The Connection between Psychiatric Drugs and Violence
This article is a little harder to
swallow than others, but the truth is sometimes hard to swallow. We
must know the facts to protect our students.
In 1999, a tragedy occurred at Columbine High School in Colorado,
Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into their high school and began
shooting at students and teachers. They killed 13 people and wounded 23
others before committing suicide.
discovered that Eric Harris was taking Luvox, a psychiatric drug
prescribed for depression.
In addition, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had both attended "anger
management" and "death
education" classes as part of a court-ordered counseling program.
After Columbine, people truly began studying the connection between
violent behaviors and psychotropic drugs. Although some
been conducted in the past, the Columbine incident gave this issue new
Here are just a few more examples of students who committed acts
violence while taking psychiatric drugs or during withdrawal of
In 1998, 15-year-old Kip Kinkel killed his parents and then
fire at school. Two students were killed and 25 were wounded. Kip was taking Prozac for
depression. He was also in anger management classes.
In 2001, 18-year-old Jason Hoffman took a gun to school and
wounded five people. He
was taking Celexa and Effexor.
In 2005, Jeff Weise shot his grandparents and then went to
school and killed 8 students and 1 teacher. He then committed suicide.
Jeff Weise, who was
16, was taking Prozac.
In 2006, Willam Barrett Foster, 17, was withdrawing from his psychiatric
medications. He fired shots and held a student and teacher
hostage at a school.
In 2010, Hammad Memon shot a fellow middle school student.
Hammad was taking
Zoloft for depression.
In 2011, Christian Helms took pipe bombs to school. He shot
and wounded the school police officer. Christian, who was 14 years old,
was taking prescription drugs for ADHD and depression.
To view a more complete list, read these articles:
These senseless acts of violence are not just limited to teens
and schools. Citizens Commission on Human Rights International reports
12 additional recent acts of
violence committed by people taking or withdrawing from psychiatric
What is the connection between psychiatric drugs
There is no simple explanation for why people commit these senseless
acts of violence. However, there is a disturbing connection between
psychiatric drugs and acts of violence, including school violence.
Psychiatric drugs have many disturbing side effects, including:
There are also withdrawal side effects that can occur when someone
quits taking these
drugs. Side effects occur because the body
has become addicted to the drugs.
side effects can be just as bad or worse than side
effects while taking the drug.
For example, studies have shown that 50 to 80 percent of people taking
Paxil have trouble stopping the drug. After becoming
addicted, they experience severe withdrawal
side effects like those listed above. (Paxil is a psychiatric drug used
to "treat" depression and anxiety.)
These side effects can
cause people to think and do things they would
not normally do, including committing acts of extreme violence.
management, death education, and
conflict resolution classes
Scientists have also found a
connection between school violence and anger management, death
or conflict resolution classes.
Death education refers to classes that focus on death and the human
responses to death. It tries to teach students to cope with death and
deal with their grief. During the time of the Columbine massacre,
students attended death education classes as part of the Colorado
Eric and Dylan, the
shooters at Columbine High School, had both
attended anger management and death education classes.
There is no evidence that anger management classes or conflict
resolution classes help students control
Many people believe that these classes are just another way to cover up
the real issues that lead to violent outbursts.
For more information:
Follow these links for more information about the link between school
violence and psychiatric drugs: