The FDA Approved Drugs Used by Mass Shooters…

pills spilling from a bottle

In the aftermath of the heart-wrenching shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the public’s outcry for more information about shooter Adam Lanza’s mental health and medication history has renewed discussions about the possible links between antidepressants and violent tendencies.

Around the year 2000, a pharmacist notably shared his concerns regarding the potential correlation between serotonergic drugs, such as antidepressants, and violent behavior. Citing a local case where a woman on Prozac allegedly killed her husband, he described the potential effects of such medications as “the Hitler syndrome.” This term was used to describe traits like overconfidence, fearlessness towards consequences, criminal tendencies, and a lack of empathy or humanity. The pharmacist further raised the alarming prospect that many Americans might exhibit these traits, leading to tragic incidents similar to those seen in Littleton, Colorado, and Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Additionally, the pharmacist put forth a more chilling implication, suggesting that not only do these drugs potentially distort the thoughts of their users, but they might also influence the behaviors of those around the users.

The coroner’s office and government did not disclose the reports on the medications Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, was taking. Attorney Jonathan Emord sued for the release of these records. However, the assistant attorney general argued that disclosing such information could discourage the public from taking their medications and cooperating with their doctors.

Adam Lanza’s comprehensive mental health and medication history have not been made public, casting this pharmacist’s insights as a haunting context for the ongoing discourse on psychiatric medications. The undisclosed records have left many wondering whether factors outside of individual psychology, such as medication, could be affecting or escalating these devastating events.

The controversy surrounding the nondisclosure deepened when the coroner’s office and the government declined to release reports on Lanza’s pharmaceutical drug history. Attorney Jonathan Emord, renowned for multiple legal victories against the FDA, pursued the release of this information. However, a statement from the assistant attorney general defended the refusal by claiming that disclosing the information might deter individuals from taking their prescribed medications or cooperating with medical professionals.

Some argue that this resistance to transparency is indicative of broader issues of pharmaceutical influence and regulatory capture within governmental bodies. They contend that revealing the potential ties between mass shootings and psychiatric drugs like SSRIs might endanger pharmaceutical profits.

There are also speculative theories suggesting a link between vaccines and the neurological conditions driving individuals to require medications in the first place. Critics posit that elements like mercury and aluminum, sometimes present in vaccines, might be contributing factors.

In 2004, the FDA held two hearings addressing the link between antidepressants and suicide, primarily in children. As a result of these hearings, it was determined that all antidepressants should carry a Black Box Warning, highlighting potential risks. The website is gradually publishing testimonies from these hearings for public viewing.

The FDA warned that sudden changes in the dosage of an antidepressant can lead to suicide, hostility, or psychosis. Warnings about suicidal ideation were later added to several other drugs, including some antipsychotics and anti-seizure medications, such as Neurontin (Gabapentin). Despite these warnings, there’s concern that both pharmaceutical companies and doctors have downplayed these risks.

The term “suicidal ideation” refers to continuous, obsessive thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Similarly, “homicidal ideation” refers to ruminating thoughts of harming or killing others. There are reported cases where patients on antidepressants have experienced these severe side effects.

Separately, a 1996 study on genetically modified mice, known as Tg8, found that these mice had a higher level of serotonin in their brains, making them excessively aggressive. This research suggests a potential link between elevated serotonin levels and violent behavior. The goal of such research is to further understand human aggression and potentially develop treatments for those who struggle with violent tendencies.

While the debates and investigations continue, it is evident that many are concerned about the potential influence of the pharmaceutical industry on public health and safety decisions. The tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary remain a somber reminder of the importance of seeking transparency and understanding in the face of such calamities.

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