A study recently published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine concluded that antidepressants double the risk of events leading to suicide and violence in adults with no signs of any mental disorder.
As the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) has been warning for years, the study confirms that antidepressant drugs themselves cause violence and suicide.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires its most serious black-box warning on all antidepressants to warn that the drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in young adults ages 18 to 24, but the warning does not currently extend to adults older than 24.
The new study, which reviewed published clinical trials found in online searches and clinical study reports obtained from European Union and United Kingdom drug regulators, concluded that the harm being caused by antidepressants extends to all age groups and that the harm includes violence.
“While it is now generally accepted that antidepressants increase the risk of suicide and violence in children and adolescents (although many psychiatrists still deny this), most people believe that these drugs are not dangerous for adults,” the study authors wrote.
“This is a potentially lethal misconception.”
The researchers calculated that one of every 16 mentally healthy adults taking antidepressants experienced harm related to suicide or violence.
Warning:Anyone wishing to discontinue an antidepressant or any other psychiatric drug 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 experienced violence or suicidal thoughts or actions from taking an antidepressant or any other psychiatric drug, please report it to the FDA by clicking here. And we want to talk to you about your experience. You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225. All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.
A psychiatrist involved in the legal actions related to the shootings at Columbine High School and the Aurora Century theater has concluded that psychiatric drugs were the main contributing factor in both mass murders.
We previously reported that Aurora theater shooter James Holmes experienced his first episode of mania after taking the antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline) prescribed by his psychiatrist, at which time he wrote in his journal that his hatred was unleashed. Weeks later, Holmes went on the shooting rampage in which he killed 12 moviegoers and injured 70 others in July 2012.
We also previously reported that Eric Harris became obsessed with homicidal and suicidal thoughts within weeks of starting on the antidepressant Zoloft. He was then switched to another violence-linked antidepressant, Luvox, which he was taking 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 in April 1998.
Zoloft and Luvox are in the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). To date, 26 warnings by international drug regulatory authorities and 34 studies have warned that the adverse effects of SSRIs include mania, aggression, suicide and violence. Both Zoloft and Luvox are on a list of prescription drugs with the most incidents of violence reported to the FDA, according to a 2010 study published by the Public Library of Science ONE (PLoS One).
Without the SSRI antidepressant, Holmes “probably would not have committed mass murder”
In his recent report, Breggin makes this observation about the psychiatric treatment James Holmes received: “Given the [psychiatrist’s] concerns about [James Holmes’] psychotic thinking and his obviously violent tendencies, exposing Holmes to Zoloft was like pouring gasoline on a fire.”
Breggin says Holmes was on Zoloft for about 94 days before abruptly stopping around June 30, just 20 days before his deadly rampage. But it was not the sudden withdrawal that brought on the violence, according to Breggin.
“An abrupt withdrawal might have worsened his condition, but the main contributing factor to the violence was his lengthy exposure to a drug that worsened his condition and drove him into psychosis,” he writes. “He had a manic-like psychosis while taking the Zoloft and this would not have abated for some time after stopping the medication.”
Breggin’s conclusion: “I have no doubt that Zoloft contributed to Holmes’ escalating violence and that without it he probably would not have committed mass murder.”
Lengthy exposure to SSRI antidepressants brought on Eric Harris’ violence
Concerning Eric Harris, Breggin noted in his recent report that the Columbine shooter did not begin planning his violent assault until he had been on antidepressants for months.
Harris was switched to the SSRI antidepressant Luvox in April 1998, a year before the attack on Columbine High School, and the autopsy toxicology report confirmed it was still in his system at the time of the shooting.
Again, it was the lengthy exposure to Luvox that brought on Harris’ violence, according to Breggin, who noted that the writings in Harris’ journal “grew increasingly bizarre and violent over the period in which he continued to take increasing amounts of Luvox.”
Breggin states that psychiatrists not only failed to detect or prevent the violence perpetrated by Holmes and Harris, but “gave drugs that caused violence or amplified any pre-existing violent tendencies.”
Why are these drugs on the market?
Breggin points out that “careful scrutiny of the FDA testing for drug approval shows that antidepressants do not work any better than placebo, but that they do make many people very mentally disturbed and increase the rate of suicide and violence.”
“Why are these drugs on the market?” he asks.
Breggin concludes: “Curtailing or stopping the use of SSRIs and other antidepressants would vastly diminish an infinite number of aggressive and violent acts committed by individuals taking these drugs….”
If you or someone you know has experienced violent outcomes from taking SSRI antidepressants or any other psychiatric drug, please report it to the FDA by clicking here. And we want to talk to you about your experience. You can contact us privately by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225. All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.
A Denver District Court judge decided against reinstating the medical licenses of a psychiatrist and three other physicians who allegedly authorized the possession of an excessively high number of marijuana plants for hundreds of individuals without medical necessity.
In his August 12 decision, the judge said he did not have the jurisdiction to make a ruling because the case had not yet been reviewed in an administrative proceeding.
The Colorado Medical Board had summarily suspended the licenses of the four doctors, effective July 19.
One of the four, Deborah Kaye Parr of Durango, practiced as a psychiatrist providing addiction treatment.
The Board’s order of suspension for Parr stated that from January 1 to May 25, 2016, she signed more than 300 medical marijuana certifications authorizing individuals who did not have a diagnosis of cancer to possess 75 or more marijuana plants.
The standard number of plants a medical marijuana patient can grow is six, with a medical justification needed for more plants.
All four of the doctors with suspended licenses sued the state, claiming that there is no law or Medical Board rule prohibiting doctors from authorizing large plant counts.
The Medical Board maintained that it has the authority to determine whether a doctor’s treatment of patients is standard medical practice.
The Board found that authorizing more than 75 marijuana plants without a diagnosis of cancer falls “below generally accepted standard of medical practice and lacks medical necessity” and is, therefore, a violation of the Medical Practice Act in Colorado law.
Parr previously disciplined in Texas for controlled substances prescribing
Parr was previously disciplined by the Texas Medical Board, where she was licensed from 1998 to 2012, for her prescribing of controlled substances to two patients with a history of substance abuse.
According to the Texas Board, Parr prescribed increasing doses of a controlled substance without a documented rationale for one patient, and substituted opiates instead of trying to wean the other patient off Vicodin.
The Board found that Parr harmed the patients, that “the harm was severe and contributed to [their] addiction,” and that her actions constituted “increased potential of harm to the public.” Parr’s failure to appear at a settlement conference was cited as an additional aggravating factor in determining the disciplinary action taken.
On June 4, 2010, the Texas Medical Board and Parr entered into an agreed order that publicly reprimanded her, fined her $10,000, and required her to complete educational courses.
The Colorado Medical Board followed the Texas Board’s action by sending Parr a letter of admonition in November 2010, warning her that “any repetition of such practice may lead to the commencement of formal disciplinary proceedings against your license to practice medicine” in Colorado.
Sara Carver, director of clinical operations for Southern Rockies Addiction Treatment Services, expressed concern about Parr’s history of prescribing opiate-based drugs to patients with a history of substance abuse, according to the Durango Herald.
“We…fear that her questionable prescribing practices spill over into her prescribing practices in addiction treatment as well,” Carver said.
The Colorado Medical Board has suspended a Fort Collins psychiatrist’s license over allegations he used medical students to divert prescription drugs for his own use.
Timothy Jay Allen, a psychiatrist formerly practicing at Fort Collins Neurology, was suspended on March 15, pending further action by the Board.
The Board took the emergency action over concern that Allen “used his medical license, along with his position of trust and supervision over medical students, to engage in prescription drug diversion” by asking students to fill prescriptions in their names and then give the drugs to him for his use.
Based on the information the Board reviewed, and following Allen’s appearance at a pre-suspension hearing, the Board concluded it had “objective and reasonable grounds to believe and finds that [Allen] deliberately and willfully violated the Medical Practice Act and/or that the public health, safety, or welfare imperatively requires emergency action.”
A summary of the inquiry leading to the suspension is found in the Board’s Order of Suspension, posted and open to public view on the state Department of Regulatory Agencies website.
If you or someone you know has information about wrongful behavior by a psychiatrist, psychologist, 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.
Coloradans joined concerned citizens from around the nation on May 14 in a march organized by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) to protest the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) recent push to get the FDA to approve electroshock (ECT) for children and to get electroshock devices reclassified into the same category of risk as electric wheelchairs and hearing aids.
The APA is pushing for ECT to be given to children who are “treatment resistant” to psychiatric drugs. Eight million American children are on psychotropic (mind-altering) drugs – one million of them as young as 0-5 years old. Many of them will get worse and will be labeled “treatment resistant,” instead of the treatment itself being labeled harmful and ineffective.
ECT is already a $1.2 billion a year industry. If the APA gets its way, that industry will be growing by shocking the still-developing brains of children and subjecting their young bodies to convulsions.
You would think a machine that shoots electricity into a person’s brain would have to be proven safe and effective and be approved by the FDA before it could be used. You’d be wrong.
No formal tests have ever been conducted or required by the FDA to determine the safety of the devices used to deliver electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), more commonly known as “shock treatment.”
Now the FDA is proposing a rule that would lower the classification of shock machines to a less dangerous class without any proof ever having been provided that the device, or the treatment given with the device, is either safe or effective.
ECT sends an electrical shock into a person’s brain in order to produce a seizure. No one has ever explained exactly how this “works” as a mental health treatment.
Worse still, there is no federal or state regulation of ECT protocols for using ECT machines, or for who can use ECT devices, or for which patients should or should not be “treated.”
A little history: In 1976, Congress enacted legislation giving the FDA authority to regulate medical devices. However, ECT equipment was grandfathered in, exempting it and allowing it to continue to be used without FDA testing.
In 1979, the FDA classified ECT machines as experimental Class III medical devices, a class of devices that must typically be approved by the FDA before they are marketed. According to the FDA, “Class III devices are generally the highest risk devices and are therefore subject to the highest level of regulatory control.”
But due to the grandfathering in 1976, the FDA still has never tested ECT devices to see whether they are safe or effective.
Shocking Your Brain = Wearing a Condom
The FDA is now attempting to reclassify ECT machines as less dangerous Class II devices, a class that includes wheelchairs, acupuncture needles, and condoms. Yes, condoms.
In fact, there has long been documented evidence of the damage ECT devices and shock treatment can cause, including prolonged or permanent memory loss and other physical damage.
A top ECT researcher, Harold Sackeim of Columbia University, conducted the first large-scale, prospective long-term study of cognitive function following ECT treatment. His study, reported in the January 2007 issue of the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, concluded that “adverse cognitive effects can persist for an extended period, and that they characterize routine treatment with ECT in community settings.”
Beyond the damage to memory and other mental functions, the FDA itself has determined that ECT devices and procedures are associated with a long list of health risks, including:
Physical injury to the body and dental fractures from the violent convulsions
Heart attack, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, and stroke
Breathing complications from the drugs used to sedate the person or from the person inhaling his vomit
Skin burns from excessive electrical current or faulty electrodes
Worsening of psychiatric symptoms when ECT treatment is ineffective
Tell the FDA to require ECT machines to undergo stringent testing to prove whether the devices and the treatment given with the devices are both safe and effective, instead of reclassifying them with devices no more dangerous than wheelchairs and condoms.
If you or someone you know has been harmed by shock treatment, 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 below.
Three psychiatrists permanently surrendered their licenses to the Colorado Medical Board in 2015 in order to avoid formal disciplinary hearings on complaints filed against them with the Board, according to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies online listing of Board actions. A fourth psychiatrist agreed to a non-permanent surrender of his license.
The psychiatrists who permanently surrendered their licenses are:
Wallace R. Arthur (Denver) – The Board alleged Arthur violated the Colorado Medical Practice Act by engaging in a sexual act with a patient within the six months immediately following the termination of his treatment of the patient, which constitutes unprofessional conduct under Colorado law.
Lawrence L. McReynolds (Ridgway) – McReynolds surrendered his license in the state of California after allegations of repeated acts of negligence and failure to keep proper records in his treatment of a patient there, then failed to notify the Colorado Medical Board of that fact, as required.
Walter C. Young, Jr. (Colorado Springs) – The Board alleged that Arthur failed to take any steps to ensure the safety of a patient who expressed suicidal thoughts, prescribed the same patient pain medications and large quantities of high-dose opiates over periods of time between prescriptions that were too short, and terminated treatment of the patient the same day he received notice of the complaint in this case without giving her proper notice or helping her find another provider.
The psychiatrist who agreed to a non-permanent surrender of his license is:
Steven P. Miller (Louisville) – The Board alleged that Miller was treating a female patient who was an exotic dancer and, on returning from an out-of-town trip, he drove to the place his patient was performing. She sat on his lap without recognizing that he was her psychiatrist, she left when she realized who he was, and Miller allegedly stayed on the premises and talked to her later. Several months later, the patient overdosed on drugs, but before passing out put her parents in contact with Miller by phone. Miller allegedly got the parents to bring their unconscious daughter to his residence, put her in his bed, allowed her to live with him for a period of 7 to 14 days, fed her, took her out to dine with him, and had an inappropriate relationship with her during that time.
Six more Colorado psychiatrists received other forms of disciplinary action from the Medical Board in 2015, based on complaints the Board received about treatment they had given their patients:
Peter U. Berndt (Denver) – Berndt provided psychiatric treatment to a patient he then included in his family life, including but not limited to dinners at Berndt’s home and Berndt’s wife helping to decorate the patient’s home. This constitutes unprofessional conduct under Colorado law. The Medical Board sent Berndt a letter admonishing him for these boundary violations, placed his license on probation indefinitely, and ordered him to take an ethics course.
Matthew J. Burke (Chandler, AZ) – Burke failed to respond to complaint letters the Colorado Medical Board sent him concerning a patient’s complaint against him. Failing to respond in an honest, materially responsive, and timely manner to a complaint sent by the Board is unprofessional conduct under Colorado law. The Board then sent him a letter, stating the Board “must assume that the allegations raised in the complaint may have merit” and cautioning him that “complaints disclosing any repetition of such practice may lead to the commencement of formal disciplinary proceedings against your license.”
William W. Dodson (Greenwood Village) – The Board sent Dodson a letter admonishing him for prescribing a patient high doses of a controlled substance that exceeded FDA-approved dosages, then failing to monitor the patient adequately, having documented only two appointments with her over a roughly five-month period. He was warned that any similar complaint in the future could lead to formal disciplinary proceedings against his license.
Natalie M. Hogan (Littleton) – In a letter admonishing Hogan, the Board found she failed to properly assess a patient and prescribed Valium to him, in spite of his documented history of drug dependence and abuse of multiple drugs. During the hospitalization of another patient for alcohol withdrawal and behavioral problems, Hogan also failed to properly assess the patient and prescribed addictive narcotic substances, despite the patient’s history of alcohol and drug abuse and dependence. The Board also expressed its concern that Hogan failed to coordinate both patients’ discharge from the facility where treatment occurred, when both were taking multiple psychiatric drugs. She was warned that any similar complaints in the future could lead to action against her license.
Frank E. Leone (Thornton) – The FDA requires that patients taking clozapine be registered with the drug’s manufacturer and monitored by both the company and the psychiatrist. When the drug company notified Leone to discontinue clozapine for one of his patients who had developed a severely low white blood cell count, he falsely claimed he had secured a waiver from the company allowing him to continue prescribing the drug to the patient. The patient was suffering side effects consistent with use of the drug and was unable to advocate for herself. The Medical Board sent Leone a letter admonishing him for unprofessional conduct and required him to take an ethics course.
Halbert B. Miller (Alpharetta, GA) – Miller failed to renew his Massachusetts license in 2013 or update his address, so he did not receive a letter from the Massachusetts Medical Board notifying him that his license had expired. He continued to practice psychiatry without a license. He also fraudulently claimed in his license renewal application that he was Board-certified in addiction psychiatry, but the certification had expired in 2008. The Massachusetts Medical Board publicly reprimanded Miller and fined him $2,500 for his misconduct. The Colorado Medical Board then sent a letter of admonition to Miller, stating that his actions were also unprofessional conduct under Colorado law and warning him that any similar conduct in the future could lead to formal disciplinary action against his Colorado license.
File a Complaint
How do you know if the Medical Board has ever taken action against your mental health provider? Actions taken by Colorado licensing boards against psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, registered psychotherapists, professional counselors, and psychiatric technicians can be found by searching the provider’s name on the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) website. DORA encourages consumers to check for disciplinary actions so they can make more informed decisions about healthcare providers.
DORA also encourages you to file a complaint about any unprofessional conduct you experienced. If you want to make a complaint against someone who has harmed you with psychiatric drugs or mental health treatment, we want to talk to you. Contact the Colorado chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.
The Colorado Medical Board took emergency action in January to suspend the license of Lakewood psychiatrist Harry Taub after reviewing information that he deliberately and willfully violated the Medical Practice Act and/or that he has a physical or mental condition that makes him unsafe to practice with reasonable skill and safety to patients.
Documents related to the case, which date back to 2003, are posted on the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies website. The documents detail a history of substance abuse that started with Taub’s addiction to cough syrup, which began sometime after he was issued a resident’s Training License to practice medicine in North Carolina in 2001.
In 2003, Taub was arrested in North Carolina on a felony charge of obtaining a controlled substance by forgery. Taub admitted he had written prescriptions for Percocet for himself under a fictitious name for about a year. He entered into a deferral agreement, under which the charge against him would be dismissed if he followed his treatment plan and submitted to drug testing while on supervised probation for one year.
In 2008, Taub was arrested again and charged with two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud/forgery. He pled guilty to the charges, was given a suspended sentence of four to five months and was placed on supervised probation. He entered a substance abuse treatment program. The North Carolina Medical Board indefinitely suspended his license to practice, and records show the license subsequently became inactive in 2009.
In 2011, Taub applied for a license to practice in Colorado. An evaluation by the Colorado Physician Health Program concluded Taub was safe to practice if he was under treatment and monitoring.
In May 2012, the Colorado Medical Board granted a restricted license that required Taub to comply with numerous conditions for a period of five years, including treatment monitoring and abstinence from addictive substances, monitoring of the prescriptions he wrote, and monitoring of his psychiatric practice.
Taub treated children and adolescents. In June 2013, a monitor’s review of Taub’s practice found his treatment and medication management of three child and adolescent psychiatric patients fell below generally accepted standards and that he failed to make essential entries in the records of seven patients. This is unprofessional conduct, as defined in Colorado law.
The Medical Board found that the situation required emergency action. Instead of an immediate suspension of Taub’s license, it allowed Taub to enter into an agreement not to practice, pending further evaluation and investigation by the Board.
In July 2013, the Medical Board placed Taub’s license on probation for five years and required him to meet a lengthy list of conditions, including treatment and drug monitoring, keeping a log of prescriptions he wrote, practice monitoring, an education program, and quality reviews.
On January 8, 2016, the Colorado Medical Board received information that Taub had used alcohol and a controlled substance and that he has a physical or mental condition that renders him unsafe to practice. The Medical Board concluded the situation required emergency action and suspended Taub’s license to practice, pending further resolution of the matter.
You decide. Has the Medical Board handled this psychiatrist’s case appropriately?
CCHR has been exposing the link between psychiatric drugs and violence for decades. Today, CCHR joined ranks with the likes of CNN, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Independent, and hundreds of news outlets in reporting that “The War on Drugs” has taken on a literal twist, with ISIS fighters being fueled by a stimulant drug known as Captagon – a pharmaceutical cousin of the ADHD drug, Adderall. As The Boston Globe reports, Captagon is a “toxic fuel” that creates “super-human” fighters. The drug “quickly produces a euphoric intensity in users, allowing fighters to stay up for days, killing with a numb, reckless abandon.”
And a November 21st article, “Breaking Bad: The Stimulant Drugs That Link ISIS and the Nazis,” posted in Haaretz, the world’s leading English-language website for news and analysis of the Middle East, points out, “ISIS is far from the first murderous group to drug its fighters before battle…. The Persian Hashashin did it way back in the 11th century, as did Japanese kamikaze pilots, African militias, Chechen fighters and Nazi soldiers.”