. Marc Bellatiere and his girlfriend, Jennifer Mulcahy,
were at the party when Rothwell and Torres arrived. Mulcahy also invited her
brother Ryan Soto. Eighteen-year-old Walter Rivas was also at the
party.

Sometime in the evening, the group went to the beach to meet with
friends. Rothwell chose to stay at the hotel. When the group returned sometime
after midnight, Soto recalled that Rothwell “didn’t seem like herself.” While
some people started getting ready for bed, Bellatiere went outside to the fifth
floor stairwell landing to smoke a cigarette. Mulcahy, Torres, Rothwell, and
Rivas joined him. For the first five to 10 minutes, the mood was fine. However,
the atmosphere changed when Rivas began talking about seeing God the last time
he was in Huntington Beach. Rothwell became upset and ordered Rivas to not “talk
about God. I don’t like hearing about that stuff.” Rivas was taken aback by
Rothwell’s response and asked her why. She replied, “It’s because I’m the
devil,” and demanded Rivas “stop talking about it.” Rivas responded, “I’ll talk
about whatever I want.” Rothwell threatened, “If you don’t stop talking, shut
up, I’ll stab you.” No one in the group took Rothwell’s threat seriously. Rivas
said jokingly, “If you are going to do it, do it,” and continued to talk about
God. Rivas was not threatening, did not make any aggressive moves toward
Rothwell, and made no physical contact with her.

Rothwell walked to the
hotel room and flung the door open. Mulcahy followed and tried to calm her down.
Rivas stayed on the landing talking with Torres. When Rothwell and Mulcahy
entered the hotel room, it was dark and everyone was sleeping. Rothwell went to

the side of the bed where her belongings were located and began digging through
her purse while saying, “@#$% this guy . . . he can’t be talking to me like
this.” Mulcahy tried to grab Rothwell and calm her down, but Rothwell pulled
away and left the room.

Rothwell returned to the stairwell and headed
straight for Rivas. Rothwell swung her closed fist toward Rivas’s neck. Rivas
was substantially taller than Rothwell and struggled against her, but she
stabbed him in the jugular vein and in the back. When Rothwell took her arm
away, Rivas was bleeding profusely and said, “That @#$% fucking stabbed me.
That @#$% fucking stabbed me.” Bellatiere and Torres walked Rivas back to the
hotel room where they had him lay on the bathroom floor.

Rothwell
returned to the room and quickly gathered her things to leave. Soto asked, “Why
did you do it? What happened?” and Rothwell responded, “It wasn’t a big fucking
deal, get over it,” or “Get the @#$% over it. @#$% you,” and left the room
passing a bloody Rivas. Rothwell left bloody fingerprints on the stairwell
railing as she left. Someone called 911.

Bellatiere, Mulcahy, and Soto
left the hotel scared and panicked while Alcala and Torres tended to Rivas. The
group drove down the street and parked. Bellatiere left because he was the only
one in the group who was over 21 years old and had brought alcohol for the
party, which included underage party guests. Bellatiere, Mulcahy, and Soto
called Mulchay’s mother and asked what they should do. As a result of that
conversation, about one hour later, Bellatiere, Mulcahy, and Soto returned to

the hotel. Bellatiere and Mulcahy spoke to police who were at the
hotel.

Rivas died at the hospital. An autopsy determined he bled to death
as a result of an L-shaped stab wound in the left jugular vein of the neck.
Rivas had a blood alcohol level of .09% before his death. He would have needed
four and one-half to five drinks to reach that level.

Police officers
arrested Rothwell the next day at her apartment in Valencia. Officer Michael
Reilly executed a search warrant and found her purse and backpack. In a small
pocket of her backpack, he found a folding knife with dried blood on it. Dried
blood was also found on her backpack, tennis shoes, and pants. Inside Rothwell’s
purse, Reilly found a McDonald’s receipt from earlier that morning at 2:39 a.m.
for a double cheeseburger and chicken nuggets.

Later that day, officers
interviewed Rothwell at the Huntington Beach Police Department. After waiving
her Miranda[ 2 ] rights, Rothwell told police she consumed
three beers and two or three shots of alcohol and vomited while the others were
at the beach. Rothwell explained that while having a cigarette on the fire
escape, she had a conversation with Mulcahy about how she used to cut herself,
which sparked an argument with Rivas. She recalled Rivas said he “found God in
Huntington Beach,” but said it did not make her upset and she was joking when
she said the devil visited her. She explained Rivas had been drinking and yelled
at her to stab him. In response, she walked back to the hotel room and got her
knife. She denied saying she was going to stab Rivas. When she went back to the
stairwell, Rothwell alleged Rivas was taunting her to “stab me like that.”
Rothwell explained the two were wrestling and she was trying to get away when
she swung three times at his stomach and back and inadvertently stabbed him in
the neck. Rothwell explained Torres was screaming at her to stop, but she was
“drunk” and “pissed off” because Rivas had yelled at her and was grabbing her by
the arms. She told police that after she stabbed Rivas, he said, “You got me,”
and “[She] killed him.” Rothwell admitted seeing Rivas laying on the floor
bleeding profusely but gathered her belongings and left the hotel room because
she was terrified and realized he might die. Rothwell recalled saying, “tell
everybody to go to hell” to Mulcahy’s friend Marshall who had followed her down
the stairs. Rothwell explained that when she left the hotel she drove to

McDonald’s and purchased a double cheeseburger and chicken nuggets. Rothwell
explained she then went home and waited for the police to come and arrest
her.

During the interview, Rothwell at times explained she was really
drunk during the incident. However, she also denied feeling “buzzed,” explaining
she could “see straight” and was not falling down drunk. She also admitted she
drinks “a little bit” and takes medical marijuana everyday. Rothwell said she
takes Lexapro for anxiety and depression and that she had taken her medication
the night of the incident. Rothwell told police she has anger problems and when
her father died two years ago it “kinda pushed” her over the edge. She admitted
to stabbing a friend Alex Montes in the arm approximately a year and one-half
before when they were drunk and playing around. Rothwell explained she was not
mad at Montes, but he had said “you won’t [stab me],” so she did. Rothwell
agreed there were similarities about the two incidents with Rivas and Montes
because each man had dared her to stab him.

Rothwell cried while she told
police she did not mean to kill Rivas. When she heard about Rivas’s death she
“felt sick” and felt bad for his family. Rothwell did not know what made her do
it and admitted she is “not right.”

An indictment charged Rothwell with

murder in violation of Penal Code section 187, subdivision (a).[ 3 ]
The indictment alleged she personally used a knife, a dangerous and deadly
weapon, in the commission of the crime, pursuant to section 12022, subdivision
(b)(1).

At trial, the prosecutor offered Montes’s testimony. Montes
testified he was a good friend of Rothwell, had known her for three years, and
would see her everyday. Montes explained a conversation he had with Rothwell in
which she told him that she did not believe in God because her father told her
to say her prayers and when Rothwell woke up in the morning, her father was
dead. He testified Rothwell would get upset and very emotional if the topic of
God was discussed. He recalled she would say, “Don’t ever bring God up in my
house again. I don’t believe it.” Despite her anger about any discussion of God,
he never saw Rothwell pick up a weapon or heard her say she would stab someone
for talking about God. Montes recalled a night when he and Rothwell were
“playing around” and Rothwell said, “if you make me mad enough I’ll stab you.”
Not taking Rothwell seriously, Montes explained he said jokingly, “you won’t
stab me” and stuck his arm out. In response, she pushed the knife into his arm,
drawing blood. She apologized the next day, and Montes still considers her a
close friend.

Mulcahy also testified for the prosecution. Mulcahy was a
friend of Rothwell from high school and stayed in touch weekly. Mulcahy
testified Rothwell appeared to be fine when she entered the party. She explained
it was the first time Rivas and Rothwell had met. She believed Rothwell was not
religious but was also not an atheist. She also knew Rothwell carried a knife
for protection and could get very angry. Mulcahy testified everyone drank
throughout the night.

The prosecutor also offered the testimony of a
forensic scientist, Annette McCall. McCall testified blood samples gathered from
the scene compared with known samples of Rivas’s DNA revealed Rivas could “not
be eliminated as a source.” She also testified blood samples gathered from
Rothwell’s backpack and knife compared with known samples of Rivas’s DNA
revealed Rivas could “not be eliminated as a source.”

Rothwell offered
Torres’s testimony. Torres explained she and Rothwell were best friends. Torres
said they “probably smoked marijuana” before going to the hotel and she saw
Rothwell smoking marijuana throughout the night. Torres described Rivas as
always having a smile on his face. According to Torres, Rivas and Rothwell were
talking about religion on the landing and Rivas said he saw God on the beach.
Rothwell said, “I’m the devil.” Torres explained Rivas was calm and Rothwell was
yelling and then left briefly. Torres recalled that when Rothwell returned, it
appeared as though she was dancing with Rivas. She eventually realized it looked
confrontational and Rivas was trying to push Rothwell away. Torres testified she
never saw a knife. She saw the blood pouring from Rivas’s neck but did not think
he would die. Torres helped Rivas until the paramedics arrived. She remembered
Rivas saying, “Tell my mother I love her.” She stated Rothwell gathered her
belongings and left the hotel room. Torres thought she heard Rothwell say upon
her departure, “It’s no big deal, fucking deal with it.” Torres said Rivas had
not been confrontational or argumentative with Rothwell that night or in the
past. However, Torres explained Rothwell becomes confrontational whenever the
subject of God comes up. Torres also explained that if someone tells Rothwell
not to do something, she will do it. Furthermore, if someone dares Rothwell to

do something, she will. Torres testified she witnessed the stabbing of Montes by
Rothwell, which was the result of a dare. Torres also testified “`[Rothwell]
goes from zero to maniac . . . if you push her button.'”

Torres admitted
lying to the police to protect Rothwell. She tried to protect Rothwell because
she knew what Rothwell did was wrong and it was no accident. Torres explained
she called Christian Robinson, Rothwell’s boyfriend, and told him that Rothwell
had stabbed someone. Two days later, Torres felt she could no longer protect
Rothwell and typed a statement to police that she both faxed and hand delivered.
In the statement, she explained Rothwell had stabbed Rivas. She also reported
Rothwell said to Rivas, “Oh yeah, oh, you don’t think I won’t. You think I
won’t.”

The trial court instructed the jury on first degree murder and
second degree murder­both on the implied malice and no premeditation
theories­and involuntary manslaughter. Rothwell’s counsel requested CALCRIM
No. 3426, the voluntary intoxication instruction. The prosecutor objected based
on Rothwell’s statement she was not buzzed. The trial court expressed a
preference for CALCRIM No. 625, a voluntary intoxication instruction that
pertains directly to homicide. Defense counsel requested CALCRIM No. 625 be
modified to add malice aforethought, which includes implied malice. The
requested instruction (the Special Instruction) provided: “You may consider
evidence, if any, of the defendant’s voluntary intoxication only in a limited
way. You may consider that evidence only in deciding whether the defendant acted
with an intent to kill, or the defendant acted with deliberation and
premeditation, or acted with malice aforethought. [¶] A person is

voluntarily intoxicated if he or she becomes intoxicated by willingly
using any intoxicating drug, drink, or other substance knowing that it could
produce an intoxicating effect, or willingly assuming the risk of that effect.
[¶] You may not consider evidence of voluntary intoxication for any other
purpose.” The court declined to instruct the jury with the Special Instruction.
Instead, the court instructed the jury with CALCRIM No. 625 without the “or
acted with malice aforethought” language.

The jury convicted Rothwell of
second degree murder and found true the allegations she personally used a deadly
or dangerous weapon, a knife. The trial court sentenced her to prison for a
total term of 16 years to life.

DISCUSSION

Due Process and Fair Trial

Rothwell contends her federal constitutional rights to due process and a
fair trial were violated when the trial court, relying on section 22, refused to
instruct the jury it may consider her voluntary intoxication to negate implied
malice. Specifically, she argues section 22, subdivision (b), is
unconstitutional because it was designed to keep out relevant, exculpatory
evidence and is not a redefinition of the mental state element of the offense.
We disagree.

Section 22, most recently amended in 1995, provides: “(a) No
act committed by a person while in a state of voluntary intoxication is less
criminal by reason of his or her having been in that condition. Evidence of
voluntary intoxication shall not be admitted to negate the capacity to form any
mental states for the crimes charged, including, but not limited to, purpose,
intent, knowledge, premeditation, deliberation, or malice aforethought, with
which the accused committed the act. [¶] (b) Evidence of voluntary intoxication
is admissible solely on the issue of whether or not the defendant actually
formed a required specific intent, or, when charged with murder, whether the
defendant premeditated, deliberated, or harbored express malice
aforethought. [¶] (c) Voluntary intoxication includes the voluntary ingestion,
injection, or taking by any other means of any intoxicating liquor, drug, or
other substance.” (Italics added.)

The Legislature’s 1995 amendment to

section 22 inserted the word “express” before the word “malice” in subdivision
(b). The 1995 amendment was in direct response to People v. Whitfield
(1994) 7 Cal.4th 437 (Whitfield). In Whitfield, the California
Supreme Court held evidence of a defendant’s voluntary intoxication was
admissible to negate implied as well as express malice. (Id. at
451.)

The history of the 1995 amendment to section 22 was most recently
addressed in People v. Turk (2008) 164 Cal.App.4th 1361 (Turk). In

Turk, the court concluded, “The legislative history of the amendment
unequivocally indicates that the Legislature intended to legislatively supersede
Whitfield, and make voluntary intoxication inadmissible to negate implied
malice in cases in which a defendant is charged with murder.” (Turk,
supra,
164 Cal.App.4th at pp. 1374-1375.)

Rothwell argues section 22
is unconstitutional after the 1995 amendment because “it created a rule that
keeps out relevant exculpatory evidence by in effect precluding the jury from
considering evidence that could disprove the `conscious disregard for human
life’ element of implied malice second degree murder.” Rothwell relies on

Montana v. Egelhoff (1996) 518 U.S. 37 (Egelhoff), and Justice
Ginsburg’s concurring opinion, to support her contention.

In
Egelhoff, a plurality of the court upheld the constitutionality of a
Montana statute providing voluntary intoxication “`may not be taken into
consideration in determining the existence of a mental state which is an element
of [the] offense.'” (Egelhoff, supra, 518 U.S. at p. 57.) The plurality
found no due process violation because the right to have a jury consider
intoxication evidence was not a “fundamental principle of justice.” In
concurrence, Justice Ginsberg drew a distinction between rules designed to keep
out relevant, exculpatory evidence that might negate an essential element of a
crime and violate due process, and rules that redefine the mental state element
of the offense. (Ibid.) Justice Ginsburg viewed the Montana statute as a
redefinition of the offense’s required mental state and therefore excluding
evidence of voluntary intoxication was constitutional. (Id. at pp.
57-59.)

“When a fragmented Court decides a case and no single rationale
explaining the result enjoys the assent of five Justices, `the holding of the
Court may be viewed as that position taken by those Members who concurred in the
judgments on the narrowest grounds . . . .'” (Marks v. United States

(1977) 430 U.S. 188, 193.) Assuming Justice Ginsburg’s concurrence controls, as
Rothwell urges this court to do, we nonetheless conclude section 22 does not
violate due process.

In People v. Timms (2007) 151 Cal.App.4th
1292, 1300-1301 (Timms ), the court addressed the identical issue we have
here. The court explained section 22 did not violate a defendant’s due process
rights because section 22, subdivision (b), did not belong to the “prohibited
category of evidentiary rules designed to exclude relevant exculpatory
evidence.” (Timms, supra, 151 Cal.App.4th at p. 1300.) The court
reasoned, “The absence of implied malice from the exceptions listed in
subdivision (b) is itself a policy statement that murder under an implied malice
theory comes within the general rule of subdivision (a) such that voluntary
intoxication can serve no defensive purpose. In other words, section 22,
subdivision (b)[,] is not `merely an evidentiary prescription’; rather, it
`embodies a legislative judgment regarding the circumstances under which
individuals may be held criminally responsible for their actions.’ [Citation.]
In short, voluntary intoxication is irrelevant to proof of the mental state of
implied malice or conscious disregard. Therefore, it does not lessen the
prosecution’s burden of proof or prevent a defendant from presenting all
relevant defensive evidence.” (Id. at pp. 1300-1301)

The

Timms court found illuminating the fact section 22 does not appear in the
Evidence Code, it appears in the Penal Code. (Timms, supra, 151
Cal.App.4th at p. 1300.) Additionally, the court acknowledged the California
Supreme Court’s holding in People v. Atkins (2001) 25 Cal.4th 76, which
rejected a due process challenge to section 22 in the context of the general
intent crime of arson. (Timms, supra, 151 Cal.App.4th at p.
1300.)

With respect to Justice Ginsburg’s concurrence, the court stated
that assuming the concurrence controls, “Justice Ginsberg also stated: `Defining

mens rea to eliminate the exculpatory value of voluntary intoxication
does not offend a “fundamental principle of justice,” given the lengthy
common-law tradition, and the adherence of a significant minority of the States
to that position today. [Citations.]’ [Citation.] Under this rational, the 1995
amendment permissibly could preclude consideration of voluntary intoxication to
negate implied malice and the notion of conscious disregard. Like the Montana
statute, the California Legislature could also exclude evidence of voluntary
intoxication in determination of the requisite mental state.” (Timms,
supra,
151 Cal.App.4th p. 1300.) Therefore, the court concluded section 22
did not infringe defendant’s constitutional rights.

Rothwell also argues
the trial court’s application of section 22 violated her constitutional right to

due process and a fair trial because, “[t]he level of a defendant’s intoxication
is undeniably relevant evidence on the issue of whether he or she consciously
disregarded a risk to human life.” We find People v. Martin (2000) 78
Cal.App.4th 1107 (Martin), instructive.

In Martin, supra,
78 Cal.App.4th at page 1113, the court rejected this constitutional challenge to
section 22. The court explained, “Section 22 states the basic principle of law
recognized in California that a criminal act is not rendered less criminal
because it is committed by a person in a state of voluntary intoxication.” The
court stated section 22 “is closely analogous to [the Legislature’s] abrogation
of the defense of diminished capacity . . . . The 1995 amendment to section 22
results from a legislative determination that, for reasons of public policy,
evidence of voluntary intoxication to negate culpability shall be strictly
limited. We find nothing in the enactment that deprives a defendant of the
ability to present a defense or relieves the People of their burden to prove
every element of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt.” (Martin,
supra,
78 Cal.App.4th at p. 1117.)

We find the courts’ reasoning in

Timms, supra, 151 Cal.App.4th 1292, and Martin, supra, 78
Cal.App.4th 1107, persuasive. Thus, we conclude the trial court’s refusal to
instruct the jury with Rothwell’s Special Instruction did not violate her
constitutional rights. The trial court properly instructed the jury with CALCRIM
No. 625.

Equal Protection

In its respondent’s brief,
the Attorney General suggests Rothwell may be asserting an equal protection
claim. In her reply brief, Rothwell raises the equal protection argument for the
first time. We need not consider this argument, because it was made for the
first time in reply without any showing of good cause for failing to raise it in
the opening brief. (Shade Foods, Inc. v. Innovative Products Sales &

Marketing, Inc. (2000) 78 Cal.App.4th 847, 894-895, fn. 10.) Additionally,
to the extent Rothwell attempts to raise an equal protection claim, her failure
to properly raise the issue and support it with adequate argument and citation
to authority waived the issues on appeal. (See, e.g., California Dept. of
Corrections v. State Personnel Bd.
(2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 1601, 1619.) In
any event, her claim fails on the merits. (Timms, supra, 151 Cal.App.4th
at pp. 1302-1303.)

DISPOSITION

The judgment is
affirmed.

WE CONCUR.

MOORE, J.

IKOLA, J.
1. `In accord
with the usual rules of appellate review, we state the facts in the light most
favorable to the judgment. (People v. Ochoa (1993) 6 Cal.4th 1199,
1206.)
2. Miranda v. Arizona (1966) 384 U.S. 436.
3. All further
statutory references are to the Penal Code

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Suicide Numbers Are Soaring! Suicide: Georgia

Paragraph eight reads: “Billy saw a psychologist. He was taking
prescription antidepressants and attended meetings of a support group. In the end,
it wasn’t enough and Billy took his life.”

http://www.times-herald.com/local/Coweta-suicide-numbers-soaring-1100324

Published Saturday, April 24, 2010 in Local

Coweta suicide numbers soaring
By Alex McRae

The Times-Herald

Suicides are rarely reported in the news. But a local couple says if they
were, headlines would have been far too frequent in recent months.

Husband and wife Lynn and Nancy Bradley founded the Coweta chapter of the
Survivors of Suicide group in 1997. For 13 years they have helped countless
people deal with the personal anguish and pain that follows the loss of a
loved one to suicide.

The Bradleys say that federal Centers for Disease Control figures show
that for years Coweta has averaged about 11 suicide deaths annually. But
according to anecdotal reports from friends and associates in the health care
and law enforcement communities, the Bradleys believe that number has
skyrocketed in recent months. They have been told there have been 15 suicides in
Coweta since Jan. 1, and that almost a dozen suicides occurred in November
and December 2009.

“The poor economy has certainly led to a lot of anxiety and depression,”
Lynn Bradley says. “But there are other factors involved, too. No one really
knows why suicides seem to be increasing right now, and we don’t have the
answer. We just want people to know that if you are a friend or loved one
of someone who has committed suicide, there is help out there to deal with
your grief.”

The Bradleys became involved with the SOS support group not long after the
suicide death of Nancy’s brother, Billy, in December 1996.

Billy had been struggling and the family knew he was depressed and
troubled.

“He mentioned suicide once,” Nancy says. “But we didn’t know what to do
and it looked like he was dealing with things, like he was taking the right
steps.”

Billy saw a psychologist. He was taking prescription antidepressants and
attended meetings of a support group. In the end, it wasn’t enough and Billy
took his life.

As is often the case, family members blamed themselves. Nancy took it
hardest.

“He was my baby brother and the youngest of eight kids,” Nancy says. “I
felt like it had always been my duty to take care of him. I felt like I had
failed.”

As they started to deal with their grief, the Bradleys sought assistance
and found Survivors of Suicide. The closest group was in Henry County, and
Nancy and Lynn attended their first meeting in February 1997.

Everyone in attendance had a different story. But they all had the same
question:

Why?

“That’s what everyone wants to know,” Nancy says. “Sadly, it’s a question
that usually doesn’t get answered.”

After attending several meetings in Henry County, Nancy and Lynn felt a
glimmer of hope.

“The more we got involved the better things got,” Nancy says. “Hearing the
others talk I realized I could get through it, but I realized you can’t do
it alone.”

The Bradleys also felt there was a similar need in Coweta County and
talked of forming a local SOS group. At the same time, a friend of the Bradleys
who had lost his wife to suicide was looking for help. Out of the blue, the
friend contacted the Bradleys and they talked.

In August 1997, the Coweta chapter of Survivors of Suicide had its first
meeting.

“I felt like something good had to come out of my brother’s death,” Nancy
says. “And I thought this might be it.”

The Coweta SOS group only works with survivors of suicide, but the local
meetings have also been attended by people who have attempted suicide and
failed. The Bradleys say coming to a meeting often gives them a new
perspective on the consequences of their actions.

“When they see the impact of a suicide on the surviving family members, it
really changes their attitude,” Nancy says. “People don’t realize how
devastating a suicide is for those left behind.”

Meetings of the local SOS group are held the second Monday of each month
from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Crossroads Church main building at 2564 Highway 154.
Those interested in more information about meetings may call the church
office at 770-254-0291. The local SOS group operates under the auspices of
Crossroads Church’s care and counseling ministry, led by Dr. John Hobbs.

Those who attend may talk or listen.

“We see lots of tears and some anger and some guilt,” Nancy says. “But
some people just want to sit quietly and listen. That’s fine, too.”

The Bradleys have heard tales of tragedy ranging from the suicide death of
an 11-year-old child to the story of a woman whose husband and two sons
all committed suicide within 18 months of each other.

“All the stories are heartbreaking,” Nancy says. “We are there to offer
hope and I think people who attend the meetings realize that.”

Lynn says the key is finding help early.

“If we can get to people early they can share their feelings in a safe,
supportive atmosphere,” he says.

The Bradleys say common themes about the causes of suicide emerge at each
meeting.

“There is usually a loss of self worth,” Lynn says. “People who lose their
jobs lose their self-esteem. We are also hearing about more and more
people who are depressed because of medical issues.”

Lynn Bradley says potential suicide victims have three things in common:
Feelings of helplessness, feelings of hopelessness and feelings of
haplessnes.

“They know something is wrong,” he says. “They just don’t know what to do
or where to go. We can help.”

Lynn and Nancy Bradley are qualified lay counselors and have undergone
training at the Link Counseling Center, but they are not professional
psychologists and are quick to point those in need to skilled professionals.

“If someone needs professional help, we make sure to help them contact the
right person,” Nancy says.

The SOS group deals with survivors of suicide, but sometimes receives
calls from people who are troubled and may be contemplating suicide. They are
often referred to the Suicide Prevention Action Network of Georgia (SPAN),
which can be contacted at www.span-ga.org

Lynn and Nancy Bradley are available day and night for anyone seeking help
and can be reached at 770-251-6216. They encourage anyone coping with a
suicide to contact them.

“Some are just scared to admit they have a problem,” Nancy says. “We try
and show them that getting help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of
intelligence.”

1,063 total views, no views today

Execise: Greatly Helps Anxiety: Anxiety Disorder Association of America

First two paragraphs read:  “Healthcare providers to prescribe antidepressants for patients who suffer from depression or anxiety, these medications can sometimes come with harmful side effects. As a result, the drugs can sometimes end up doing more harm than good.”

“According to findings that were presented at the annual conference of the Anxiety DisorderAssociation of America, more mental health professionals should begin prescribing alternative health resources such as exercise to their patients who suffer from anxiety as multiple reports have shown that it helps treat the condition.”

http://www.betterhealthresearch.com/news/researchers-suggest-exercise-may-be-best-treatment-for-anxiety-19704171/

Researchers Suggest Exercise May Be Best Treatment For Anxiety

By Donna Parker • Apr 5th, 2010 • Category: AnxietyHealth News

Healthcare providers to prescribe antidepressants for patients who suffer from depression or anxiety, these medications can sometimes come with harmful side effects. As a result, the drugs can sometimes end up doing more harm than good.

According to findings that were presented at the annual conference of the Anxiety DisorderAssociation of America, more mental health professionals should begin prescribing alternative health resources such as exercise to their patients who suffer from anxiety as multiple reports have shown that it helps treat the condition.

“Individuals who exercise report fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, and lower levels of stress and anger,” said Jasper Smits, director of the Anxiety Research and Treatment Program at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “Exercise appears to affect, like an antidepressant, particular neurotransmitter systems in the brain, and it helps patients with depression re-establish positive behaviors.”

In addition to treating patients for anxiety, exercise can also keep the body flexible, improve sleeping patterns, keep blood pressure in check and help increase bone strength.

548 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANT & ALCOHOL: Assault: Australia

Paragraph 10 reads:  “At the time Todd was suffering
anxiety and depression and could have suffered a blackout.”

Paragraph 13 reads:  “She said the incident had a huge impact on
her client’s marriage, his wife was left shaken and Todd had consumed alcohol while on medication and with an
empty stomach that night.

SSRI Stories Note:  The Physicians
Desk Reference states that antidepressants can
cause a craving for alcohol and alcohol abuse.

Also, the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and the alcohol
simultaneously,  thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and the
antidepressant
in the human body

http://www.standard.net.au/news/local/news/general/pilot-strikes-below-the-belt/1801972.aspx

Pilot strikes below the belt

ANDREW THOMSON
14
Apr, 2010 04:00 AM

A LONG-TIME RAAF officer has piloted his way into
trouble after grabbing another man’s testicles at the Port Fairy Folk Festival.

Jeff Todd, 51, of Ramsey Court, Lowood, pleaded guilty in the
Warrnambool Magistrates Court this week to unlawful assault.

He was not
convicted and fined $1000.

The court was told that on March 7 this year
Todd was at the festival between 6.30pm and 7.30pm when he became involved in a
verbal incident in a bar with a man not known to him.
Todd bumped into the
man several times in a bar and was asked to move away before the victim
requested security personnel to assist.

Todd moved away a few paces,
made some derogatory comments, then came up behind the victim and grabbed his
testicles with significant force.

“You’ve got no balls, mate,” Todd told
the victim and there was a short struggle before he released the victim’s
testicles.

Todd was kicked out of the venue and told not to come back.

He told police during an interview he had drunk a bottle of wine and had
little recollection of the incident.

At the time Todd was suffering
anxiety and depression and could have suffered a blackout.

The victim
suffered pain for about 12 hours and Todd wrote a letter of apology which was
passed on through police.

Defence counsel Danielle Svede said Todd had
no prior convictions, glowing references and had not drunk alcohol since the
incident.

She said the incident had a huge impact on her client’s
marriage, his wife was left shaken and Todd had consumed alcohol while on
medication and with an empty stomach that night.

Ms Svede said her client
was on 12 months leave from the air force, had undertaken anger management and
knew his behaviour was inappropriate.

Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said
there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the defendant’s actions were
appalling.

He said the folk festival was not a place to be confronted by
drunken, boorish behaviour and assaulted.

1,198 total views, 2 views today

ANTIDEPRESSANTS & Anti-Anxiety Pills: Man Accidentally Takes an Overdose: UK

Last three paragraphs read:  “The 59-year-old suffered
from anxiety and depression since his teenage years and was taking
anti-depressants and antianxiety pills, the hearing was told.”

“Terrance Bird, a friend, told the inquest that Mr Smith sometimes
forgot how many pills he had taken.”

“East Lancashire Coroner
Richard Taylor concluded that Mr Smith did not mean to take his own life and
died accidentally on January 7 as a result of
taking two prescribed drugs.”

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/burnleypendlerossendale/5012043.Rawtenstall_man_died_of_accidental_overdose_of_prescribed_medication/

Rawtenstall man died of accidental overdose of prescribed
medication

10:39am Wednesday 17th February 2010

A
ROSSENDALE man died accidentally after taking a lethal concoction of prescribed
medication, an inquest heard.

Geoffrey Smith, of Holland Avenue,
Rawtenstall, was found dead at his house after failing to measure his medication
properly, Burnley Coroner’s Court heard.

The 59-year-old suffered from

anxiety and depression since his teenage years and was taking anti-depressants
and antianxiety pills, the hearing was told.

Terrance Bird, a friend,
told the inquest that Mr Smith sometimes forgot how many pills he had taken.

East Lancashire Coroner Richard Taylor concluded that Mr Smith did not
mean to take his own life and died accidentally on January 7 as a result of
taking two prescribed drugs.

904 total views, no views today

PAXIL: Postpartum: Mother Has Worsening Depression with 2nd Baby

PAXIL:   PostpartumMother Has
Worsening Depression with 2nd Baby After Taking Antidepressants:  Had

Postpartum with 1st Baby and Recovered With No Meds:
U.S.A.

Sentences three through seven read:  ” I went through postpartum depression with my first baby eight years ago but at
that time I didn’t have anxiety and I didn’t take any medication.
And I started getting better after 3½ months itself. But now it’s
been three months that I am going through this. I have been
taking medications (Paxil 20 mg, Buspar 10 mg) and getting counseling but
it’s not helping much. I still don’t feel myself and am having unwanted
thoughts.”

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/expert.q.a/09/08/postpartum.depression.raison/

Expert Q&A

updated 10:03 a.m. EDT, Tue September 8,
2009

How long will my postpartum depression last?

Asked by Sheeza Ashraf, Fremont, California

I have a
4-month-old baby. I am going through postpartum depression with a lot of anxiety
and panic attacks. I went through postpartum depression with my first baby eight
years ago but at that time I didn’t have anxiety and I didn’t take any
medication. And I started getting better after 3½ months itself. But now it’s
been three months that I am going through this. I have been taking medications
(Paxil 20 mg, Buspar 10 mg) and getting counseling but it’s not helping much. I
still don’t feel myself and am having unwanted thoughts. How long does

postpartum depression last? Is this temporary? Will this anxiety and depression
ever go away? Should I stop the medications and try it on my own? Does exercise
help to get out of the depression? Will I ever be normal like I was
before?

Mental Health Expert Dr.
Charles Raison
Psychiatrist,
Emory University Medical School

Expert answer

Dear Sheeza,

I am sorry to hear of your difficulties —
you are far from alone in your struggles with postpartum depression. Indeed, up
to 20 percent of women become depressed in the six months following delivery,
but company doesn’t help much when it comes to depression — or at least the
company we typically provide in the U.S. Traditional cultures understood the
vulnerability of new mothers and would often surround them with family and
friends to help with the significant emotional and practical burdens of coping

with the newborn.

I am going to make some general recommendations about
what you might want to consider doing, based only on the information you have
provided above. As always, this should not be taken as specific advice for your
actual situation. That kind of advice can come only from a clinician who knows
you and is involved in your care.

First and most important, it is very
important to continue medication when one is still depressed, so given what you
describe, I would counsel against stopping the antidepressant. It is not clear
how long you have been on the Paxil (generic: paroxetine), but let’s assume
you’ve been on it for at least six weeks. You are on a low dose. A reasonable
first step would be to talk with your doctor about raising the dose to 40 mg a
day and trying this dose for at least several weeks.

If you see no
benefit, there are in general two paths your doctor might recommend (and I say
doctor in the generic sense, given that many folks nowadays see physician
assistants or nurse practitioners who often — in my experience — do a better
job diagnosing and treating depression than do MDs). First, your doctor might
add a second antidepressant or an atypical antipsychotic to your Paxil. Although
they are called “antipsychotics,” these agents (for example Seroquel, Abilify,
Zyprexa) are also widely used to help with severe depression and anxiety and are
often quite effective. Second, your doctor might switch you from the Paxil to
another antidepressant. Unfortunately, we have no scientific way of knowing
which agent you should switch to — our best data suggest that they are all
about equal. But one thing is clear: Many people who don’t do well with one
antidepressant will have a great response to a different one.

Anxiety and
panic are quite common when one has a bad depression, and they can be more
miserable to endure than the feeling of depression itself. It is unlikely that
the low dose of Buspar (generic: buspirone) you are taking is of much benefit.
You might want to discuss with your doctor raising the dose to at least 10 mg
three times a day or discontinuing it. The best immediate way to relieve
disabling anxiety is through the use of benzodiazepines (for example lorazepam
or clonazepam). These medications can be lifesavers, but if you take them for
more than three or four weeks your body will become dependent upon them, and
should you want to stop, you will have to reduce them slowly under the
supervision of a doctor.

Let me say a word about exercise. Yes, exercise

has been shown in many studies not only to raise a person’s mood immediately,
but also to work over time as an antidepressant. Therefore, I strongly recommend
adding regular exercise to your treatment regimen. Try to exercise in the
morning, especially when it is sunny. To get the best effect you will need to
work up a sweat. I find that it is even better if you can exercise in a place
with some natural beauty — as being in nature is itself quite comforting for
most of us.

I don’t have an answer to your question about how long the
depression will last and whether it will ever go away. Everyone is different. We
do know, however, that the longer one stays depressed and/or the more episodes
one has had, the harder it is to treat the condition. This is just the
frightening truth of the disease, and it really highlights how important it is
for you to really get aggressive about your treatment. My sincere hope is that
whatever specific treatment route you follow, you will start feeling like
yourself again as quickly as possible.

Finally, whenever I talk about
specific pharmacologic treatments I need to disclose that in addition to my
academic work I have given lectures for two pharmaceutical companies in the last
year: Lilly and Wyeth. I have also served on an advisory board for Lilly in the
last 12 months.
[]

580 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Death: Taxi Driver Hangs Self: Another Open Verdict: …

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy:

There should be warnings that anyone who has had a problem
with alcohol or illegal drugs should NEVER take antidepressants! The drugs
should be contraindicated for this group of people. They suffer the worst side
effects. And the question should always be in the cases, “Which came first the
alcohol problems or the antidepressant that causes alcoholcravings?”

____________________________________
Paragraph one reads:  “A KIDDERMINSTER man found hanging
in his home suffered from anxiety and depression, an inquest into his death

heard.”

Paragraph four reads:  “The 46-year-old unemployed taxi
driver was seeing psychiatrists for his mental health problems and
was taking anti depressants.”

http://www.kidderminstershuttle.co.uk/news/4661282.Open_verdict_for_Kidderminster_man_found_hanging/

Open verdict for Kidderminster man found hanging

10:14am Friday 2nd October 2009

A KIDDERMINSTER man
found hanging in his home suffered from anxiety and depression, an inquest into
his death heard.

Dean Haigh, of Dunclent Crescent, who the inquest heard
had problems with alcohol, was found by his son Jason, at about 11am, on August
2.

The inquest at Stourport also heard that days before his death, Mr
Haigh seemed “very” upset and had a number of things on his mind but did not
mention that he wanted to take his own life.

The 46-year-old unemployed
taxi driver was seeing psychiatrists for his mental health problems and was
taking anti depressants.

Deputy Coroner, Margaret Barnard, said: “The
report provided by the consultant psychiatrist assessed that each time Mr Haigh
had contact with his mental health doctors, the risk assessment did not reveal
any active thoughts of suicide.”

She added that she was not satisfied
beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Haigh wanted to take his own life and recorded
an open verdict.

727 total views, 3 views today

PAXIL: Postpartum Depression Medication Worsens Depression

Sentences three through seven read:  ” I went through
postpartum depression with my first baby eight years ago but at
that time I didn’t have anxiety and I didn’t take any medication.
And I started getting better after 3½ months itself. But now it’s
been three months that I am going through this. I have been
taking medications (Paxil 20 mg, Buspar 10 mg) and getting counseling but
it’s not helping much. I still don’t feel myself and am having unwanted
thoughts.”

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/expert.q.a/09/08/postpartum.depression.raison/

Expert Q&A

updated 10:03 a.m. EDT, Tue September
8, 2009

How long will my postpartum depression last?

Asked
by Sheeza Ashraf, Fremont, California

I have a 4-month-old baby. I am
going through postpartum depression with a lot of anxiety and panic attacks. I
went through postpartum depression with my first baby eight years ago but at
that time I didn’t have anxiety and I didn’t take any medication. And I started
getting better after 3½ months itself. But now it’s been three months that I am
going through this. I have been taking medications (Paxil 20 mg, Buspar 10 mg)
and getting counseling but it’s not helping much. I still don’t feel myself and
am having unwanted thoughts. How long does postpartum depression last? Is this
temporary? Will this anxiety and depression ever go away? Should I stop the
medications and try it on my own? Does exercise help to get out of the

depression? Will I ever be normal like I was before?

Mental
Health Expert
Dr.
Charles Raison
Psychiatrist,
Emory University Medical School

Expert answer

Dear Sheeza,

I am sorry to hear
of your difficulties — you are far from alone in your struggles with postpartum
depression. Indeed, up to 20 percent of women become depressed in the six months
following delivery, but company doesn’t help much when it comes to depression
or at least the company we typically provide in the U.S. Traditional cultures
understood the vulnerability of new mothers and would often surround them with
family and friends to help with the significant emotional and practical burdens
of coping with the newborn.

I am going to make some general
recommendations about what you might want to consider doing, based only on the
information you have provided above. As always, this should not be taken as
specific advice for your actual situation. That kind of advice can come only
from a clinician who knows you and is involved in your care.

First and
most important, it is very important to continue medication when one is still
depressed, so given what you describe, I would counsel against stopping the
antidepressant. It is not clear how long you have been on the Paxil (generic:
paroxetine), but let’s assume you’ve been on it for at least six weeks. You are
on a low dose. A reasonable first step would be to talk with your doctor about
raising the dose to 40 mg a day and trying this dose for at least several weeks.

If you see no benefit, there are in general two paths your doctor might
recommend (and I say doctor in the generic sense, given that many folks nowadays
see physician assistants or nurse practitioners who often — in my experience —
do a better job diagnosing and treating depression than do MDs). First, your
doctor might add a second antidepressant or an atypical antipsychotic to your
Paxil. Although they are called “antipsychotics,” these agents (for example
Seroquel, Abilify, Zyprexa) are also widely used to help with severe depression
and anxiety and are often quite effective. Second, your doctor might switch you
from the Paxil to another antidepressant. Unfortunately, we have no scientific
way of knowing which agent you should switch to — our best data suggest that
they are all about equal. But one thing is clear: Many people who don’t do well
with one antidepressant will have a great response to a different
one.

Anxiety and panic are quite common when one has a bad depression,
and they can be more miserable to endure than the feeling of depression itself.
It is unlikely that the low dose of Buspar (generic: buspirone) you are taking
is of much benefit. You might want to discuss with your doctor raising the dose
to at least 10 mg three times a day or discontinuing it. The best immediate way
to relieve disabling anxiety is through the use of benzodiazepines (for example
lorazepam or clonazepam). These medications can be lifesavers, but if you take
them for more than three or four weeks your body will become dependent upon
them, and should you want to stop, you will have to reduce them slowly under the
supervision of a doctor.

Let me say a word about exercise. Yes, exercise
has been shown in many studies not only to raise a person’s mood immediately,
but also to work over time as an antidepressant. Therefore, I strongly recommend
adding regular exercise to your treatment regimen. Try to exercise in the
morning, especially when it is sunny. To get the best effect you will need to
work up a sweat. I find that it is even better if you can exercise in a place
with some natural beauty — as being in nature is itself quite comforting for
most of us.

I don’t have an answer to your question about how long the

depression will last and whether it will ever go away. Everyone is different. We
do know, however, that the longer one stays depressed and/or the more episodes
one has had, the harder it is to treat the condition. This is just the
frightening truth of the disease, and it really highlights how important it is
for you to really get aggressive about your treatment. My sincere hope is that
whatever specific treatment route you follow, you will start feeling like
yourself again as quickly as possible.

Finally, whenever I talk about
specific pharmacologic treatments I need to disclose that in addition to my
academic work I have given lectures for two pharmaceutical companies in the last
year: Lilly and Wyeth. I have also served on an advisory board for Lilly in the
last 12 months.
[]

696 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANT: Woman Becomes Violent: Canada

Paragraphs 20 through 22 read: “Her fiance told the court they were arguing because he disapproved of her drinking. A Type 1 diabetic, Maitland was also taking medication for anxiety and depression.”

“She said she had not taken her scheduled insulin that night. She told the judge that the medication she’s taken for seven years to treat anxiety and depression affects her memory.”

“‘It makes things a little more fuzzy,’ she said.”

SSRI Stories Note: The Physicians Desk Reference states that antidepressants can cause a craving for alcohol and alcohol abuse. Also, the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and the alcohol simultaneously, thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and the antidepressant in the human body.


http://nnsl.com/northern-news-services/stories/papers/aug31_09arm.html#Scene_1

Charged for flicking blood

 Ebony Maitland is accused of mischief and assaulting a police bloodElizabeth McMillan
Northern News Services
Published Monday, August 31, 2009

SOMBA K’E/YELLOWKNIFE – A woman accused of assaulting a police officer told a judge Thursday that after responding to an RCMP officer’s request to see her bleeding wrist, he pepper sprayed her, and dragged her to a police cruiser by her hair.

Ebony Maitland is accused of mischief and assaulting a police officer after her blood made contact with an officer during her arrest on July 6, 2008. – Elizabeth McMillan/NNSL photo

Thirty-year-old Ebony Maitland is also on trial by judge in Territorial Court for a charge of mischief.

The assault charge stems from an allegation by police that when she extended her arm, she flicked blood onto RCMP Const. Phil Unger’s face, who was standing about a metre away.

The woman told Chief Judge Brian Bruser she had cut her arm in two places after smashing it through a window during a night of heavy drinking and arguing with her fiance.

During cross examination, Crown prosecutor Diane Keats did not dispute Maitland’s claims about the pepper spray, and being dragged into the police cruiser by her hair, but questioned the accused’s memory about the nature of the interaction between herself and Unger and the manner in which she moved her arm.

Maitland said she recalled being told she was under arrest for causing a disturbance when Unger asked to see her injury. She said she extended her arm with her palm facing upwards.

“He wanted to know how bad it was,” she said. “We didn’t have a conversation. He just asked to see my wrist.”

Unger and another RCMP officer, Const. Jarret MacDonald, responded to a call of a domestic disturbance at Ptarmigan Apartments on July 6, 2008 at around 5 a.m., according to Keats. Maitland was in the parking lot when they arrived, said the prosecutor.

The five-foot-seven, 150-pound woman was barefoot and wearing only shorts and a T-shirt when she was arrested.

Maitland said she was pepper sprayed again while she was sitting in the back of the police cruiser. Keats said it was because Maitland was yelling and smearing blood from her injury on the inside of the vehicle.

The prosecutor said Maitland was behaving aggressively – screaming, swearing and waving her arms in the air when Const. Unger tried to arrest her.

Maitland told the court that Const. Unger threw her against the cruiser before forcing her into the vehicle. “They opened the door and threw me in head first … then they kicked me in the butt,” she told the court.

Keats asked for details about the hours leading up to the parking lot altercation and the soft-spoken woman said she didn’t remember much of the evening.

She told the court she’d been to the Raven pub for several hours that night.

An ambulance attendant testified she told him she had consumed 12 beer.

Keats told the court the two officers had previously responded to a call to the woman’s apartment that evening where Maitland and her fiance were fighting loudly.

Maitland testified she had no memory of their initial visit.

After police left, Maitland and her fiance continued arguing. Maitland said she cut her arm in two places when she hit a window twice. Both Maitland and her fiance said her arm was bleeding profusely when she left the apartment.

Her fiance told the court they were arguing because he disapproved of her drinking. A Type 1 diabetic, Maitland was also taking medication for anxiety and depression.

She said she had not taken her scheduled insulin that night. She told the judge that the medication she’s taken for seven years to treat anxiety and depression affects her memory.

“It makes things a little more fuzzy,” she said.

The fiance said Maitland was extremely intoxicated and he’d been unable to control her. He became flushed and cried as he told the court about watching Maitland interact with the police after she’d been pepper sprayed the first time.

“I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing,” he told the court. “He lifted his boot and kicked her in the butt and started laughing to the other officer.”

An ambulance arrived after Maitland was restrained in the police cruiser. The fiance said he told the driver of the ambulance about Maitland’s medical condition.

Another ambulance attendant, Craig MacLean, testified Maitland resisted treatment, and was swearing and spitting as he tried to assist her.

When questioned by defence lawyer Jay Bran, MacLean said her combative attitude may have been caused by her diabetic state.

When asked about her behaviour in the police cruiser, the ambulance and the hospital, Maitland said she was confused and couldn’t see because the pepper spray had gotten in her eyes.

“I’m not really sure what I was doing because I couldn’t see … I was yelling and screaming because I was in pain,” she said. “My head hurt, my neck hurt, my throat, eyes (and) nose were burning,”

She said she regained her vision after a doctor treated her at the hospital. The injury to her wrist required eight stitches.

After being treated at the hospital, Maitland spent more than eight hours in the drunk tank.

She testified she later received medical attention for an injured toe, which she said was broken by one of the police officers during her arrest.

Maitland said she couldn’t work for two weeks because her job as a cleaner at the hospital required her to be on her feet for long periods of time.

The trial had originally begun April 2, but was adjourned until Aug. 26 and continued until last Friday. The trial resumes Sept. 11.

822 total views, no views today