Open letter to Congress on Prescription Drugs and Gun Violence

Congress driving legislation to improve gun control and mental health practices are reasonable steps. Except that people have had guns and mental illnesses for generations, but these random mass murders with no real motive, is a relatively new phenomenon. They have been going on for what 20 or 30 years? Following that train of thought, I stumbled upon a large group of people who are clamouring for attention on the side affects of anti-depressants.

First, here are a three examples where courts recognize that psychoactive drugs can make people have extreme behaviour beyond their control:

•In April 2004, a Santa Cruz, California man was found innocent of attempted murder, due to diminished capacity caused by Zoloft. Man Found Innocent of Attempted Murder

•Based on the testimony of the treating psychiatrist, as well as various psychiatric expert witnesses who testified that the crime of bank robbery committed by Christopher DeAngelo was committed as a result of diminished capacity caused by ingestion of Prozac and Xanax, the Court found him not guilty. State of Connecticut v. Christopher DeAngelo, Superior Court Judicial District of Ansonia/Milford at Milford, February 24, 2000. Conn. judge: Man not guilty of robbing banks because Prozac made him do it

•In June 2001, a Wyoming jury awarded 6 million dollars to the plaintiff in a case where a man killed his wife, daughter, baby granddaughter and then himself while under the influence of Paxil. The jury instructions and jury findings (in parenthesis) were:

1) Can Paxil cause some individuals to commit suicide and/or homicide? (general causation): YES.

2) Was Paxil a proximate cause of these deaths? (specific causation): YES.

3) What amount of fault do you attribute to each of the following: SKB - 80%, Don Schell - 20%.

4) Damages - $8,000,000 [$6,000,000 to plaintiff].

Tobin v. SmithKline Beecham

The website has over 5,000 indexed incidents ranging from homicide, suicide and assault where the perpetrators were on one of the drugs in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) class of drugs.

Once you consider the possibility that anti-depressants are causing extreme reactions in a very small portion of the users, it is easy to find a large amount of supporting evidence already published.

Steps to improve the situation:

FBI Criminal activity reports include statistics for prescription drugs in use

The FDA making warning labels more stringent instead of less

Improve education of doctors, pharmacists and mental health workers of the risks with anti-depressants, especially around altering the dosage

If you believe that politicians use lies to cover the truth and artists use lies to tell the truth. Then perhaps the movie Serenity is really a dramatized story about the effects of prescription psychological drugs on society.