As the country tries to recover from the shock and horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, one of the first questions we should be asking is, “what drives this generation’s teens and young adults to commit such irrational acts of violence?”
One answer may lie in the massive over use of psychotropic drugs beginning in the 1990's. Shockingly, this is when we began prescribing mood-altering drugs to curb unruly behavior in vast numbers of toddlers all the way up to teens! Science Daily notes:
Psychotropic drug prescriptions for teenagers skyrocketed 250 percent between 1994 and 2001, rising particularly sharply after 1999, when the federal government allowed direct-to-consumer advertising and the promotion of off-label use of prescription drugs, according to a new Brandeis University study in the journal Psychiatric Services
Every morning between six and seven million children and teens take a psychotropic drug before going to school. They ingest psychotropic drugs meant to address ADD, ADAH, and a host of other “behavioral disorders” with brain-altering pharmaceuticals. We are faced with a generation of over-protected, over-medicated teens and young adults.
Many of these drugs are categorized by the DEA as Schedule II substances. Cocaine is a Schedule II substance as is Ritalin. The drug is currently prescribed to 3.8 million school children, mostly boys diagnosed with ADHD, and is reported to have a more potent effect on the brain than cocaine. These drugs come with a significant risk of abuse, dependency and death.
Many of the side effects of Adderall, Ritalin, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, and Effexor include anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, akathisia (severe restlessness), delirium, hallucinations, depersonalization, lack of emotion and murderous behavior! Physical side effects include heart attacks and growth suppression.
In 2004, the FDA Public Health Advisory issued a warning of worsening depression and suicidality in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants.
In October 2005, the DEA said Ritalin use could lead to addiction. Additionally the DEA reported psychotic episodes, violent behavior and bizarre mannerisms this abuse of this drug.
According to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), there have been 22 international drug regulatory warnings issued on psychiatric drugs. These warnings have been issued in the United States, European Union, Japan, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.
Close to 70% of these drugs are recommended by teachers, school officials and prescribed by general physicians. Unlike a x-ray that is used to diagnose a broken bone, for example, multiple question tests and subjective opinions are used to screen for behavioral disorders including ADD, Bipolar, OCD and ADHD!
Worse still, there is a financial incentive for schools to recommend as many students as possible as candidates for psychotropic drugs. The federal government awards more money to schools when more children are diagnosed as needing these drugs!
The so-called learning disorders have become a way for financially strapped schools to make ends meet. In many states, schools have become authorized Medicaid providers and funds can be collected in behalf of a child labeled with one of the learning or behavior disorders. This can be such a lucrative source of income that in a letter dated October 8, 1996, the Illinois State Board of Education strongly encouraged the superintendent of one of its districts to participate in Medicaid incentives. The letter stated that Illinois had received $72,500,000 in federal Medicaid money in 1996 and those Medicaid dollars have been used for a variety of non-medical purposes and that "the potential for the dollars is limitless."
It is easy and simplistic to blame guns and gun laws without giving a thought to violence and drugs this generation contends with on a daily basis. What began with the Columbine shootings has escalated into ever more horrific drug-induced acts.
The common denominator shared by the school shooters is the psychotropic drugs they were on before they committed these acts of violence. As far back as 1973, the Archives of General Psychiatry stated that psychotropic drugs could cause impulsive, murderous behavior.
The truth is there are many times more gun laws on the books now than there were in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Acts of mass killing were a rarity. Access to guns was many times easier than it is today. Teenage angst was acknowledged as part of growing up.
The only mass shooting similar to the recent mass killings took place in Texas in 1966. The Texas Sniper, 25-year-old Charles Joseph Whitman, was an engineering student and former Marine. He killed 14 people and wounded 32 others in a shooting rampage located in and around the Tower of the University of Texas. Whitman had Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine) in his possession at his death. Dexedrine is still used to treat Generation Rx.