Antidepressants Found In Home Of Germanwings Co-pilot Who Deliberately Crashed Plane

German police have reportedly found antidepressants in the home of the co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing a Germanwings jet into the French Alps, killing himself and the other 149 people on board.

Initial reports said investigators seized a number of “medicines for the treatment of psychological illness” in the apartment of Andreas Lubitz, and found evidence that he had been treated by psychiatrists and neurologists.  The psych drugs have now been identified as antidepressants.

Lubitz suffered a “severe depressive episode” six years ago, the German newspaper Bild reported, and spent 18 months in psychiatric treatment, which almost certainly involved antidepressants at that time.

Another report indicated Lubitz also had been treated for anxiety in 2010 with injections of an antipsychotic drug.  Still other reports suggest other psychological problems and treatment.

Apparently after all the years in the hands of psychiatry, after their diagnoses and their treating him with psych drugs that included antidepressants, Lubitz had not even received enough help to prevent him from committing mass murder and suicide.

What’s more, the antidepressants he was prescribed could well have been a cause or contributing factor in this tragedy.  Antidepressants are known to cause worsening depression, suicidal thoughts and actions, self-harm, anxiety, panic attacks, mania, delusional thinking, hostility, aggression, psychosis, violence, and even homicidal thoughts.  The side effects can occur at any time during use or withdrawal from the drugs.

While the psychotropic (mind-altering) drug policies of Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, are not known, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows the use of antidepressants by pilots, a policy instituted in 2008.  This is despite the fact there have been 134 warnings from regulatory authorities in 11 countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and Italy, cautioning that antidepressants can cause suicidal thoughts.

Not the first pilot to commit suicide by plane

If antidepressants were involved in Lubitz’s crash, it would be the latest in a growing number of such incidents.

In 2007, the FAA issued a report on the connection between U.S. fatal air crashes and the newer class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.  It found that of the 61 fatal civilian aviation accidents between 1990-2001 in which the pilot was found to have taken this type of antidepressant, the “pilot’s psychological condition and/or SSRI use was reported to be the probable cause or a contributing factor in 31% (19/61) of the accidents.”

Pills (2)Nor would Lubitz be the first troubled commercial airline pilot to crash a plane intentionally while on antidepressants.

A suicide by plane is believed to have occurred in the 2008 crash in Mount Airy, North Carolina, which killed all six people on board.  In 2010, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a report on the probable cause of the crash.  With toxicology tests showing the pilot had the antidepressant Zoloft in his system at the time of the incident, the NTSB reported:  “Officials say the pilot ‘displayed non-professional behavior’ and that a cockpit voice recording documented the pilot singing, ‘Save my life, I’m going down for the last time’” shortly before crashing the plane.

Former girlfriend feared Lubitz’s erratic behavior

Lubitz reportedly had been exhibiting more disturbed behavior than just depression, behavior that would be consistent with some of the serious behavioral side effects of antidepressants.  Lubitz’s personal problems and erratic behavior had become so severe, according to a former girlfriend, a flight attendant, that she ended their relationship out of fear of his increasingly volatile temper.

“During conversations he’d suddenly throw a tantrum and scream at me,” she said.  “I was afraid.  He even once locked me in the bathroom for a long time.”

The woman also described him as erratic and controlling, and said he frequently woke up with nightmares.

Whether or not Germanwings co-pilot Lubitz at the time of the crash was on antidepressants or in withdrawal from them, there is more than enough evidence of the dangerous behavioral side effects of antidepressants to justify a ban on their use by pilots, both in the U.S. and abroad.

This ban would be all the more justified in light of numerous studies that have shown that antidepressants are no more effective in treating depression than placebos (sugar pills).  Recent research even suggests that antidepressants may actually make it harder to recover from depression.

If you or someone you know has been damaged by psychiatry or psychiatric drugs, we would be interested in hearing from you.  Contact the Colorado chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  We welcome your comments on this article below.

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Researchers See Antidepressants As Obstacle to Recovery from Depression

Image by Petr Kratochvil
Image by Petr Kratochvil

Researchers who reviewed existing research, looking for evidence to support the unproven theory that low levels of the brain chemical serotonin cause depression, have concluded the theory appears to be wrong.

According to the researchers’ paper, posted by the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, the best available evidence appears to show that there is more serotonin in depressed individuals, not less.

If so, the psychiatric treatment of prescribing serotonin-boosting antidepressant drugs for depression may actually make it harder for depressed individuals to recover, according to lead author Paul Andrews, an assistant professor of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University.

“It’s time we rethink what we are doing,” Andrews says. “We are taking people who are suffering from the most common forms of depression, and instead of helping them, it appears we are putting an obstacle in their path to recovery.”

Andrews, an evolutionary psychologist, has argued in previous research that antidepressants leave patients in worse shape after they stop using them, and that most forms of depression, though painful, are natural and beneficial adaptations to stress.

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Users of Today’s More Potent Marijuana At Greater Risk Of Psychosis

Image by RAJESH misra
Image by RAJESH misra

A British study published recently in the medical journal The Lancet found that the risk of psychosis was more than five times higher for those who used high-potency marijuana daily than for those who had never tried marijuana.

The risk was three times higher for those who used high-potency marijuana less frequently.  The risk was also three times higher for those who used less potent marijuana, but on a daily basis.

Psychosis is a condition in which the individual becomes so mentally disordered that he loses contact with reality.  The symptoms include hallucinations, delusions and paranoia.

Marijuana (cannabis) is a hallucinogen that distorts how the mind perceives reality.  The main ingredient responsible for the mind-altering effect is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

The level of THC in marijuana has steadily increased over the past several decades, due to changes in growing techniques.  THC concentrations in cannabis averaged 1% in 1974 and 4% in 1994.

By 2012, THC levels averaged close to 15%,    according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  But a University of Mississippi laboratory that tests the marijuana potency of marijuana seized by federal law enforcement officers has found THC concentration as high as 37%.

Studies have consistently reported that the use of marijuana is linked to an increased risk of psychosis.  After a systematic review of the scientific literature on marijuana use, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) issued a report in 2014 that acknowledged there is “substantial evidence that THC intoxication can cause acute psychotic symptoms, which are worse with higher doses.”

A 2012 study by the British Schizophrenia Commission went even further, concluding that cannabis use is the single most preventable risk factor for psychosis.

Colorado statistics from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that for the two-year period 2012-2013, one out of every eight (12.7%) Colorado residents over the age of 12, or roughly half a million Coloradoans, were current marijuana users.  The Survey defines current users as having used marijuana during the prior month.  That figure does not include any data for the year 2014, when the number of current users almost certainly increased from the legalization of recreational marijuana.

A separate 2014 report on the demand for marijuana in Colorado, prepared for the Colorado Department of Revenue, estimated that one out of every five (21.8%) current marijuana users in Colorado is a daily or near-daily user.

This suggests that more than 100,000 Coloradoans are at three times higher risk of psychosis than non-users, with the portion of them using high-potency marijuana at more than five times higher risk.

Not surprisingly, Colorado has experienced a rising trend in the number of hospitalizations and emergency room visits linked to marijuana use, which presumably include patients treated for marijuana-induced psychosis.  According to CDPHE’s 2014 report on marijuana, “there were large increases in poison center calls, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits observed after medical marijuana was commercialized in 2010 and additional increases after retail (recreational) marijuana was legalized in 2014.”

Parents are well-advised to speak with their children about the danger of psychosis resulting from the use of marijuana.  Episodes of psychosis requiring hospitalization have been known to occur with the very first use of the drug.  National statistics on children from the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicate that one out of every seven (15.6%) children in 8th grade have used marijuana sometime in their lives, and nearly half (44.4%) have tried it by the 12th grade.  The most recent statistics on Colorado adolescents and young adults from CDPHE indicate that approximately one out of every five (20%) Colorado high school students has used marijuana in the past month, and 37% have tried it at some point.

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CSU Student With Bizarre Behavior Had An Unprescribed Psychostimulant – A Growing Trend On College Campuses

A Fort Collins teen accused of stealing an ambulance on November 2, fleeing in it to Loveland and then crashing the vehicle was reportedly in possession of Adderall, a psych drug with the known side effects of delusions, mania and aggression.

According to the Fort Collins Coloradoan, Stefan Sortland, 18, would not follow police commands as he was being apprehended, causing police to subdue him with a stun gun.  He reportedly told police officers that he was “following the bright lights” and rambled on about things not related to his situation.

By Patrick Mallahan III (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Patrick Mallahan III (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
A search of “Adderall” on CCHR International’s psych drug side effects search engine reveals 10 warnings by international drug regulatory authorities and 4 studies linking the drug to dangerous side effects that include hallucinations, psychosis, sensory disturbances, anger, aggression, heart problems, stroke, and sudden death.

Even more disturbing, a major study has revealed that psychostimulant drugs like Adderall and Ritalin have never been proven safe or effective.  Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital, the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and several other institutions concluded that the clinical trials for drugs approved as “treatment” for ADHD were not designed to assess adverse events or long-term safety and effectiveness.

Adderall is an amphetamine/dextroamphetamine drug.  It is a schedule II controlled substance in the same class as cocaine, morphine and opium because of its high risk of addiction.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires the drug to carry a black-box warning that the drug has a high potential for abuse.

Individual responses to amphetamines vary widely, and harmful effects can be experienced even at low doses.  According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, taking stimulants like Adderall at usual doses can cause psychotic or manic symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusional thinking, or mania, in children and adolescents who have no prior history of psychosis or mania.

Image by George Hodan
Image by George Hodan

Psychostimulants like Adderall and Ritalin have become popular among college students, many of whom do not have a prescription for it.  They believe the drugs will help them study, even though there have been no studies that show any correlation between using unprescribed stimulants and an increase in academic performance.

A National College Health Assessment last spring, which surveyed more than 66,000 students from 140 institutions around the country, found that about 9% admitted to taking stimulants not prescribed to them within the past 12 months.

Sortland, a student at Colorado State University, reportedly did not have a prescription for the Adderall and has been charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Meanwhile, medical emergencies related to this drug use is soaring.  The number of young adults ages 18 to 34 who end up in the emergency room after taking Adderall, Ritalin or other such stimulants has quadrupled in recent years, increasing from 5,600 in 2005 to 23,000 in 2011, according to national data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services.  Peter J. Delany, the director of the office that oversees statistics for the administration, said the rise was particularly pronounced among 18- to 25-year-olds.

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 damaged by a psychostimulant or other psych 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.

 

 

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Major Study Reveals ADHD Drugs Were Never Proven Safe Or Effective

Ritalin pills and warning label.A recent study led by researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital, the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and several other institutions, concludes that the clinical trials for drugs approved as treatment for so-called ADHD were not designed to assess adverse events or long-term safety and effectiveness.

According to investigative journalist Kelly Patricia O’Meara, researchers identified 32 clinical trials used to obtain approval of ADHD drugs and found the following:

  • Eleven drugs (55%) were approved with less than 100 participants.
  • The median length of time that the drug was tested prior to its approval was only four weeks.
  • 38% of the drugs were actually approved with participants studied less than four weeks.

Drug regulatory agencies in eight countries have issued 44 warnings that ADHD drugs/stimulants cause harmful, even life-threatening side effects, including abnormal heart rate/rhythm, depression, hallucinations, homicidal ideation, insomnia, irritability, hostility, mania/psychosis, seizures, stunted growth, stroke and sudden death.  These drug warnings can be accessed through CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.

With no medical tests to prove the existence of ADHD, leading neuroscientists have stated that “ADHD” is no more than a description of behaviors, not a true medical disease requiring drugs to treat it.

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 an ADHD 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.

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Psych Drug Found In Home Of Cañon City Murder-Suicide

 

By Malis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Image by Malis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
A retired Cañon City police officer who shot and killed his wife before taking his own life had been prescribed a psychiatric drug with known side effects of severely abnormal behavior, emotional changes, and disturbing thoughts or behavior that could involve suicide or harm to others.

In a crime that shocked this small community, Daniel Samento, who served 30 years on the police force before retiring, shot his wife, Priscilla, a Cañon City police dispatcher, in the head with a handgun while she slept, then fatally turned the gun on himself.

According to the police report of the incident, the antidepressant Wellbutrin, prescribed to Daniel Samento for depression, was found in the home.  The drug, which takes about 4½ days to leave the body, was not found in his body at the time of the autopsy.

We do not know the details concerning any use or discontinuation of the drug by him, and we will never know how his problems may have affected his mental state.

But we should not overlook a possible link with the psych drug prescribed to him, whose known side effects could be viewed as consistent with the characterizations in the police report of Mr. Samento quickly going into a downward spiral, acting schizophrenic-like at times, and threatening suicide.

According to online drug reference website RxList.com, depressed patients treated with Wellbutrin have had a variety of neuropsychiatric side effects, including delusions, hallucinations, psychosis, concentration disturbance, paranoia, and confusion.

A search of “Wellbutrin” in CCHR International’s psych drug side effects search engine shows that in recent years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, and Health Canada all ordered stronger public warnings about serious side effects of this drug, including abnormal behavior, emotional changes, aggression, violence, depressed mood, and impulsive or disturbing thoughts that could involve self-harm or harm to others.

These kinds of serious behavioral changes can also become evident when a dose is adjusted up or down, or when the drug is discontinued abruptly.

Psychiatric treatment and psychiatric drugs are a common denominator in a growing number of shootings and other acts of violence – events which are soaring right along with the soaring use of psych drugs. 

Only by reporting adverse drug reactions will the harm being done by psychiatric drugs be known.  MedWatch is the federal reporting system for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  Please report adverse drug reactions to MedWatch by clicking here.

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 violence or other 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.

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Psychiatry’s Role in Military Suicides Exposed

Today, with the military around the world awash in psychiatric drugs, 23 soldiers and veterans are committing suicide every day.  More soldiers are dying from psychiatric “treatment” than on the battlefield.

CCHR’s powerful new documentary, “Hidden Enemy: Inside Psychiatry’s Covert Agenda,” is the first to fully expose the decades-long history of psychiatry’s use of military personnel as guinea pigs for experimentation.  The documentary also details the link between the now-widespread use of mind-altering psychiatric drugs in the military and the growing epidemic of military deaths – especially suicides.

“We have never drugged our troops to this extent and the current increase in suicides is not a coincidence.  Why hasn’t psychiatry in the military been relieved of command of Mental Health Services?  In any other command position in the military, there would have been a change in leadership.”
— Lt. Col. Bart Billings, Clinical Psychologist U.S. Army Reserve, Ret.

Featuring over 80 interviews with soldiers and experts in a number of related fields, this penetrating documentary reveals how psychiatry is destroying our world’s militaries from within.

Here are some of the chilling facts contained in this documentary:

  • Officially, one in six American service members is taking at least one psychiatric drug.
  • Since 2002, the suicide rate in the U.S. military has almost doubled.  From 2009 to 2012, more U.S. soldiers died by suicide than from traffic accidents, heart disease, cancer and homicide.
  • Combat stress has been a fact in the military since ancient times.  But in 1980, psychiatrists created a new label for it: “post-traumatic stress disorder,” or “PTSD,” and later claimed, without any evidence, that it was a brain disorder.  Today, 37% of recent war veterans have been labeled “PTSD,” and 80% of them have been given a psychiatric drug for it.

 

Your help is needed to save lives. 

  • First, view the documentary yourself.  You can view the DVD online at no charge at the CCHR International website by clicking here.
  • If you are an active-duty member of the military, veteran, member of a military or veteran support group, or family member or associate of an active-duty member of the military or veteran, you can order a free copy of this DVD from CCHR International by clicking here.
  • Sign CCHR’s Petition for a Congressional Investigation into the Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Military Suicides and Sudden Deaths by clicking here.
  • Please help us get this powerful documentary into the hands of military personnel, veterans, and those who are responsible for their care.  Contribute what you can by clicking here. Donations to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights® of Colorado are tax-deductible charitable contributions for U.S. income tax purposes.
  • See for yourself what the harmful side effects are, for the drugs being prescribed to the military personnel and veterans you know.  Warnings from international regulatory authorities and research studies on the harmful side effects of psychiatric drugs can be accessed through CCHR International’s psychiatric drug side effects search engine.

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 know an active-duty member of the military or a veteran who has been harmed by psychiatric drugs or other mental-health treatment or experimentation, 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.

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Colorado Springs Psychologist Settles With U.S. Attorney’s Office Over Allegations of Improper Insurance Billing

 

Image by Pictures of Money
Image by Pictures of Money

A Colorado Springs psychologist has agreed to pay $86,675.68 to settle allegations that he wrongly billed TRICARE, the United States military health insurance program, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announced.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado also entered a consent judgment against the doctor, David Hatfield, age 48, and his company, Development Behavioral Health, Inc. (DBH) in the amount of $1,283,027.04 based on this conduct.  If Dr. Hatfield does not make the payments based on the settlement agreement, the government can enforce the consent judgment, which would result in Dr. Hatfield having to pay the entire $1.283 million judgment.

TRICARE is the United States military health insurance program.  It pays for, among other things, therapy services to developmentally disabled children who are children of military members.  While TRICARE pays for this type of therapy, it does not pay for administrative services.

While Dr. Hatfield billed the TRICARE program for therapy services provided to developmentally disabled children, the United States alleged that from 2008 through 2013, Dr. Hatfield and DBH also improperly submitted hundreds of claims to the TRICARE program for administrative services.  In particular, Dr. Hatfield and DBH improperly collected substantial payments from TRICARE on claims for such things as time spent filling out timesheets, time spent for cancelled appointments where no therapy was provided, or time or money spent on supplies or food.

If you know about any improper billing by a mental health professional or mental health facility, 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.

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ADHD Expert Claims Disorder is ‘Not a Real Disease’ and EVERYONE Fits At Least Two of the Criteria Used for Diagnosis

Daily Mail – March 30, 2014
By Sophie Borland

A second world-renowned scientist has come forward to support claims that ADHD is not a real disease, but a description of symptoms.

Dr Bruce Perry said most people displayed signs of the condition at some point in their lives.

He also said psychostimulant drugs, such as Ritalin, used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may have long-term adverse effects.

It comes after US neurologist Dr Richard Saul claimed ADHD did not exist, in a book serialised by the Daily Mail.

He said treating children’s hyperactivity with drugs was similar to giving a heart attack patient painkillers – it ignores the cause of the problem, which could be as simple as an iron deficiency.

Dr Perry, a neuroscientist at the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, Texas, will meet Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith today at a lecture he is giving, hosted by charity the Early Intervention Foundation.

Some 2 to 5 per cent of children are thought to have ADHD. Symptoms include short attention span, restlessness and fidgeting.

Dr Perry said: ‘It is best thought of as a description . . . any one of us at any given time would fit at least a couple of those criteria.’

He said ADHD was a label for a set of symptoms, adding: ‘It’s a description rather than a real disease.’

Read the rest of the article here:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2592641/Expert-claims-ADHD-not-real-disease-fits-two-criteria.html

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Irregular Bedtimes Linked To Children’s Behavior Problems

Children who do not have fixed bedtimes are more likely to experience behavior problems, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Image by Homero Nunez Chapa
Image by Homero Nunez Chapa

What’s more, as children progressed through early childhood without a regular bedtime, their behavior continually got worse.

The good news is that these effects are reversible.  Children who were changed to regular bedtimes showed definite improvements in their behavior.

Researchers at the University College London analyzed data collected from more than 10,000 British children at the ages of three, five and seven.  They found a clear, statistically significant link between the lack of regular bedtimes and behavior difficulties, which included hyperactivity, problems getting along with other children, mood swings, and other conduct problems.

“What we’ve shown is that these effects build up incrementally over childhood, so that children who always had irregular bedtimes were worse off than those children who did have a regular bedtime,” said lead author Yvonne Kelly, professor of life course epidemiology at the College.

The message to parents:  Schedule a specific bedtime, and then get the children to bed on time to help ensure good behavioral development.

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