With recent school or teen shootings now totaling 54 dead and 105 wounded, the mental health watchdog Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) says it is time to demand a federal investigation for the sake of public safety.
On February 14, Illinois gunman Steven Kazmierczak became the 12th shooter in the past decade under the influence of psychiatric drugs documented by international drug regulatory agencies to cause suicide, mania, psychosis, hallucinations, hostility and in the case of one antidepressant, "homicidal ideation."
This is how a immediate news release from PRNewswire starts as they go on to report of a new 11 minute documentary discussing a two decade battle on the part of Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) to force full public disclosure on the risks of psychiatric drugs.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is an international psychiatric watchdog group co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights.
The have produced a 51 page, PDF document, chronicling this battle, called "Exposing the Dangers of Antidepressants and Other Psychotropic Drugs--Despite FDA/Psychiatric-Pharmaceutical Cover-Ups."
In the case of Steven Kazmierczak, the 27 year old man, that came out from behind the stage of a small lecture hall at Northern Illinois University, on Valentines day, February 14, 2008, and opened fire, killing 5, injuring 15 and then turning is gun on himself to commit suicide, the media reported that he had stopped taking his "medication", but that is only part of the story.
The problem is, psychiatric medications cause long-term disruptions in the brain which lead to a strong dissociation with reality
Dr. David Healy, Director of Cardiff University's North Wales department of psychological medicine, in September of 2006, and colleagues published the findings of a study the conducted into the antidepressant, Paxil, in the journal Public Library of Science Medicine stating: "We've got good evidence that the drugs can make people violent and you'd have to reason from that that there may be more episodes of violence."
In 2003 and 2004, in the International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine, a psychiatrist named Peter Breggin wrote, "There are many reports and studies confirming that SSRI [Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor] antidepressants can cause violence, suicide, mania and other forms of psychotic and bizarre behavior."
According to the release, it took 13 years for the FDA to issue black box warnings about the increased risk of suicide to people taking drugs for depression and other psychiatric medications.
The link to a video from a 1991 FDA hearing on the drug Prozac, shows how long it took the FDA to act on that issue.
That was in 1991 and it took until 2004 for the FDA to issue a release stating that there was an "increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior ("suicidality") in children and adolescents being treated with antidepressant medications."
The agency is directing manufacturers to add a "black box" warning to the health professional labeling of all antidepressant medications to describe this risk and emphasize the need for close monitoring of patients started on these medications.
It took the FDA 13 years to act on the black box labels warning of risk of suicide, how long will this battle to bring public disclosure on the risks that psychiatric drugs pose, take?
How many children have to become killers before answers are forthcoming?