Prozac was invented by the same folks who lit up my college years with LSD, the Eli Lilly Company. Interesting as the purple haze was, I would not recommend LSD to the mentally fragile or children under any circumstances nor to sane adults as anything but a risky waste of time.
The actions of LSD, Prozac and the notorious PCP are remarkably similar. They all mess with serotonin metabolism, a mysterious and poorly understood area of brain function.
People with too much serotonin include schizophrenics, psychopaths, the mentally retarded and Alzheimer’s victims. Those who fail to properly metabolize serotonin, thus elevating amounts in the brain, include folks with depression, anxiety, exhibitionism, hostility, suicidal tendencies, violent nightmares, reckless driving, compulsive drinking, insomnia and a whole host of anti-social symptoms. The SSRI (Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) drugs, like Prozac, work by increasing levels of serotonin and decreasing serotonin metabolism.
When I read about the recent Minnesota school shooting, I thought, “I’ll bet that kid was on Prozac.” I didn’t expect to find out through a conventional news source. But the very next day an AP report of the shooter’s interest in violent movies mentioned almost in passing that the 16 year old was on Prozac. A PBS interview with the boy’s aunts confirmed that his dosage of happy pills had just increased from two to three a day.
News reports of violent crime usually mention how drunk, stoned, or coked into a parallel universe the perp was. The notion that drugs or alcohol can cause people to do bad things is hardly controversial. But in the case of mass shootings — school shootings in particular — how zonked-out the child shooter is on prescription drugs is not an issue.
Understandably, school administrators, teachers, psychologists and doctors who are daily drugging millions of our kids, particularly our sons, into a grey, spiritless stupor do not want this practice questioned, or even examined very closely. Everyone knows prescription drugs are safe, right? Teachers will tell you how well a whiff of Ritalin works to settle raucous little boys. Psychologists assure us that doping up little Johnny will allow him to do his best. They are doctors, after all. Doctors know what is best for us, right?
The idea that we are turning our kids into monsters with drug therapy will never be an easy sell. But an escalating body count, a flood of SSRI nightmare tales and a few courageous doctors have publicized the problem so effectively that even Congress can’t ignore it. A “black box” warning, the strongest the FDA requires, will now appear on Prozac for the increased risk of suicide. Unfortunately, it won’t warn us that some Prozac patients may attempt to slaughter the whole neighborhood before they blow themselves away.
Correlation doesn’t prove causation. But at some point correlation should get our attention. Prozac and its spin-offs, Luvox, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Celexa flutter like angels of death over every peak of a horrific geography of school violence. The violence has grown in lock step with the popularity of these “anti-depressant” drugs. The mind numbing itinerary of school murder includes Littleton, Colorado, El Cajon, California, Springfield, Oregon, Pearl, Mississippi, West Paducah, Kentucky, Jonseboro, Arkansas, Las Vegas, Nevada and most recently, Red Lake Reservation in Minnesota. Prozac or a derivative was at every stop.
And the school death tour is a tiny fraction of the insane violence associated with SSRI’s. School incidents get more press because child murder is more shocking than adult violence. But the killings and suicides by people on these drugs are breathtakingly violent, appallingly gruesome, and utterly inexplicable except by a profound madness, either natural or drug induced.
They include the famous, like Phil Hartman, Del Shannon, the Atlanta Day Trader, and Chris Farley, and the not so famous, but stunningly violent. Nick Mansies of New Jersey was on Paxil when he killed two little boys who were selling cookies door to door. An elderly man in Leyton, Utah killed his wife and daughter with an ax while on Prozac. Margaret Kastanis under the influence of Prozac killed her three children with a hammer before stabbing herself to death. A mother on Luvox in Utah murdered her sleeping teenage son with a sledge hammer before attempting suicide by drinking Drano.
These weren’t people with a history of violence before taking SSRI’s. They were feeling a little blue. They were depressed, not murderous or suicidal.
Murders like these are the very definition of madness. Drug companies have spent uncounted millions buying the silence of survivors in sealed settlements. With drug company help, prosecutors are sending people away for life who committed murder while on SSRI drugs. The FDA has been deceived or corrupted or both.
Though clinical results show almost no benefit to depressed patients over that of placebos, still we see advertisements every day for the wonders of Prozac.
Recent actions by the FDA and Congress to warn us about the dangers of these drugs don’t go nearly far enough. Britain’s Dr. David Healy and Dr. Ann Blake Tracy of Utah have been fighting for years to expose the dangers of SSRI drugs. I can’t say it better than Dr. Tracy has in a report on her website, “The widespread use of Prozac and its clones is not a statement of either their safety or their effectiveness. It is a statement about the effectiveness of an infinite marketing budget and incredible advertising campaign! These drugs have very serious physical side effects, as well as dangerous psychiatric side effects.”
When they were first discovered cocaine, LSD, PCP and amphetamines were all hailed as wonder drugs, safe and effective against many common ills. It took years to discover the truth for those drugs even without massive marketing efforts to the contrary.
It’s past time for us to stop doping up our kids and take a hard look at the supposed benefits and real dangers of “anti-depressants.” The evidence at Dr. Tracy’s website is a good place to start, www.drugawareness.org. The reading there is not entertaining. It includes extensive lists of atrocities committed by people taking SSRI drugs. It is depressing, scary stuff that needs to be read by sane adults before more harm is done.