ANTIDEPRESSANT: Suicide: England

Second paragraph reads:  “Steven Rodgers was found dead in his bed after overdosing on prescription drugs for a heart condition and depression.”

http://www.sunderlandecho.com/news/Lovesplit-torment-ended-in-tragedy.5524741.jp

Love-split torment ended in tragedy

Published Date:
05 August 2009
By Lisa Nightingale

A father killed himself after falling into depression contributed to by years of problems with his estranged wife, an inquest heard.

Steven Rodgers was found dead in his bed after overdosing on prescription drugs for a heart condition and depression.

He was discovered on February 3 by new partner Susan Redmayne who had let herself in to his flat in Front Street in East Boldon.

She had become concerned for his safety after he failed to turn up to his job as assistant manager at Morrisons in Seaburn and she was unable to contact him.

Miss Redmayne, said: “I went in and saw the dog and two letters. I looked on the table and his car keys were still there.

“I began searching for him and the last place I went into was the bedroom and that’s where I found him.

“I went up to him and touched him, he was stone cold.”

Yesterday, an inquest into his death heard results from a toxicology report showed Mr Rodgers had levels of propanol, a betablocker, and mirtazapine, an anti-depressant, at levels where either one was “sufficient enough to cause sudden death”.

Coroner Terence Carney was told by Mr Rodgers’ sister, Kathleen, how after the 44-year-old, originally from Sunderland, was diagnosed with angina he had felt more tired but had carried on working.

He was also going through the process of a divorce after 10 years of marriage. The separation had been acrimonious and for the past two years he had endured late-night visits and phonecalls from his estranged wife.

He was also worried about his finances after falling behind with debt payments.

Miss Rodgers, said: “He would stay in a lot as he was frightened Pauline would cause trouble. She had been down to his works recently.

He used to laugh it off as he didn’t want us to worry.

“He wouldn’t go into details but he always said she was hanging around and knocking on his door, sometimes at 4am.”

Miss Redmayne told Mr Carney how the police and bomb squad were called out on two occasions after he found mobile phones taped underneath his vehicle.

A police officer attending the inquest said she had no knowledge of these calls.

Miss Redmayne added: “I just felt he couldn’t take anymore. He had just hit rock bottom.”

Mr Carney, said: “There is no doubt in my mind this was a man who for some considerable time and more recently has been suffering from acute depression.

“It appears that his domestic situation was the factor of much of that depression and I agree with the evidence I have heard from family for some considerable time he was suffering ongoing anxiety and pressure of an unresolved domestic situation.

“Clearly the effects in my view of that ongoing stress have impacted greatly on this man’s decision to ultimately kill himself.”

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Rodgers’ estranged wife, Pauline, of Herrington, said she was too distraught to attend yesterday’s inquest and didn’t want to upset the rest of Steven’s family.

She added: “I was upset when I found out he had a heart attack. I was past myself.

“To find out he had really acute heart problems was upsetting. You can’t be with someone all those years and not feel anything, and I do.”
Mr Carney gave a narrative verdict and recorded his death was as a result of taking propanol and mirtazapine.

He also recorded that he self-administered these drugs, consequently killing himself, and that at the time he was suffering from acute depression.

Speaking after the inquest his family said Steven was “one in a million”.

The full article contains 615 words and appears in Sunderland Echo newspaper.
Page 1 of 1

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Report: Overdose of prescription drugs may have killed Michael Jackson

Thu, Jun. 25, 2009

Life & Style reports that Michael Jackson
was taking a cocktail of up to seven prescription drugs in the months
before his death.

The star had been taking prescription painkillers including
anti-anxiety drugs Xanax, Zoloft (SSRI Antidepressant) and painkiller Demerol in recent
months, sources close to Jackson told Life & Style. The insider
close to the star said he took a suspected overdose of drugs on
Thursday morning, which caused respiratory and cardiac arrest.

And a Jackson family lawyer told CNN he “feared” the drugs
could kill the pop star. CNN’s interview with the source follows the
jump.

Jackson
family lawyer Brian Oxman confirmed Jackson may have had trouble with
prescription drugs as he prepared for his London show.

“This was something which I feared and something which I warned about,”
Oxman said on CNN. “I can tell you for sure that this is something I
warned about. Where there is smoke there is fire.”

Mr Oxman compared Michael to Anna Nicole Smith, alleging that Michael had ‘enablers’ just like her.

CNN details Jackson’s long history of medical problems here.
At
a news conference, brother Jermaine Jackson said doctors and family
tried “for an hour” to resuscitate the performer. TMZ’s video of the
conference is here.

Meanwhile, Hollyscoop reports that doctors visited Jackson “daily.” THe site’s latest update:

While news of Michael Jackson’s death came as a shock to many, inside
sources tell Hollyscoop exclusively that the King of Pop “had doctors
visiting him daily.”

Michael went into cardiac arrest Thursday afternoon and was rushed to
UCLA Medical Center around 1pm. His personal physician was with him at
the time and accompanied him to the hospital.

At approximately 1:14pm when he arrived at the hospital, doctors and
emergency personnel performed CPR and tried to resuscitate him, but
were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at 2:26pm.

The cause of his death is still unknown, but an autopsy is scheduled
for this coming Friday afternoon. Michael was transferred from UCLA
Medical Center to the coroner’s office via a Los Angeles Sheriff’s
helicopter shortly after 6pm.

Posted on Thu, Jun. 25, 2009 08:41 PM

http://www.kansascity.com/stargazing/story/1282600.html

Jackson family spokesman Brian Oxman reacts to the news of
Michael Jackson’s death. He says he is “stunned” and adds that he
warned the family that prescription drug abuse might have contributed
to his death.

“If you think the case with Anna Nicole Smith was
an abuse, it’s nothing in comparison to what we have seen taking place
in Michael Jackson’s life.”

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Senate Orders Study on Military Suicides

Paragraphs 7 & 8 read: “By voice vote, the Senate approved a Cardin-sponsored amendment to the 2010 defense authorization bill that would order an independent study by the National Institute of Mental Health on the potential relationship between suicide or suicide attempts and the use of antidepressants, anti-anxiety and other behavior-modifying prescription drugs.”

“That study is expected to take two years. In the meantime, Cardin’s amendment also would require a report every June from 2010 through 2015 giving the number and percentages of troops who are serving or have served in Iraq or Afghanistan who had prescriptions for antidepressants or similar drugs.”

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/07/military_suicides_antidepressants_072309w/

Senator: Study prescriptions-suicide link
By Rick Maze – Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Jul 23, 2009 11:32:42 EDT

The Senate on Wednesday ordered an independent study to determine whether an increase in military suicides could be the result of sending troops into combat while they are taking antidepressants or sleeping pills.

Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., who pushed for the study, said he does not know whether there is a link, but he believes prescription drug use, especially when it is not closely supervised by medical personnel, needs a closer look.

“One thing we should all be concerned about is that there are more and more of our soldiers who are using prescription antidepressant drugs … and we are not clear as to whether they are under appropriate medical supervision,” Cardin said.

The problem, he said, is that some antidepressants “take several weeks before they reach their full potential,” and during that time there is a risk of increased suicidal thoughts among 18- to 24-year-olds ­ an age group that includes many service members.

When people taking antidepressants are deployed, they may not be under close medical supervision, especially if they are in a unit that is on the move in combat, Cardin said.

“Surveys … have shown that as many as 12 percent of those who are serving in Iraq and 17 percent of those who are serving in Afghanistan are using some form of prescribed antidepressant or sleeping pills,” Cardin said. “That would equal 20,000 of our service members.”

By voice vote, the Senate approved a Cardin-sponsored amendment to the 2010 defense authorization bill that would order an independent study by the National Institute of Mental Health on the potential relationship between suicide or suicide attempts and the use of antidepressants, anti-anxiety and other behavior-modifying prescription drugs.

That study is expected to take two years. In the meantime, Cardin’s amendment also would require a report every June from 2010 through 2015 giving the number and percentages of troops who are serving or have served in Iraq or Afghanistan who had prescriptions for antidepressants or similar drugs.

The reports would not include names or any specifics that would identify the service members, Cardin said. “We protect their individual privacy,” he said. “There is no stigma attached at all to this survey.”

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———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Atracyphd1@aol.com
To: post@drugawareness.org, DCKCCPAS@aol.com, Atracyphd2@aol.com
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 03:08:48 EDT
Subject: ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Senate Orders Study on Military Suicides
Paragraphs 7 & 8 read: “By voice vote, the Senate approved a Cardin-sponsored amendment to the 2010 defense authorization bill that would order an independent study by the National Institute of Mental Health on the potential relationship between suicide or suicide attempts and the use of antidepressants, anti-anxiety and other behavior-modifying prescription drugs.”

“That study is expected to take two years. In the meantime, Cardin’s amendment also would require a report every June from 2010 through 2015 giving the number and percentages of troops who are serving or have served in Iraq or Afghanistan who had prescriptions for antidepressants or similar drugs.”

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2009/07/military_suicides_antidepressants_072309w/

Senator: Study prescriptions-suicide link
By Rick Maze – Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Jul 23, 2009 11:32:42 EDT

The Senate on Wednesday ordered an independent study to determine whether an increase in military suicides could be the result of sending troops into combat while they are taking antidepressants or sleeping pills.

Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., who pushed for the study, said he does not know whether there is a link, but he believes prescription drug use, especially when it is not closely supervised by medical personnel, needs a closer look.

“One thing we should all be concerned about is that there are more and more of our soldiers who are using prescription antidepressant drugs … and we are not clear as to whether they are under appropriate medical supervision,” Cardin said.

The problem, he said, is that some antidepressants “take several weeks before they reach their full potential,” and during that time there is a risk of increased suicidal thoughts among 18- to 24-year-olds ­ an age group that includes many service members.

When people taking antidepressants are deployed, they may not be under close medical supervision, especially if they are in a unit that is on the move in combat, Cardin said.

“Surveys … have shown that as many as 12 percent of those who are serving in Iraq and 17 percent of those who are serving in Afghanistan are using some form of prescribed antidepressant or sleeping pills,” Cardin said. “That would equal 20,000 of our service members.”

By voice vote, the Senate approved a Cardin-sponsored amendment to the 2010 defense authorization bill that would order an independent study by the National Institute of Mental Health on the potential relationship between suicide or suicide attempts and the use of antidepressants, anti-anxiety and other behavior-modifying prescription drugs.

That study is expected to take two years. In the meantime, Cardin’s amendment also would require a report every June from 2010 through 2015 giving the number and percentages of troops who are serving or have served in Iraq or Afghanistan who had prescriptions for antidepressants or similar drugs.

The reports would not include names or any specifics that would identify the service members, Cardin said. “We protect their individual privacy,” he said. “There is no stigma attached at all to this survey.”

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DEPRESSION MED: Mother Kills her 7 Month Old Twins: Attempts Suicide: …

First four paragraphs read: “Police are investigating reports the mother of twins found dead inside a Perth home was suffering depression.”

“Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Fyfe said prescription drugs for the woman were found alongside the unconscious mother and her seven-month-old twins, who media reports have named as Sophie and Lachlan.”

“Police believe the woman may have killed her son and daughter before attempting to take her own life.”

“Det Sen Sgt Fyfe said family members had told police the mother had been suffering postnatal depression and been prescribed drugs for treatment.”

http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/dead-twins-mother-was-depressed-report-20090707-dakd.html

Dead twins’ mother was depressed: report

Aleisha Preedy
July 7, 2009 – 1:49PM

Police are investigating reports the mother of twins found dead inside a Perth home was suffering depression.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Fyfe said prescription drugs for the woman were found alongside the unconscious mother and her seven-month-old twins, who media reports have named as Sophie and Lachlan.

Police believe the woman may have killed her son and daughter before attempting to take her own life.

Det Sen Sgt Fyfe said family members had told police the mother had been suffering postnatal depression and been prescribed drugs for treatment.

He said police had ruled that no one had forced entry into the house and the incident was being investigated as an apparent murder suicide.

“We are investigating reports the mother was suffering postnatal depression,” Det Sen Sgt Fyfe told reporters on Tuesday.

“We have been unable to confirm that at the moment.

“It appears she may have taken an overdose of prescription drugs but until later today when the toxicology reports are out, I can’t confirm that.”

He said the distraught father had been sedated and police hoped to speak to him later in the day.

The mother remained in a critical but stable condition in Royal Perth Hospital.

Major crime squad detectives were called to the home at the end of a cul-de-sac in Flintlock Street, Cloverdale about 3.30pm (WST) on Monday.

The twins were the couple’s only children.

© 2009 AAP

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ANTIDEPRESSANT WITHDRAWAL: Suicide: Recent Withdrawal: Michigan

Often there is the terrible withdrawal associated with the SSRIs. Unless patients are warned to come very slowly off these drugs by shaving minuscule amounts off their pills each day, as opposed to cutting them in half or taking a pill every other day, they can go into terrible withdrawal which is generally delayed several months. This withdrawal includes bouts of overwhelming depression, terrible insomnia and fatigue, and can include life-threatening physical effects, psychosis, or violent outbursts.

Paragraph 7 reads: “Fessenden disputes reports that his son was taking multiple prescription drugs. He said his son recently went off anti-depressants.”

Relatives remember Oceana man as generous person

by Chad D. Lerch | The Muskegon Chronicle
Friday July 03, 2009, 6:41 AM

Roger Fessenden

OCEANA COUNTY — Dale Fessenden says his son, who was found dead June 25 in an Oceana County pond, will be remembered as a caring person who always put others first.

His son, Roger Dale Fessenden, 40, of Rothbury suffered a back injury at work earlier this year when he fell 20 feet while cleaning a storage tank. He underwent back surgery in February, family members said.

Roger Fessenden was reported missing June 23 and was found dead two days later in a pond known by locals as Oceana Lake in Grant Township.

Dale Fessenden said his son often had a difficult time sleeping because of back pain. He said Roger would take prescription sleeping pills and then go for drives in his car. He suspects the sleeping pills affected his son’s judgment.

On the night he went missing, Roger Fessenden likely took sleeping pills before venturing out, his father said.

“He didn’t know what he was doing and just took off,” he said. “I’m convinced that’s what happened to him.”

Fessenden disputes reports that his son was taking multiple prescription drugs. He said his son recently went off anti-depressants.

Family members said they want Roger Fessenden to be remembered as someone with a generous heart.

Dale Fessenden said his son once went shopping for a stranger in the hospital — just because he wanted to help.

“That’s the kind of person my son was,” he said. “He was the most polite person in my life.”

Oceana County Sheriff Bob Farber said a toxicology report is pending in the investigation into Roger Fessenden’s death. The report could return from the lab in the next two weeks.

But in the meantime, the county coroner has ruled the cause of death as drowning. It remains unclear how Fessenden ended up in the pond.

Fessenden, a longtime resident of Ferry, is survived by his wife, Blanco Suarez, two stepchildren and his parents.

E-mail Chad D. Lerch at clerch@muskegonchronicle.com

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My Fear of Falling into Madness

“From the first day I took Zoloft, my life has been miserable.”

 

I am 23 years old and I’ve been taking psychiatric drugs on and off for the past 8 years. I was first aware something was not right with me when I was 13 and started to experience elevated emotions, whether they were sad or happy or together they where extreme.

At 15 they diagnosed me with manic depression and started treatment with Prozac…which in turn made me manic.

After that bad experience I took no more drugs for 4 years, other than the occasional tranquilizer.

In college I had my first “real” episode and again, at 19 started taking drugs. This time it was Zoloft. From that day on my life has been miserable. I had to drop out of college with only one more year to finish. When I was 22 I had already been hospitalized 7 times (the longest being 45 days long). I’ve had two sessions of ECT and have taken over 25 prescription drugs.

Since I am a rapid cycler, it’s been three years now and I have not been able to get a job, continue my studies or be functional. The few months I have of remission after each episode I use to recover and regain my strength. And although I might be fine, I live each day with the fear of falling into madness.

The reason I write this is because among those 25 drugs I’ve taken, I took Zyprexa. I did not consider myself a fat person. I was not skinny, and I was not fat. When I took Zyprexa I gained 100 pounds. I used to be a size ten and (before I lost some weigh) I was a size 20. (now I am 14-16). With all of my “psychiatric problems” I am thankful that I don’t care about my image as many other do. I mean, I did not die because I was fat.

But that is not all. With Zyprexa I also lost my period for 5 months. And then had it back for 2 months straight. I was in the hospital at the time so they stopped my period. If not, I would never know how much longer it would have been. On a good note, my hair grew a lot and my eyelashes too. My doctor told me that all of these hormonal change had occurred because Zyprexa made me secrete a hormone that is only secreted by pregnant women.

Zyprexa also made me hypertensive and zoomed up my cholesterol levels. So in addition of taking almost 5 different meds a day I also had to take pills for my cholesterol and hypertension.

Zyprexa so far has been the drug that gave me the most side effects. But that also happened because I had an incompetent psychiatrist that gave me a dose up to 45mg!!!! When the top dosage was 20mg.

This man took advantage of me. When I first saw him (he is supposed to be an expert on bipolar disorder and me and my family went all the way to Harvard to see him) he asked me what was the drug that helped me the most. And I said Zyprexa. At that time I took Zyprexa occasionally and only when I was in crisis.

Since I lived in Richmond with my sister, every time I had a crisis or something happened my sister would call and he would up my dose 5mg each time. He totally overmedicated me. And for that I had to suffer more. My sister was no doctor. She did not know the harm she was doing me.

I stopped taking Zyprexa last year. And I have lost 50 pounds. I am not hypertensive anymore, and my cholesterol is back to normal. However, I could have died of a diabetic coma and God knows what else could have happened me. I know there have been people who have died because of Zyprexa. Specially of diabetes. There are around 300 deaths. It must be stopped.

After my last crisis my current doctor (I’ve seen around 10) decided that I should not take medicine anymore, and that I should just live my life. I am in the process of withdrawal. I am taking lithium now (been for a while) which gave me severe psoriasis. I don’t know what else I am taking, since my parents are the only ones who know where and what I take.

I don’t know if my current state (depressed but not psychotic) is due to the lack of medication. I know that I am taking less than half a dose that I used to take.
I hope that maybe no medication will actually make me better. And that my problems are just psychological and not biochemical. I read a lot of RD Laing and I believe in what he says, I just hope life would give me the chance to a full and normal life.

In a good note. I just want to point out that there are good psychiatrists. My third psychiatrist who I had to leave because I moved out of town, was the best. Since I was a college student he charged me less than his normal fee. He would see me at any time of the day. He did not believe in drug companies. And he gave me my meds for free. He was also very hesitant of giving me lithium because he knew it would flare up my (at that time mild) psoriasis. He never gave me labels…in fact he never ever told me that I was bipolar…I had to force him. When I did he said he did not believe in labels…he believed in human beings. I miss him and I know that anyone who has the privilege to have him as a doctor is in great hands.

I hate drug companies, and the capitalist system. We all have the right to get well and worse than not being able to buy meds, is the fact that because of that system we are being forced to take meds and get sick to fill their pockets with filthy money.

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4/28/2001 – A Prescription for Violence? (School Shootings)

Kelly O’Meara of Insight Magazine has once again given us another incredible
article on this issue of drug-induced violence leading to the school
shootings.

… James E. Copple, vice president of the National Crime Prevention
Council and former principal and superintendent of schools in Wichita, Kan.
says: I tend to lean on the side of doing everything possible to protect the
student’s right to privacy, he says, but when they commit an act of violence
all the factors involved in the crime including medications need to be
known by that community.

… Ronald Stephens, executive director of the National School Safety
Center says: Its the thought that if youre going to put Charlie Manson in my
class I have a right to know that. . . We have kids so medicated its
incredible. I dont see parents asking the question about the numbers of
children on psychotropic drugs as being all that invasive. The public would
be shocked at the number of file drawers of prescription drugs that teachers
are asked to dispense. . . . it would be a great study for someone to go back
and see how many of the kids who committed these violent acts were on these
drugs.

I certainly do agree with Mr. Stephens when he says that it would be a great
study to go back and find out how many of these children were on medications
at the time of the shooting. I agree because that is what I have been doing
for the last decade. This type of disclosure is what I have been pleading for
with every new school shooting.

Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? But discovering which medications these
children were on, has been FAR FROM easy! It involves a lot of detective
work. The question must be asked over and over and over again. First it makes
a big difference if the shooter survived or committed suicide. That
determines whether you have a good defense attorney to work with. Then you
must contact everyone involved – everyone who knew them – in order to find
the information about medication. It can take a very long time to track
everyone down and find the answer.

I must commend Bill Trainor for coming forward publicly with the information
about the medications Jason was on at the time of the shooting. When we have
had two school shootings within weeks of one another with both shooters on an
SSRI antidepressant, the public has the right to know! Yet here we are at the
two year anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting still waiting to
learn what Dylan Kleebold was on that day. That information has never yet
been released to the public. WHY has that been kept from us?!!! I have a
pretty good idea, but it will be good to have the truth come out via the
lawsuit that is about to be filed against the makers of Luvox and the one
that has been filed against Eric Harris’ doctors.

Had it not been for the attorneys in the latest school shootings agreeing to
go public with the information on the drugs involved in these shootings, we
would still be waiting for answers and more children would die. It has been
an honor to work with these men of integrity.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org and author of
Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? ()
________________________________

http://www.insightmag.com/archive/200105217.shtml

A Prescription for Violence?
——————————————————————————


By Kelly Patricia OMeara
komeara@…
——————————————————————————

The recent wave of school-shooting incidents has some concerned parents
demanding that the medical records of students taking psychotropic drugs be
made public.

In the last 10 shooting incidents at schools, a total of 105 students,
teachers and administrators were killed or wounded. Beginning in March 1998
with the shooting at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Ark., and ending
with the March 22, 2001, shootings at Granite Hills High School in El Cajon,
Calif., six of the 12 juvenile shooters are reported to have been on
prescribed mind-altering drugs.

San Diego Deputy Public Defender William Trainor announced last week
that his client, 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, who is charged with the shooting
of five students and teachers at Granite Hills High School, had been
prescribed the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor. Whether Trainor intends to
use this medical information as part of his clients defense is unclear,
though he said that the drugs [Hoffman] was prescribed may help explain his
actions. He adds that research indicates that the drugs that were prescribed
are extremely powerful antidepressants with the most dangerous side effects.

According to Loren Mosher, professor of psychiatry at the University of
California at San Diego, Celexa and Effexor are selective serotonin reuptake
inhibitors [SSRIs] in a class with Prozac, Paxil and Luvox the same drug
prescribed to Columbine shooter Eric Harris.

It appears Trainor believes there is a correlation between the drugs
and the shootings. Although he could not provide specific information about
his client, he tells Insight that this is a hot-button issue and there are
many people who dont want to look at the connection. If you say those drugs
may be involved, says Trainor, youll be labeled a kook. But with the history
of these drugs there is a huge unpredictability factor. When someone goes off
while on these drugs it should raise some eyebrows in the community. Im
starting to wonder when the public has the right to this information. What is
the balance of rights? Its his medical rec-ords versus the public right to be
safe. Which one has the trump card? It is a legitimate question.

Although Trainor is not the only public official to consider the
possibility that widely prescribed mind-altering drugs may play a role in
much-publicized school violence, he is among the few to make public the issue
of medical records generally being protected and put off-limits. The privacy
of medical records, including mental-health information, is protected by law.
The information about the prescription-drug history of an accused perpetrator
is only made public when the information is released by the family, school
officials, friends and, sometimes, law-enforcement officers and attorneys.

And, of course, such information seems to be of interest to the public
only in the wave of concern after a violent event, making it difficult even
to consider whether prescribed psychotropic drugs are a chronic cause of
otherwise senseless violence.

In fact, so little information has been made public about these
mind-altering drugs and their connection to shootings and other school
violence that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) isnt even looking at the
possibility. When asked about a communitys right to know if an alleged
shooter has been prescribed a psychotropic drug, Reagan Dunn, a spokesman for
the DOJ, tells Insight: There are two issues that youve raised
medical-record privacy and criminal records of juveniles. These records are
sealed by statute in all states. It [the connection between psychotropic
drugs and school shooters] isnt an issue were looking at there are other
priorities were focusing on, such as school-resource officers [safety
officers] and other programs to reduce school violence.

But two other federal law-enforcement agencies, the FBI and the
U.S. Secret Service, appear to be concerned about the increasing number of
school shootings and have invested a great deal of time and effort to look
into the possible reasons for them. The FBI published a report last year
called The School Shooter: A Threat Assessment Perspective. The 41-page
report was the result of a joint effort by the National Center for the
Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) and teachers, school administrators and
law-enforcement officers involved in investigating each of the school
shootings. They were assisted by experts in adolescent violence, mental
health, suicidology and school dynamics. Eighteen school-shooting cases were
reviewed for the report.

Although topics such as family relationships, school dynamics, social
problems, personality traits and behavior, threat management in schools and
the role of law enforcement are discussed, there is no mention in the report
of increased prescription-drug use by juveniles.

Dewey Carroll of the Clinical and Forensic Psychology Department at
the University of Virginia participated in a threat-assessment conference
last year during which he was asked if, based on the correlation between
psychotropic drugs and the school shooters, this information should be made
public. Carroll argued that there was no correlation. Six out of 12 [school
shooters] being on psychotropic drugs is not a correlation, it is an
observation, he said.

A correlation, explained Carroll, would be taking a sample of children
on medication and those not on medication and then making the comparison.
There are a lot of kids who take these medications who do not commit
violence. If you want to look at people that have risk factors, you have to
do scientific studies.

Few professionals who are familiar with the data would argue with that
criticism, but one may question how such a study can be conducted, as
suggested by Carroll, if the information about whether a student is on
prescribed mind-altering drugs is regarded as a state secret. And, even when
such information is made available for study, it appears that little use is
made of it.

Take, for instance, the Secret Service, which in collaboration with the
U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Justice last year
produced a report on how to prevent school violence. The Interim Report on
the Prevention of Targeted Violence in Schools was made public in October
2000, involving systematic analysis of investigative, judicial, educational
and other files and interviews with 10 school shooters.

Although researchers reviewed primary-source materials such as
investigative, school, court and mental-health records and conducted
supplemental interviews with 10 of the attackers, no mention was made in the
report about prescription medications of the kind that Insight has collected.
Nor did the Secret Service respond to Insights questions about why that issue
was not addressed at the conference or made part of the report.

Despite the fact that two federal law-enforcement agencies had the
opportunity to view the personal files of many of the school shooters,
important medical data gleaned from those files apparently was ignored. This
has caused many interested in this issue to wonder, like San Diegos public
defender, when the public has the right to know such information.

Not surprisingly, while every professional interviewed for this article
expressed concern about the privacy rights of children, there also was
concern about the use of mind-altering prescription drugs. Most are beginning
to wonder at what point communities into which disturbed children are sent
while on psychotropic drugs should be alerted to a potential problem.

JoAnne McDaniels, acting director for the Center for the Prevention of
School Violence, an organization focusing on keeping schools safe and secure,
tells Insight, There is concern on the part of some in the education
community that we are overmedicating our youngsters that it is easier to
drug them into appropriate behavior.

It is important to recognize that the schools today have children that
are being medicated in ways that children were not years ago. We shouldnt be
too quick to isolate psychotropic drugs as a causal factor, but it is an
important factor in trying to understand what is taking place. In a general
sense, in a school population, parents should be able to see this
information, McDaniels says. If a parent moves to a community and wants to
know the numbers of children who are on these drugs, making such numbers
available would not necessarily violate confidentiality of children. I think
as long as the information is not individualized it should be information a
principal is comfortable providing. It may force the principal to explain how
the school handles the entire violence issue and the use of medication to
control behavior in the school. Its reasonable for a school to share that
information and a parent to ask for it. Its part of the school community and
part of the schools fabric.

The message, concludes McDaniels, is that we need to develop
youngsters without stimulants and other foreign substances. Too often we are
opting for a way of treatment that is a lot easier to implement than sitting
down and working out the problems. This is a public-health issue and it seems
reasonable to look at it.

James E. Copple is vice president of the National Crime Prevention
Council, a nonprofit organization that focuses on creating safer communities
by addressing the causes of crime and violence and reducing the opportunities
for crime to occur. He is a former principal and superintendent of schools in
Wichita, Kan., and sees the merits of both sides of the issue. I tend to lean
on the side of doing everything possible to protect the students right to
privacy, he says, but when they commit an act of violence all the factors
involved in the crime including medications need to be known by that
community.

As Copple sees it, Communities need to know if large numbers of
children are on psychotropic medications. It is increasingly being talked
about by educators, and it has put schools in the position of creating mini
health clinics for drug management on top of having to teach the children and
all the other responsibilities. Why all of a sudden do we have to be a
pharmacy? Principals are forced to choose between hiring another much-needed
teacher or another nurse to dispense drugs.

The executive director of the National School Safety Center, Ronald
Stephens, isnt convinced that releasing information about the number of
students being prescribed mind-altering drugs necessarily is a violation of a
childs rights. Its legal and its become common practice to search lockers
whenever the student is involved in an incident, and there are some states
now mandating that teachers be given information about the reasons behind a
student who is returned to school on probation. Its the thought that if youre
going to put Charlie Manson in my class I have a right to know that.

According to Stephens, We tend to get what we measure. But if we dont
ask were not going to get real answers. We have kids so medicated its
incredible. I dont see parents asking the question about the numbers of
children on psychotropic drugs as being all that invasive. The public would
be shocked at the number of file drawers of prescription drugs that teachers
are asked to dispense. Stephens says he thinks it would be a great study for
someone to go back and see how many of the kids who committed these violent
acts were on these drugs. The community should know who is taking them, and I
think teachers will want to know which kids are on these drugs. Knowing what
I know about school violence, I would support having that information shared.
Of course, there will be a huge outcry that someones rights are being
violated, but at what point do they lose those rights?

That is of course the question, and with 6 million to 8 million
children already taking Ritalin, and unknown millions being prescribed the
much stronger mind-altering SSRIs, many are starting to ask it.

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One Woman’s Experience with Prozac

“I feel that many women get drugs [because doctors] cannot spend time over a period of several years with a patient to discover what is really wrong.”

 

Several years ago I got divorced and was of course very upset during this period. I went to several “talk” therapists who I did not feel comfortable with. Like buying any other service you have to shop around for someone who can help you that you also feel comfortable with, whether it is drug and/or talk therapy. After running through several therapists, I ended up with a drug-oriented therapist who prescribed Prozac and monthly monitoring sessions. I then took the Prozac for “depression” (due to on-going life problems and some poor life skills of course I was depressed) for six months and decided not to take it any more for the following reasons:

a. during the six months I took the Prozac, I got six ear and/or sinus infections. I usually get one to two bad colds a year, maybe the flu or a strep throat.

b. my joints ached clicked, especially in my jaws. My dentist of long standing took x-rays and discovered “previously undiagnosed” TMJ and I had to go through expensive dental therapy for this during the time I was on the Prozac. The dentist asked me if I was taking any prescription drugs, which I told him about the Prozac. He said he had done part of his internship in a mental hospital, as well as working there on a part time basis to earn money for school, and Prozac and Zoloft were often given to the patients to chill them out and be more controllable for the staff, and not to really help them with any illnesses or anything going on in their lives.

c. various other “miscellaneous” symptoms including weight gain, a lot of weight, even though this medicine was also supposed to make me both lose weight and not want to eat as in Meridia (affects serotonin levels). I did not want to eat for about the first two weeks I was on this drug (about the standard life-cycle of over-the-counter diet medicine available at your local drug store, and then as it began to “work” (“it takes a month to work,” said the doctor), my appetite returned plus some. In my experience it is supposed to make you “happy” but it makes you “overeat happily”, or keep on with your behavior that needed change before the drugs or in other words happily not address whatever your issues were before you started taking the Prozac.

d. my blood prolactin levels went way up. At my next gynecological exam I told the doctor (the gynecologist, not the psychiatrist) about the weight gain and the prolactin levels. Before I even had a chance to say I was on Prozac, he said “are you taking anti-depressants” and that in his experience these were common side effects of taking anti-depressants. This was a very good doctor who I had seen for years, and he knew I was in the middle of a divorce. His opinion was that the anti-depressants were not going settle a bad life experience and I should get someone to talk to rather than prescribe drugs and that if I really wanted something to “take the edge off so I could cope,” there were many older, way milder, and more effective drugs to take, just for a short time, until things calmed down in my life.

e. I never had anyone suggest that maybe a complete physical would also help. I am still very overweight and they want to give me Meridia for it. My insurance will not pay for this or Xenical because they say there are too many side effects they said it causes enough side effects for them to begin to see it as “uneconomic” because they would have to pay to cure the (preventable and avoidable) side effects and that they won’t pay for it and that it would be foolish for me as well to pay out of pocket good money that I don’t have for something with many serious side effects and minimal/marginal good effects. I have also been on birth control pills for medical reasons not to do with avoiding pregnancy (another story) with similar effects to the Prozac.

f. I stopped taking the Prozac, fortunately no side effects, and found a therapist that I liked, in this case a “feminist.” Unfortunately by this time my insurance was close to running out so I had to space out visits, and then I had to pay out of pocket because I had to change to a health plan she did not use.

g. Unfortunately the health insurers do not like to pay for talk therapy, it seems to me because it easier to pay for one 15-minute visit monthly than for one or two weekly sessions that might go on for a year or two, in addition to visits for medication if the person needs that as well. It also seems that there is no way to “shop around” for a person who can help you without using up your allowed visits. So people who could use the help end up with not enough help or the wrong help or no help or end up in a clinic.

h. I feel that many women get drugs (because they are women, a social issue) and that doctors either do not understand what the drugs really do or cannot spend time over a period of several years with a patient to discover what is really wrong that may take a while to discover, such as endometriosis, PCOD, women’s physiology, life problems, and we just get pills thrown at us to make us happy with the status quo instead of just listening. We know the doctors have many patients and not much time and we don’t need them to kiss the ground we walk on but we would like to feel that we are listened to.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 70.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

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11/1/1999 – Colorado School Board Initiative

In October, Dr. Ann Tracy, Executive Director of the International
Coalition for Drug Awareness, and two other experts spoke before the
Colorado State Board of Education. They urged the adoption of the
Resolution on Academic Standards and Restrictions on Non-Academic
Solutions which was introduced by Patti Johnson, one of the Board’s
members.

The resolution would give Colorado parents and teachers a clear message
that education must be concerned with academic issues and NOT the
management of behavioral issues with psychiatric prescription drugs.
Recently, Eric Harris, who was taking Luvox, killed over a dozen
students at Columbine High School.

The State Board should be commended for taking the lead in this issue.
They should be applauded for trying to steer the schools of Colorado in
the direction of academia, and away from mind-altering drugs. Please
send a brief, short and very supportive note to them.

The e-mail address is State.Board@…

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09/23/1999 – Analysis of Sudden Retraction in Ashbrook Case

The following comes to the ICFDA courtesy of Ian Goddard, a tireless
researcher and journalist sympathetic to our mission of educating
others to the dangers of mind-altering medications:

The report that Prozac was found in the home of Larry Gene Ashbrook,
who went on a murder spree in a Texas church, has suddenly changed. The
AP reports that investigator “Lt. Mark Krey retracted his earlier
remarks in which he said police found a vial of the antidepressant
Prozac with Ashbrook’s name on it.” [1]

The new story is that the only medications in the house were his
fathers, but the father of Larry is named Jack — two different names!
How could police have mistaken a vial with the name “Jack” on it for
one with the name “Larry” on it? The initial report states:

“A doctor had prescribed the anti-depressant drug Prozac for Larry Gene
Ashbrook … police found a Prozac vial with Ashbrook’s name and want
to ask doctors why it was prescribed. …FBI officials said they ALSO
found nine vials of prescription drugs for Jack Ashbrook…” (emphasis
added) [2]

So the initial report clearly indicates that a distinction had been
made between vials with “Larry” on them and vials with “Jack” on them,
since nine vials belonged to Jack and one vial belonged to Larry. It
also stipulates that since the Prozac vial was Larry’s, they planned to
take the next step of contacting the doctor who made the prescription,
which indicates that they were really sure it said “Larry,” not “Jack.”

Furthermore, the initial Star-Telegram report said that Larry’s father
was “his anchor to reality and his caretaker to ensure he took his
medication.” But now it seems that his father did not ensure he took
his medication because it suddenly seems that he took no medication.
There out is to say he took another medication.

Gee, this certainly appears to have all the signs of a cover-up. In
fact, such a dramatic change of story is prima-facie evidence of a
cover-up. The WorldNetDaily recently reported that anti-psychiatry
activist Dennis Clarke

“…claims that pharmaceutical companies go to great lengths and
expense to cover up the problems that take place. When an incident of
violence occurs, the pharmaceutical “crash teams” go to work to keep
things quiet, according to Clarke.

Teams of psychiatrists are sent to the places where incidents take
place and quickly work to see that medical records are kept sealed,
doctors are convinced to remain silent, and victims are given
monetary payments to prevent them from ever going to court.

“It’s all being covered up, and it’s deliberate. There are billions
and billions of dollars at stake here,” explained Clarke. …” [3]

Think how easy it could be, a couple million dollars could change a lot
of stories, like maybe the one that just changed. Such expenses could
easily be less than the loses in sales that would occur if people
realize that these drugs are harmful and if law suits start rolling in
not only from users but the people they killed. Clearly, there needs to
be an investigation of this now-we-found-it-now-we-didn’t
investigation.

[1] AP: Police retract remarks about drugs found:
http://www.express-news.net/auth/ennews/ap/texas/d0645.html

[2] The Star-Telegram: Prozac found at Wedgwood
Baptist killer’s house. By Kathy Sanders 9/20/99:
http://www.star-telegram.com/news/doc/1047/1:METRO22/1:METRO22092199.ht
ml
http://www.star-telegram.com/news/doc/1047/1:DFW2/1:DFW2092199.html

[3]
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/bluesky_bresnahan/19990429_xex_doping_our_
k.sht
ml

GODDARD’S JOURNAL: http://www.erols.com/igoddard/journal.htm

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