The Real Lesson of Columbine: Psychiatric Drugs Induce Violence

Filmmaker Michael Moore Weighs In On Why Columbine Happened

On this 12-year anniversary of the shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, let us not forget the real lesson of Columbine:  psychiatric drugs induce violence.

Shooter Eric Harris was taking the antidepressant Luvox at the time he and Dylan Klebold opened fire at Columbine High School, killing 12 students and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves.  At least one public report exists of a friend of Klebold who witnessed Klebold taking the antidepressants Paxil and Zoloft and urged him to come off them.  Officially, Klebold’s medical records remain sealed.

Luvox, Paxil and Zoloft are in a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).  Among the international regulatory agencies issuing warnings on these antidepressants, the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory in 2004 warning that “anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, akathisia [severe restlessness], hypomania [abnormal excitement] and mania [psychosis characterized by exalted feelings, delusions of grandeur and overproduction of ideas] have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants.”  (For further information on international studies and warnings about antidepressants, go to CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.)

Luvox, Paxil and other antidepressants also made the top 10 list of violence-inducing prescription drugs in a report from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, which was based on data from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (see “Study Reveals Top Ten Violence-Inducing Prescription Drugs [– Eight Are Psychiatric Drugs]”).

Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, executive director of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness and author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare, is an expert consultant in cases like Columbine in which antidepressants are involved.

Dr. Tracy says the Columbine killers’ brains were awash in serotonin, the chemical which causes violence and aggression and triggers a sleep-walking disorder in which a person literally acts out their worst nightmare.  Harris became obsessed with homicidal and suicidal thoughts “within weeks” after he began taking Zoloft, according to Dr. Tracy.  Due to his obsession with killing, Harris was switched to Luvox, which was in his system at the time of the shooting, according to his autopsy. However, the change from Zoloft to Luvox is like switching from Pepsi to Coke, Dr. Tracy said.

A growing number of school shootings and other shooting rampages were committed by individuals under the influence of, or in withdrawal from, psychiatric drugs known to cause mania, psychosis, violence and even homicide. Consider this list of 13 massacres over the past decade or so, resulting in 54 dead and 105 wounded – and these are just the ones where the psychiatric drugs are known. In other cases, medical records were sealed or autopsy reports not made public or, in some cases, toxicology tests were either not done to test for psychiatric drugs or not disclosed to the public. But this is what we do know about the mental health “treatment” of those who committed these acts of violence:

  • Dekalb, Illinois – February 14, 2008: 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people and wounded 16 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amount of Xanax in his system.
  • Omaha, Nebraska – December 5, 2007: 19-year-old Robert Hawkins killed eight people and wounded five before committing suicide in an Omaha mall. Hawkins’ friend told CNN that the gunman was on antidepressants, and autopsy results confirmed he was under the influence of the “anti-anxiety” drug Valium.
  • Jokela, Finland – November 7, 2007: 18-year-old Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School in southern Finland, then committed suicide.
  • Cleveland, Ohio – October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon had been placed on the antidepressant Trazodone.
  • Blacksburg, Virginia – April 16, 2007: 23-year-old Seung Hui Cho shot to death 32 students and faculty of Virginia Tech, wounding 17 more, and then killing himself. He had received prior mental health treatment, however his mental health records remained sealed.
  • Red Lake, Minnesota – March 2005: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, on Prozac, shot and killed his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation where he shot dead 7 students and a teacher, and wounded 7 before killing himself.
  • Greenbush, New York – February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano strolled into his high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher Michael Bennett was hit in the leg. Romano had been taking “medication for depression”.
  • El Cajon, California – March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, on the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor, opened fire on his classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School.
  • Williamsport, Pennsylvania – March 7, 2001: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was taking the antidepressant Prozac when she shot at fellow students, wounding one.
  • Conyers, Georgia – May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with antidepressants when he opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates.
  • Columbine, Colorado – April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris and his accomplice, Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves. Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox. Klebold’s medical records remain sealed.
  • Notus, Idaho – April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin.
  • Springfield, Oregon – May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 22. Kinkel had been taking the antidepressant Prozac.

Filmmaker Michael Moore, who directed the documentary “Bowling for Columbine,” has said this, following his extensive look at the Columbine tragedy:

“In Bowling for Columbine,” we never really came up with the answer in terms of why this happened. I think we did a good job of exposing [that] all the reasons that were given were a bunch of B.S. ….And none of it really made any sense. That’s why I believe there should be an investigation in terms of what…prescribed pharmaceuticals these kids were on….

“It just would be shocking…to the millions of parents who prescribe this for their kids if it was finally explained to them, if this is the case, that this perhaps occurred for no other reason other than because of these prescriptions. “Imagine what that would do, imagine how people would totally re-think things – grasping for every little straw they can to explain why something like Columbine happens, when in fact it may be nothing more than this. How else do you explain two otherwise decent kids, very smart, no history of violence to other kids in the school – why them, why did this happen? It’s an extremely legitimate question to pose, and it demands an investigation.” (See the video clip of Michael Moore here.)

Given the growing list of shooters who were on psychiatric drugs, given the fact that 22 international drug regulatory agencies warn these drugs can cause violence, mania, psychosis, suicide and even homicide, and given the fact that a major study was just released confirming these drugs put people at greater risk of becoming violent, CCHR International asserts:  “Any recommendation for more mental health ‘treatment,’ which [inevitably] means putting more people and more kids on these [psychiatric] drugs, is not only negligent, but considering the possible repercussions, criminal.”

If you or someone you know has been harmed by psychiatric drugs, you can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.   We welcome your comments on this article below.


23 thoughts on “The Real Lesson of Columbine: Psychiatric Drugs Induce Violence”

  1. (note: you have my permission to re-print and distribute the following excerpt from my book Surviving The Matrix Planet: How The Medical-Psychiatric-Pharmaceutical Corporate Complex Is Destroying Your Health & Sanity And What You Can Do To Reclaim It:)

    Mind-control drugs: ALL psychiatric drugs are mind control drugs. They are WORTHLESS and of no benefit whatsoever, and, in fact, are the most dangerous of the 3 drug types. THEY SHOULD NEVER BE TAKEN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE!!

    Since the 1950’s the psychiatrists, in league with the drug-pushing pharmaceuticals have made a great effort to propagandize you into believing there are serious “mental diseases” and “behavioral disorders”. They claim these are caused by brain and/or nervous system malfunction, or other sometimes undetermined reasons, and this necessitates the use of drugs (and a variety of non-medicinal techniques) to return the person to “normal”. Nothing could be further from the truth!

    The validity of any science is based on the determination of the correct cause of an observed effect. Bridges will topple if not built to the exact standards established by the science of engineering. No healing practitioner can deny that there are physical causes to physical ailments. The body is, after all, a physical apparatus. But it is a well-established truth that adverse mental stress precipitates body illness. The field of psychiatry, on the other hand, attributes ALL mental disorders to physical causes. Denying over 10,000 years of religious wisdom and philosophical understanding of man and life as a spiritually motivated entity they arbitrarily decided that all mental activity and behavior stems from the brain and nervous system. Thus, the entire field of conventional mental health, its theory and practice is predicated on an unproven assumption. The truth is: psychiatry — and psychology — has no more determined the correct cause of mental illness than scientists have discovered who or what created the universe.

    The term “mental illness”, in fact, has become an oxymoron as “mental” refers to a mind but psychiatry claims there is no mind so how could something they profess doesn’t exist become ill? Also, psychology means study of the soul but modern psychology disclaims the soul. Unable to disprove the existence of the mind (or soul for that matter), ascribing all behavior to the brain and nervous system, they had to twist the term mental illness to parallel physical diseases in order to validate and justify their “science” and treatments. Cleverly perverting the term “mental illness”, putting labels on types of irrational behavior without determining its correct cause, then manufacturing and marketing drugs for its “cure” is about as scientific and ethical as the old time hucksters who tried to scam off their snake-root oils.

    Hence, every so-called disorder (like “ADD” and “bi-polar disease”, etc) has been an arbitrary invention from their committees and national conventions, and has NO scientific validity. There is no such disease, mental malfunction or behavior disorder as Attention Deficit Disorder, bi-polar disease or any of the pseudo-scientific-sounding names they manufactured to impress you into believing they know what they are talking about. They made ALL of them up solely to keep themselves in business.

    Obviously there is observed irrational behavior. But the increase of mental illness beginning in the late 19th Century — coincident with the establishment of psychiatry — and continuing at a soaring pace into this millennium underscores that they have failed to develop ANY genuine cures. A statistically rising rate of mental illness for over one hundred years!! Any business with such a horrible record of failure would have long since been dissolved. Psychiatry’s status, authority, support, and operations are kept propped up only by government appropriations, foundation grants and the convincing lies they have spread into the society.

    Furthermore, they have employed the pharmaceuticals to manufacture dangerous drugs (such as anti-depressants, and other psychotropic mind-altering drugs) to push on you and your children. The “treatment” actually creates the mental disorders they are trying to “cure”! Which then “justifies” the medication.

    I recently met a fellow employee who was taking an anti-depressant. I asked him how long he’d been taking them. He said over a year. I asked him if he was still depressed. He said more than when he first started taking them. Ritalin, what they feed kids to “treat” so-called ADD, is a powerful mind-altering drug that induces disorientation, so of course kids taking it will a have a deficit of attention! A few years ago a co-worker told me how the school nurse “ordered” her son to take Ritalin and after several months he had become listless, inactive and less interested in his studies and extra-curricular play. You can guess what I told her to do and tell the nurse where to go.

    People have told me stories like this:
    “My mother-in-law was diagnosed as bi-polar and was a raving lunatic before the medication calmed her down.”
    “What’s she like now?”
    “Well, she doesn’t say or do much now. She’s a lot easier to be with”
    See, her mother-in-law was acting horribly irrationally, and since we all bow down to the authorities, and they tell us her “bi-polar schizophrenia, etc, etc” is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain we unquestionably trust and believe them. Now she is a controlled half-deadened dim-wit rather than the sane rational potentially loving human being that she could be with REAL effective treatment. Being a vegetable is a lot easier to deal with than a screaming idiot but, truth is, she wasn’t cured. She was disposed of, quick-fixed into a wasted nothing, of no benefit to society or anyone. One brand of irrationality has been traded for another and, worse, now the likelihood increases that she may one day pick up a knife (or some other dangerous weapon) and do some bodily harm to others or even end her own life. Yet people get to really believe theirs or their family member’s “medication” really works. Until they explode and go psychotic. But nobody blames the medication or their dispensers. After all, they’re the “experts”! But in reality their pills are nothing more than little round ticking time bombs that could go off at any unpredictable moment.

    What the news media does not report is that behind virtually every sensational mass murder/suicide the perpetrators were either taking psychiatric drugs or receiving some kind of psychiatric treatment. Instead they just parrot the LIES given them by the psych-pharma PR departments, trumpeting their “advances” while suicides and homicides DIRECTLY LINKED TO THEIR “TREATMENTS” skyrocket out of control. If you think I’m exaggerating go read or listen to the news almost any day of the week and you’ll hear the stories. Then go on-line and research the omitted truth — you’ll find it. The horrible conclusion, the red-flag alarm bell that very few seem to hear is this: the psych-pharma industry hasn’t just failed to successfully treat mental derangement for lack of trying. No. Psych-pharma treatment is CAUSING violent psychopathic crime.

    Modern life can be very stressful. People get depressed. What kid doesn’t get hyperactive now and then? (it is the tremendous amount of refined sugar in snacks, etc that causes excessive hyperactivity) And unfortunately, some people become very mentally disturbed. It has NOTHING to do with your brain and/or nervous system, short of nutritional deficiencies. (see Note on Adrenal Gland Burnout, and Hypoglycemia-Hyperglycemia below). It has everything to do with the inability to handle stress. Actually, besides handling stress, the most important factors in the maintenance of a sound mind — and most effective handling of mental disturbance — is getting enough rest and eating properly.

    The use of drugs and other destructive psychiatric “treatments” like ECT (electro-convulsive shock treatment) and psycho-surgery (slicing out parts of your brain!) essentially evolved from the Nazi death-camp doctor’s experiments as modern replacements for the medieval insane asylum tortures. The psychiatric institution has managed to legitimize themselves and hoodwink governments and you into believing their lies. In this regards they are much more criminal than the medical community. At least the ER’s are excellent for treating life-threatening emergencies and many accidents. And some surgical and other medical procedures are helpful. All the psych wards and dispensaries do is manufacture, perpetuate and spread insanity. The civilization will be better off when they and their practices are outlawed.

  2. What does Michael Moore have to do with psychiatric drugs? This entire article is based on a faulty appeal to authority.

  3. Eric Harris was clearly disturbed and homicidal way before he was prescribed Zoloft/Luvox. He wrote about his fantasies of killing people in his journal many months prior.

    It’s simply far too reductive and damaging to your argument to claim that Columbine happened all because of prescribed meds. That’s not to say that Harris wasn’t negatively affected by the Luvox, but it certainly didn’t turn a perfectly normal, stable young man into the cold-blooded killer he became.

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