Columbine: A Permanent Reminder That Psychiatric Drugs Can Turn Kids Into Killers

The 13th anniversary of the shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, is a time to remember the real lesson of Columbine: psychiatric drugs can turn kids into killers.

Read more here.

 

 

 

 

Patient Beware: Negative Results Of Psych Drug Tests Were Not Revealed To Your Doctor

 

Image by Petr Kratochvil
Image by Petr Kratochvil

Analysis of articles published on the outcomes of clinical trials of psychiatric drugs found that many unfavorable results never appeared in the professional journals doctors rely on to make informed decisions for their patients.

A new report published in PLoS Medicine found that drug companies seeking FDA approval for eight newer, so-called atypical antipsychotic drugs performed a total of 24 studies.  But four of the studies were never published in professional journals – and all four of those studies had negative results for the drugs in question.

Three of those unpublished studies showed that the new drugs were no better than sugar pills.

Lead author Erick Turner, M.D., a former drug reviewer for the FDA and now at Oregon Health & Science University and the Portland VA Medical Center, called the results of the analysis “unsettling” and called on the FDA for greater disclosure of drug trial results.

Doctors subjected to aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies, but not getting full disclosure of negative clinical trial results, are fueling the skyrocketing use of these expensive antipsychotic drugs, increasingly using them for purposes for which the drugs have not been approved.  A study published last year found that off-label antipsychotic prescriptions doubled between 1995 and 2008, from 4.4 million to 9 million.  Sales of the drugs exceeded $16 billion in 2010, according to IMS Health, a data tracking firm for the health-care industry.

And antipsychotic drugs were not the only psych drugs for which negative clinical trials were squelched.  In 2008, Dr. Turner and his colleagues found an even greater publication bias for antidepressants.  Nearly one of every three clinical trials of antidepressants by drug companies produced troubling results that were never revealed in professional publications.

Without access to this negative information, doctors do not get the complete picture of the dangers and ineffectiveness of the psych drugs they may be prescribing to their patients – and both doctors and their patients need to know this.

 

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has experienced harmful side effects from a psychiatric drug, we want to talk to you. 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.

Expert Finds Antidepressants No Better Than Sugar Pills

In an explosive report just aired on CBS’s 60 Minutes, an expert who has studied the effects of placebos (dummy pills) for 36 years stated that antidepressants are no more effective than sugar pills for the vast

Image by George Hodan
Image by George Hodan

majority of depressed individuals.

Irving Kirsch, Associate Director of the Placebo Studies Program at Harvard Medical School, says his research shows that the difference between the effects of antidepressants and sugar pills is clinically insignificant for most people.

He reports that it is not the chemical ingredients of antidepressants that make people feel better, but rather their expectation that taking a pill will make them feel better, such that taking a dummy pill with no drugs in it alleviates their symptoms.  This is known as the placebo effect.

In addition to its reported effectiveness in handling depression, a placebo has none of the dangerous side effects of antidepressants.  (Information on the harmful side effects of antidepressants and other psych drugs can be accessed through CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.)

View a video clip about the 60 Minutes report.

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has experienced harmful side effects from an antidepressant, we want to talk to you. 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.

Parker Man Who Killed Ex-Wife, Then Committed Suicide Had Taken Psych Drug

Part of the ongoing series: Killers On Psych Drugs –
Psych-Drugged Accused Or Convicted Killers

 

Image by Raki Halder
Image by Raki Halder

A man who shot and killed his ex-wife outside a McDonald’s in Parker last December and then took his own life had taken the antidepressant nortriptyline, according to an autopsy report.

Royer reportedly was having emotional and financial problems at the time of the double killing.  So how does a depressed individual turn violent?

Antidepressants have long been linked to violence.  Nortriptyline is known to cause hostility, aggression, agitation, confusion, hallucinations and delusions.

It also can cause worsening depression, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and suicide.

Research studies, warnings from international regulatory authorities, and reports to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the harmful side effects of antidepressants and other psych drugs can be accessed through CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has experienced harmful side effects from an antidepressant drug, we want to talk to you. 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.

Government Needs To Improve Oversight of Psychiatric Drugging of Vulnerable Populations

Federal lawmakers received two major reports last week on the troubling lack of oversight at the federal level of the prescribing of psychiatric drugs to two of our nation’s most vulnerable populations:  foster children and the elderly in care facilities.

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the massive psychiatric drugging of foster children recommended that federal health officials do more to monitor how state agencies oversee Medicaid doctors’ prescribing of powerful, mind-altering drugs to children who end up in the state’s care after being abused, neglected or abandoned.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., requested the GAO investigation after receiving numerous complaints about the quantity of drugs being prescribed and the adverse effects of the drugs experienced by foster kids.

The GAO recommended that the US Department of Health and Human Services  come up with guidance for states on how to oversee the prescribing of psychiatric drugs for foster children.

In a separate investigation, government inspectors called on Medicare officials to do more to stop doctors from prescribing powerful psychiatric drugs for the elderly living in care facilities.

In particular, antipsychotics are given to hundreds of thousands of elderly nursing home patients to sedate them and make them more manageable.

But the drugs carry an increased risk of death for seniors, which led the FDA to issue warnings against prescribing the drugs to the elderly.

Despite repeated government warnings, the unapproved practice has continued.

The HHS Inspector General told the Senate Committee on Aging that Medicare should begin penalizing nursing homes that overdrug with antipsychotics .  Medicare could force nursing homes to pay for drugs that are prescribed wrongly and bar the facilities from the Medicare program.

If you know a foster child or nursing home patient who has been harmed by psychiatric drugs, we want to talk to you. 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.

ABC News Reports Shocking Use of Psychiatric Drugs With Foster Children

Citing the fact that foster children are given powerful, mind-altering psychiatric drugs at an alarming 13 times the rate of other children, ABC News rolled out a series of reports based on a year-long investigation into the use of these drugs – antidepressants, antipsychotics, psycho-stimulants and other psychotropic drugs – with American foster children.

The investigation found that these children, who have already been traumatized by abuse, neglect, and abandonment, were prescribed heavy-duty psychiatric drugs in shocking amounts, in combinations considered too risky even for adults, and for disorders they don’t have.  It found kids who have taken these drugs say they are in a kind of chemical prison.

In response to the shocking findings, ABC reporter Diane Sawyer asks:

“Is there something else we owe these kids who have already endured so much?”

The ABC News reports coincide with the release of a report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), which revealed foster kids are prescribed psychiatric drugs more often than non-foster kids and at higher doses – often at doses higher than the maximum levels approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).   The report also found a significant number of foster children were prescribed five or more psychiatric drugs at the same time despite no evidence supporting the use or safety of this number of psychiatric drugs taken simultaneously.

You can listen to the stories of these kids by clicking on the links to the ABC News reports here:

New Study Show US Government Fails to Oversee Treatment of Foster Children Prescribed Mind-Altering Drugs

Doctors Put Foster Children at Risk with Mind-Altering Drugs

Foster Kid Felt Like “Guinea Pig”

20/20:  Overmedication in Foster Care

If you know about a foster child who has been harmed by psychiatric drugs, we want to talk to you. 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.

GAO Study Details Massive Psychiatric Drugging Of Foster Children

A report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to be released tomorrow reveals that American foster children are drugged with powerful, mind-altering psychiatric drugs at many times the rate of non-foster children.

The GAO’s report, based on a two-year-long investigation, looked at five states — Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Texas.  Among the key findings:

  • Foster children were nearly five times more likely to be prescribed psychiatric drugs than non-foster children.
  • Overall, nearly one-third of the foster children in the five states under investigation were prescribed at least one psychiatric drug.  (Other studies have shown that as many as half of foster kids in other areas are on psychiatric drugs.)
  • Thousands of foster children were being prescribed psychiatric drugs at doses higher than the maximum levels approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in these five states alone, and hundreds received five or more psychiatric drugs at the same time despite absolutely no evidence supporting the simultaneous use or safety of this number of psychiatric drugs taken together.
  • Foster children were more than nine times more likely than non-foster children to be prescribed drugs for which there was no FDA-recommended dose for their age.
  •  Foster children less than 1 year old were twice as likely to be prescribed a psychiatric drug as non-foster 1-year-olds.

When U.S. Senator Thomas Carper, D-Delaware, lead requestor of the GAO report, first learned of the report’s findings, he said:

“I was almost despondent to believe that the kids under the age of one, babies under the age of one were receiving this kind of medication.”

Carper requested the study after receiving numerous reports of waste and abuse in the prescribing of psychiatric drugs to foster children.

Taxpayers foot much of the bill.  Medicaid spends more than $6 billion per year on psychiatric drugs, or nearly 30 percent of its entire drug budget, more than double what was spent in 1999, according to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.

The report has already raised calls for states to report pharmacy claims of the psychiatric drugs given to foster children for more transparency on the issue.

ABC News was given advance access to the GAO report.  The ABC report can be accessed by clicking here.

If you know about a foster child who has been harmed by psychiatric drugs, we want to talk to you. 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.

Denver Psychiatrist Disciplined For Exploiting Intimate Details of Patient’s Life

Denver psychiatrist Roy S. Lowenstein has been disciplined by the Colorado Medical Board for taking the intimate details of a traumatic event a patient had experienced as a child and turning it into a short story that was published without the patient’s knowledge or consent.

Lowenstein treated “patient S.P.” for approximately five years.  According to the Board’s letter of admonition to Lowenstein, recently posted on the Colorado Division of Registrations website:

“Throughout the course of treatment, S.P. related to you details of a traumatic event that she experienced as a child.  In 2009, you published a short story based on the traumatic event in S.P.’s life in a literary publication, without S.P.’s permission.  You then told S.P. about the publication.”

The Board concluded that Lowenstein’s “exploitation of S.P.’s confidential information without her prior consent” and his “failure to deal with sensitive therapeutic issues with respect for the dignity of S.P.” constituted unprofessional conduct under the Colorado Medical Practice Act.

The Board’s letter of admonition can be read in its entirety by clicking here.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by a psychiatrist or other mental health worker, we want to talk to you.  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.

Why Was Death Of Ft. Carson Soldier On Psych Drugs Changed From Sudden Cardiac Death To Suicide?

 

By Gary Daniel (United States Army) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Gary Daniel (United States Army) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Pfc. Ryan Alderman was on a cocktail of psych drugs when found unresponsive, then dying in his barracks at Ft. Carson in 2008.  An ECG done by emergency medical technicians at the scene confirmed sudden cardiac arrest.  Inexplicably, military officials changed the cause of death to suicide.

Neurologist Fred A. Baughman Jr., M.D., wants to know why.  He challenges the military to produce the evidence to support the change.

In the bigger picture, Baughman continues to hammer away at the military to compile a database of medication use and reactions by soldiers and veterans, which would allow investigations into injuries and deaths due to the psychiatric drugs they were on.

Baughman’s own investigation into the “unexplained” deaths in 2008 of four West Virginia vets, all in their 20s, who died in their sleep, found that all were on the same drug cocktail for PTSD: Seroquel (antipsychotic), Paxil (antidepressant) and Klonopin (benzodiazepine).  All appeared normal when they went to sleep.  There were no signs of suicide.

Baughman concluded the vets did not commit suicide or overdose leading to coma, as claimed by the military, but were sudden cardiac deaths due to the prescription antipsychotics and antidepressants they were on.

 “I call on the DoD, VA, House and Senate Armed Services, and House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees to tell concerned Americans and the families of fallen heroes what psychiatric drugs each of the deceased, both combat and non-combat, soldiers and veterans were on,” said Baughman. “It is time for the military and government to come clean.”

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue psychiatric drugs is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has been harmed by psychiatric drugs prescribed by military doctors, 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.

 

Shocking Video Released Of Man Suffocating in Prone Restraint

Man Struggles In Vain To Breathe While Strapped Down at Pueblo Psych Hospital.

RestraintsCall7 Investigators in Denver obtained the surveillance video of a man, strapped face down in restraints and left alone in an isolation room, struggling for air and slowly suffocating at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo.

CMHIP staff are seen forcibly putting the man in prone restraint, then leaving the room.  They fail to monitor him adequately during his fatal asphyxiation.

Troy Geske, 41, was obese and suffering from a respiratory infection when he was forced face down on a table, then held down by four CMHIP staff while being strapped so tightly that he is unable to move, his own weight pressing down on his lungs.  During the take-down, one employee is seen pressing Geske’s face onto the table, and another has his elbow in Geske’s back, further impairing the man’s attempts to breathe at a time he was clearly panicked and in need of oxygen.

The reason for the restraint that ultimately led to this cruel and inhumane death?  Geske was refusing to take the psychiatric drug(s) staff were trying to administer to him.

The state had gone to court to try to block release of this shocking video.

Just as shocking is the fact that a Pueblo grand jury failed to return any criminal indictments against any of the staff involved.  (See our article, “You Be The Judge: Pueblo Grand Jury Returns Findings In Death of State Hospital Patient.”)

The Call7 Investigators report and video can be seen by clicking here.  WARNING:  This an extremely disturbing video.

If you or someone you know has been put in restraints at a psychiatric facility or has any experience with CMHIP, we want to talk to you. 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.