Last summer James Holmes opened fire in a Colorado movie theater and killed twelve people and wounded more than fifty others. Mainstream media didn’t give any logical motives and did not even ask the right kind of questions. Doesn’t anyone wonder how a graduate student in neuroscience became a violent killer? The vital information to give us that answer has just been released. The Colorado shooter was on two mind-altering psychiatric drugs.
James Holmes was taking Sertraline which is the generic name for Zoloft, an SSRI antidepressant. He was also taking Clonazepam which is the generic name for Klonopin, a benzodiazepine. Most people are familiar with Zoloft, perhaps many are not so familiar with Klonopin. Lots of people take antidepressants these days so one might think what is the connection?
Most don’t make any connection because they are unaware of the many potentially dangerous side effects of these drugs. Zoloft has an FDA Black Box Warning that this drug can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. This is the strongest warning that the FDA issues. It means the FDA has more than enough documented cases where this is exactly what occurred so it is obligated to give the consumer this information. It is more than likely that there are many many more cases that went unreported.
Although this warning is in plain view since it is included in the insert, it still gets missed. Perhaps the patient does not see the insert, or he doesn’t think to ask about side effects because he trusts his doctor to tell him any important information such as this. It is not uncommon that doctors do not tell their patients about the serious side effects. Some doctors don’t even know themselves.
Other dangerous side effects of Zoloft are lengthy. Agitation, irritability, anxiety, hostility, aggressiveness, hallucinations, mania, impulsivity, delusions and apathy are applicable in the Colorado shooter’s case. Perhaps he was experiencing some of these or all of these. In any case, Zoloft is a prescription for violent behavior. It also happens to be the same drug that Eric Harris (of Columbine notoriety) was taking.
Though Klonopin is a drug with hypnotic properties, it also shares pretty much the exact same side effects as Zoloft. That means the prescription for violence is now doubled. Klonopin was originally meant to treat epileptic seizures as it lowers the electrical activity of the brain. Specifically, what electrical activity it suppresses without having a seizure is unknown so that this drug causes unpredicatable reactions in people. That means personality changes and behavioral changes, which explains why a graduate student in neuroscience became a mass murderer.
Just to make this point perfectly clear, this is a drug that is supposed to be used for a little over a week, but due to the sense of euphoria initially produced, it is easy to get addicted. It is not known how long the Colorado shooter was on this drug, but since his violent attack was well planned, it is likely he was on Klonopin for more than a week. As a result, this drug and Zoloft caused him to act irrationally, aggressively and violently.
The other contributing factor to his violent behavior was alcohol. Forty-eight containers of beer and other alcohol were found in his apartment so one can assume he was drinking and taking his medications during the same time period. Alcohol drastically increases the side effects of these drugs so it is really no surprise that the Colorado shooter turned into a deranged violent person. With those two drugs in his system combined with alcohol, it was only a matter of time before tragedy would strike.
We now have a very logical explanation of why mass murders or school shootings take place. Plain and simple, psychiatric drugs cause irrational violent behavior including suicide as well. Ninety percent of school shootings over the past ten years or so have been linked to SSRI antidepressants. Nearly every mass shooting in the past twenty years has been linked to psychiatric drugs.
Dr. David Healy, who has an independent website for researching and reporting on prescription drugs, says that psychiatric drugs of any kind can trigger violence and homicide. He says never before have there been so many events with so much concealed data and so little focused expertise. This basically means the real reasons mass shootings occur are hidden and wrong reasons (like gun control) are focused on instead.
Why all the above information is not in the latest news is due to vested interest. Pharmaceutical companies have a very large influence on the media. They will discredit the fact that it’s the drugs and say it’s the “mental illness.” If it’s the “mental illness,” then Dr. Healy said we should not find that ninety percent of school shootings are linked to those drugs. In fact that kind of statistic begs the question, where is the success rate to support taking psychiatric drugs with so many adverse side effects?
There are plenty of profits from psychiatric drugs but no success stories or cures. Psychiatry doesn’t have any scientific medical test to identify any “mental illness” so how can any drug fix what you can’t prove is there?
If you make the comparison, this is really no different than what happened with the tobacco industry. Remember the Marlboro Man and how smoking was advertised as cool and safe? Remember the power of Big Tobacco and their lobby influence in Washington? First a warning label was put on cigarettes as being hazardous to your health, not to mention the hidden addictive nicotine. Then smokers got lung cancer and smoking started to be banned. Fast forward to today where it’s getting pretty difficult to smoke anywhere.
The similarities are there. Pharmaceutical companies advertise their drugs as a safe way to make you happy and carefree. Pharmaceutical companies have unlimited lobbyists in Washington. The warning labels are already on the psychiatric drugs but no one is talking about the violent and fatal side effects. Instead, innocent people are being gunned down because of vested interest. A federal investigation is needed so that psychiatric drugs can go the way of tobacco. Otherwise there will be many more Colorado shooters in our future.