PROZAC: Not Guilty of Assault Using Prozac Defense: Kansas

Paragraphs nine through twelve read:  “However, he
testified he believed
high dosages of Prozac,
an anti-depressant prescribed to him at the prison and jail, influenced
his behavior.”

“It made him feel like he wanted jump out
of his skin
, he said. Housworth told jurors he never intended to hurt
anyone.”

“During the time he’s spent in youth shelters, jails and
prisons, Housworth said he had nothing but “minor write-ups” until
he began taking Prozac in 40-milligram to 90-milligram
dosages at the local prison and jail.”

“He said he never stopped
taking the drug because he was 70 days shy of parole in June 2007, and then he

signed a parole agreement specifying he would take his
prescribed medications.”

Paragraphs fourteen and fifteen read:
“Dr. Mark Goodman, a local clinical psychologist who evaluated Housworth,
testified for the defense he believed the high dosage
of Prozac prescribed to Housworth at the prison and jail caused his aggressive
behavior.”

“Goodman said the recommended Prozac dosage for an
adult was 20 to 80 milligrams, and he believed the high dosages given to
Housworth, combined with Housworth’s “bipolar features” and “anger
history,” rendered him unable to reason
appropriately.”

http://www.hutchnews.com/Todaystop/trial2009-10-23T20-32-29

Saturday, October 24, 2009    4 : 14 PM

Meds defense a success

Former prisoner acquitted in batteries he blames on
Prozac.

By Darcy Gray The Hutchinson News dgray@hutchnews.com

A former Hutchinson Correctional Facility inmate charged with battering
correctional officers and another inmate told jurors this week “Prozac mania,”
from high dosages of the prescribed drug, caused his aggressive, impulsive
behavior.

The jurors agreed.

Andrew Housworth, 31, was found not

guilty Friday of five counts of battery against a correctional officer and two
counts of aggravated battery of a correctional officer and a fellow inmate.

During his trial this week before Reno County District Judge Tim
Chambers, Housworth admitted to spitting on correctional officers at the prison
and the Reno County jail in 2007.

He admitted to attacking a fellow
inmate at the Reno County jail in April 2008, hitting him and biting his cheek.

Although Housworth was charged with aggravated battery of an HCF officer
in September 2007 for allegedly choking the officer with his belly chain, or
restraint, he denied choking the officer. He told jurors he was first
“clotheslined” and pepper-sprayed by the officer before responding in
self-defense.

His attorney, Alice Osburn, noted there was time missing
from the prison surveillance video during the incident, in which Housworth
claimed he had been beaten.

Housworth also admitted during trial his
criminal history included aggravated assault, criminal threat and attempted
robbery.

However, he testified he believed high dosages of Prozac, an
anti-depressant prescribed to him at the prison and jail, influenced his
behavior.

It made him feel like he wanted jump out of his skin, he said.
Housworth told jurors he never intended to hurt anyone.

During the time
he’s spent in youth shelters, jails and prisons, Housworth said he had nothing
but “minor write-ups” until he began taking Prozac in 40-milligram to
90-milligram dosages at the local prison and jail.

He said he never
stopped taking the drug because he was 70 days shy of parole in June 2007, and
then he signed a parole agreement specifying he would take his prescribed
medications.

Housworth said his concerns about Prozac‘s effects on him
were ignored by local prison and jail staff. After an incident in which he
punched Reno County Jail Capt. Scott Powell in September 2008, Housworth said,
he was transferred to Lyons County jail, where they took him off Prozac in March
and he had not had a problem with officers since.

Dr. Mark Goodman, a
local clinical psychologist who evaluated Housworth, testified for the defense

he believed the high dosage of Prozac prescribed to Housworth at the prison and
jail caused his aggressive behavior.

Goodman said the recommended Prozac
dosage for an adult was 20 to 80 milligrams, and he believed the high dosages
given to Housworth, combined with Housworth’s “bipolar features” and “anger
history,” rendered him unable to reason appropriately.

A doctor at the
Larned State Hospital, however, testified for the prosecution that Housworth had
an anti-social personality and did not lack the mental state necessary to commit
the crimes.

Jurors were asked, regarding each charge, whether they
believed Housworth suffered a mental deficiency due to high dosages of Prozac

that “rendered him incapable” of criminal intent, or intending to commit the
crimes.

As the verdict was announced Friday, jurors announced “yes,”
they believed he suffered from the mental deficiency as to all charges except
for the aggravated battery charge in which Housworth was accused of choking the
prison officer.

Friday’s verdict represents the first time since 2003
such a defense has been successful in winning an acquittal.

In 2003,
Dale McCormick, of Sylvia, was acquitted after a jury decided his alleged bomb
threat at the Reno County Law Enforcement Center was the result of mental
defect, brought on by depression and a dosage change in McCormick’s mood
stabilizer.

In Housworth’s case, the jury foreperson told The News
jurors discussed at length all evidence in the case, including the doctors’
contradicting opinions. Jurors requested a read-back of witness testimony
Thursday night, so they took a break and continued deliberating Friday
morning.

Jurors felt Housworth was open and honest in talking about what
had happened, as well as his criminal history, she said. Housworth was willing
to talk about the incident with Powell, even though it was not charged against
him.

Following the verdict, Chambers ordered Housworth be committed to
the Larned State Hospital until he is no longer a danger.

Osburn
confirmed Housworth is also facing charges in Leavenworth County for battery of

a correctional officer.

My Side Effects from Prozac (Prescribed for Unipolor Depression)

“… more than 10 minutes passed and she whipped out her prescription pad…”

 

Hello,

I’ve just visited your website and have taken advantage of the “email me with your story” area. Thought I should, anyway.

I was on Prozac for unipolar depression in 1994. I stayed on it only for 6 months and weaned myself off it. My brother-in-law is a pharmacist and so I was able to understand the correct way to get off this drug.

I went off it because of what I perceive to be side-effects. Granted, it did perhaps obscure my depression. It didn’t disappear but, it enabled me to stand back and re-evaluate how to tackle it. So in that light, not having a mind that was very negative, I was able to opt for alternative help and a different approach to my depression. Presently, it is very well under control and I’m more cognitive about it than I ever was pre-Prozac.

Having said that, I must report my perceived side-effects. After about 2 weeks on 20 milligrams once a day, I began to feel awfully hyper. I talked a blue streak at work and remember people getting up and sitting elsewhere during breaks. Also, I would just say whatever came into my mind without really evaluating it before speaking as most people do.. (or some, anyhow 🙂 Also, my eyes were weird. I had episodes when my eyes would kind of shake, if you will. Like it does when one watches a home movie and the video shakes. Except they were faster. This happened frequently. I would also salivate a lot, having to swallow often.

To my credit, I realized this was the drug. Also, what made me quite suspicious was the fact that after struggling with depression – rather realizing that was what was wrong with me for about 20 years of my life, I swallowed hard and sought help, insisting to my MD that I WAS actually depressed and that I NEED to see a shrink. I waited for that appointment for approximately 2 months. I went to see her. Upon arriving in her office and giving her a brief profile of myself – no more than 10 minutes passed and she whipped out her prescription pad and wrote me an order for Prozac. I was terribly suspicious. She wasn’t the slightest bit interested in listening to what I had to say or why I felt I should talk to her. That was my red flag.

There you have it.

Kathy Garner

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 90.
Total number of stories in current database is 96