Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Making Little Murderers

By Alan Caruba

If anything good comes from the Newtown massacre, it will be a national discussion of the role of various psychological medications that have been foisted on a generation or two of young Americans in the nation’s schools. Particularly dangerous have been a group called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).

While the White House and other gun-banning groups grab the spotlight by putting the blame on guns, columnist Dr. Jerome R. Corsi recently reported that SSRIs have played a role in “some 90 percent of school shootings over more than a decade…according to British psychiatrist Dr. David Healy, a founder of, an independent website for researching and reporting on prescription drugs."

A visit to one of Dr. Healey’s websites,, provides more than 4,800 news stories  involving some level of violence in which antidepressants are mentioned. SSRIs include Prozac, Zoloff, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, and Luvox. Others include Remeron, Anafranil, Effexor, Cymbalta, and Pristiq, as well as the dopamine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant Wellbutrin, marketed as Zyban. If you listen closely to television ads for medications to stop smoking and address other problems, you will hear warnings about the way they can cause serious mental disabilities.

In a recent article on,Tom DeWeese, the president of the American Policy Center, a grassroots activist think tank, he said that “Today more than 7,000,000 children have been labeled, tamped and registered as permanent patients of the school system; 10 to 12 percent of all boys between the ages of 6 and 14 in the United States have been diagnosed as having ADD (Attention deficit disorder). One in every 30 Americans between the ages of 5 and 19 years old has a prescription for Ritalin.” The corollary diagnosis is ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Think of it is millions of tiny time bombs in the schools and banning certain kinds of guns or limiting how many bullets can be in a clip has nothing to do with the mental illness that causes mass murders.

For a decade I was the communications director for the American Policy Center and was appalled to learn how the nation’s educational system had been altered from schools that concentrated on academics to schools whose purpose was behavior modification. In 1965, the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Act opened the doors to a legion of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and “the psychiatric programs and testing needed to validate them.”

DeWeese reported that “To date, there has never been issued a single peer-reviewed scientific paper officially claiming to prove ADD/ADHD exists.”

Columnist Ann Coulter characterized the latest Second Amendment debate, noting that “Consequently, whenever a psychopath with a million gigantic warning signs commits a shocking murder, the knee-jerk reaction is to place yet more controls on guns. By now, guns are the most heavily regulated product in America.”

The gun debate, however, serves to obfuscate the true cause of a rash of murders in America—some of which have been spectacular mass murders such as in Newtown, in the Colorado movie theatre, and on college campuses—the thriving industry of antidepressant medications.

As Dr. Healey points out on his website, “Antidepressants have been recognized as potential inducers of mania and psychosis since their introduction in the 1950s. Since the introduction of Prozac in December 1987, there has been a massive increase in the number of people taking antidepressants.” By way of grasping how widespread they are, Dr. Healy notes that “Before the introduction of Prozac, less than one percent of the population of the U.S. was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression.” That number has risen to 4.4 percent, almost one out of every twenty-three people in the U.S.

Dr. Healey’s index of more than one hundred categories lists the top thirteen as including school shootings and incidents, women teacher molestations, murder-suicides, and even road rage cases.

The collection of 4,800 media reports include a lot of school-related incidents such as one in March 2011 in Charleston, South Carolina, in which a student shot and wounded a member of the staff when his plot to blow up the school with homemade bombs was discovered. In February 2010, a student at the Discovery Middle School in Huntsville, Alabama, killed a fellow student. In November 1999, Kip Kinkel was sentenced for killing to students at his high school in Eugene, Oregon. Now, multiply this with the many other comparable incidents and you have a problem related to psychological drugs that is not getting the attention it should.

The killer at Sandy Hook elementary school allegedly was prescribed Fanapt, one of many such drugs that, instead of inhibiting psychosis and aggressive behavior, tends to initiate it. The psychological side-effects of Fanapt were known to include restlessness, aggression, and delusions along with hostility, mood swings, and panic attack, as well as other behaviors that signal serious problems. Why it is still available is a question, given that its first producer dropped it, was picked up by another, initially rejected by the FDA, then later picked up and mass produced. Its adverse side-effect was said to be “infrequent.”

It’s not the eighty million gun owners in America that are a danger. It’s the legion of “educational psychologists” in our nation’s schools that routinely diagnose ordinary behavior such as a lack of attention or restlessness as psychological disorders and prescribe from a laundry list of medications in order to keep our nation’s classrooms filled with docile, drugged students, some of whom will end up killing their schoolmates, teachers and staff.

When you fill our highly regimented government schools with students who find the curriculum boring or who display the usual energy of youth and then identify them as suffering from non-existent psychological disorders, you get events like the Newtown massacre. There will be more to come.

© Alan Caruba, 2013


Guy in Ohio said...

Pill pushers ... how did we ever do without them?

Anonymous said...

Yes, we definitely overmedicate. A friend who is 13 proudly announced she had a "mood disorder" (how can you diagnose a mood disorder in a group that is by definition moody) and was now medicated for it. Her parents nasty divorce, her mother's hatred of men and life could have nothing to with it. It must be illness.

Even if SSRI's don't Cause these problems, they certainly do nothing to stop them. The medication is a complete failure at best.

Dr. Peter Breggin wrote "Toxic Psychiatry" years ago and testifies in court about these incidents. He is active, too, in trying to make people aware of these medications and their side efffects.

Judging by my teenage friend and how proud she was to be sick rather than admitting her life was screwed up by her parents, medications are only going to increase. Sick is better than actual personal growth by dealing with reality.

Unknown said...

Some of these drugs like Lexapro actually change the chemistry in the brain. Stopping and restarting use of these drugs causes confusion and changes in behavior. A medicated society is not a safe society.

Alan Caruba said...

Thank you, all. I am very much opposed to these medications for children and adolescents. The connection with the killings that have occurred should be enough to get them banned from our schools.