Exploring the possible link between anti-depressant pills and mass killings
Discovery: A timeline of the most popular psychotropic drugs
1958: Tofranil: the first “miracle” cure for depression …
Are we a Prozac Nation?
1989: 2.5 million prescriptions for Prozac written
1990: Annual sales of Prozac top $1 billion a year
1992: 33.2 million scripts written
Linkage to violence: theory or fact?
In a scientific sampling that followed 25,000 people:
1 in 250: number of people taking Paxil or Prozac involved in a violent episode.
Now… take that to its extreme…
14 million: Number of Paxil prescriptions written in 2011
25.5 million: Number Prozac prescriptions written in 2011
158,000 incidents, potentially: if you accept the 1 in 250 number, it equates to possibly 158,000 anti-depressant drug-induced violent incidents
Between 2004 and 2012, there have been 14,773 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system on psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects including…
These people were on anti-depressant pills, and killed:
Laurie Dann (1988) Dann went on a shooting rampage in a second-grade classroom in IL, killing one child. She was on Anafranil.
Joseph T. Wesbecker (1989) 47-year-old Wesbecker, shot 20 workers at Standard Gravure Corp. in Louisville, Ky., killing nine. He was on Prozac.
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (1999) Columbine mass-killer Eric Harris was taking Luvox, a modern and widely prescribed Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs.
Larry Gene Ashbrook (1999) On Sept. 15, 1999, Ashbrook murdered seven people at a concert by Christian Rock group Forty Days at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Ashbrook was on Prozac.
Jeff Weise (2005) In 2005, 16-year-old Native American Weise, living on Minnesota’s Red Lake Indian Reservation, shot and killed nine people before killing himself. Weise was on Prozac.
Seung-Hui Cho (2007) Seung-Hui Cho was a Korean spree killer who killed 32 on April 16, 2007: the “Virginia Tech massacre.” Cho was on Prozac.
James Holmes (2012): Colorado movie theater shooter kills 12. He was on Zoloft.
Aaron Ybarra (2014) kills one at Seattle Pacific University. He was on Prozac at the time.
Justice Robert Heinrichs of the Manitoba Justice Department ruled that anti-depressants can cause children to be violent
And yet, it must also be noted:
Most users of psychotropic drugs do not kill; but some do. Does the taking of psychotropic drugs contribute to mass murders?
FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)