No Surprise: Psych Drugs Found in Apartment of Aurora Theater Shooter James Holmes

Two psychiatric drugs with known links to violence, homicidal thoughts, and homicide were found during a police search of the apartment of James Holmes, charged with killing 12 people and injuring 58 others in a shooting spree at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater on July 20.

According to newly unsealed court documents, the prescription drugs found in Holmes’s apartment included the antianxiety drug clonazepam and a generic version of the antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline).

Clonazepam and Sertraline Are Linked to Violence and Homicide

A drug study published in December 2010 concluded clonazepam and sertraline are two of a relatively small group of drugs linked to violence, homicidal ideation and homicidal actions.

The authors of the study reviewed 1,937 cases of violent drug side effects reported to the FDA from 2004-09 and found that 31 drugs, among them clonzepam and sertraline, accounted for 79% of all reported cases of violence.

Twenty of the 31 drugs are psychiatric drugs, including 11 antidepressants, 6 sedative/hypnotics, and 3 drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The specific cases of violence reported to the FDA included homicide, homicidal thoughts, physical assaults, physical abuse, and other violent acts.

The authors concluded, “These data provide new evidence that acts of violence towards others are a genuine and serious adverse drug event that is associated with a relatively small group of drugs.”  (Thomas J. Moore, Joseph Glenmullen, Curt D. Furbert, “Prescription Drugs Associated with Reports of Violence Towards Others,” Public Library of Science ONE, Vol. 5, Iss. 12, Dec. 2010. )

The Canadian drug regulatory authority also issued a warning on clonazepam in 2007.  Health Canada advised consumers that clonazepam can be habit-forming within a few months of use, and its side effects can include hallucinations, delusional thinking, confusion, loss of memory, and depression.  (“Sleep Supplements Found to Contain Habit-forming Drug,” Health Canada Advisory, June 14, 2007.)

In dozens of cases of mass murder or random acts of senseless violence, the perpetrators are known to have been under the influence of psychiatric drugs that have been documented by international drug regulatory agencies as causing adverse effects that include mania, psychosis, aggression, violence, and homicidal thoughts. 

International regulatory authorities have issued 22 drug warnings on psychiatric drugs causing hostility, aggression, mania/psychosis, homicidal thoughts and harm to others.  These warnings have been issued in the United States, European Union, Japan, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. 

The Citizens Commision on Human Rights has renewed its call for a federal investigation into shootings at schools, malls, and workplaces and any other acts of senseless violence for links to the mind-altering psychiatric drugs the shooters have taken.

Please click here to read and sign CCHR International’s petition calling for this investigation. 

If you or someone you know has experienced violent side effects from 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.

The Aurora, Colorado Tragedy—Another Senseless Shooting, Another Psychotropic Drug?

As the world’s leading mental health watchdog, CCHR has for decades investigated hundreds of acts of senseless violence in coordination with the press and law enforcement as well as in legislative hearings, such as those held following the 1999 Columbine massacre (ringleader Eric Harris was found to be under the influence of the antidepressant Luvox, Dylan Klebold’s autopsy reports were never unsealed). And while there is never one simple explanation for what drives a human being to commit such unspeakable acts, all too often one common denominator has surfaced in hundreds of cases—prescribed psychotropic drugs which are documented to cause mania, psychosis, violence, suicide and in some cases, homicidal ideation.

 Between 2004 and 2011, there have been over 11,000 reports to the U.S. FDA’s MedWatch system of psychiatric drug side effects related to violence. These include 300 cases of homicide, nearly 3,000 cases of mania and over 7,000 cases of aggression. (Note: By the FDA’s own admission, only 1-10% of side effects are ever reported to the FDA, so the actual number of side effects occurring are most certainly higher.)

There have been 22 international drug regulatory warnings issued on psychiatric drugs causing violence, mania, hostility, aggression, psychosis, and other violent type reactions. These warnings have been issued in the United States, European Union, Japan, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

In determining what would prompt James Holmes, identified as the 24-year-old gunman in the Aurora, Colorado shooting, to commit such a brutal and senseless crime, the press must ask the right questions, including: What, if any, prescribed psychotropic drugs Holmes may have been on (or in withdrawal from).

Click here for more.

 

Antidepressants Have Been Found Contaminating Fish in Boulder

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Colorado have found antidepressants, like Prozac, accumulating in the brains of fish near Boulder’s wastewater treatment plant, causing the reactions of the fish and their response to predators to slow down, according to the Denver Post: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_16037537.

Fish act as an early warning system for the presence of contaminants in water supplies. Studies have already documented the disruption to the reproductive systems of fish from contaminants finding their way into Colorado waterways.

In a recent article in The Durango Herald about personal care and pharmaceutical products in our water, Mike Meschke, environmental health director for the San Juan Basin Health Department, says, “Many of these compounds are not biodegradable and persist in our rivers and streams because they pass through treatment plants.” The chemicals may produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune effects in humans and wildlife. “We’re rolling the dice,” according to Meschke, “We’re playing with an environmental cocktail in our water.”http://www.durangoherald.com/sections/Features/.

With concern growing over the potential danger to humans, wildlife and the environment, Colorado and federal authorities have ramped up efforts to test state rivers and reservoirs.