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  1. #1
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    Mass shootings: the Rx drug connection

    I feel this deserves a separate thread. Overall gun violence and murder rates in the US have been declining for decades and continue to decline, but these mass shootings seem to be increasing, and, every single one I can recall, the shooter was on some sort of prescription psychoactive drug. Why are we not calling for a ban on these drugs?

    ""
    Varenicline (Chantix): The anti-smoking medication Chantix affects the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, which helps reduce craving for smoking. Unfortunately, itís 18 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to other drugs ó by comparison, that number for Xyban is 3.9 and just 1.9 for nicotine replacement. Because Chantix is slightly superior in terms of quit rates in comparison to other drugs, it shouldnít necessarily be ruled out as an option for those trying to quit, however.
    Fluoxetine (Prozac): The first well-known SSRI antidepressant, Prozac is 10.9 times more likely to be linked with violence in comparison with other medications.
    Paroxetine (Paxil): An SSRI antidepressant, Paxil is also linked with more severe withdrawal symptoms and a greater risk of birth defects compared to other medications in that class. It is 10.3 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to other drugs.
    Amphetamines:: (Various) Amphetamines are used to treat ADHD and affect the brainís dopamine and noradrenaline systems. They are 9.6 times more likely to be linked to violence, compared to other drugs.
    Mefoquine (Lariam): A treatment for malaria, Lariam has long been linked with reports of bizarre behavior. It is 9.5 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs.
    Atomoxetine (Strattera): Used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Strattera affects the neurotransmitter noradrenaline and is 9 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to the average medication.
    Triazolam (Halcion): A benzodiazepine which can be addictive, used to treat insomnia. Halcion is 8.7 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs, according to the study.
    Fluvoxamine (Luvox): An antidepressant that affects serotonin (SSRI), Luvox is 8.4 times more likely than other medications to be linked with violence
    Venlafaxine (Effexor): A drug related to Pristiq in the same class of antidepressants, both are also used to treat anxiety disorders. Effexor is 8.3 times more likely than other drugs to be related to violent behavior.
    Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq): An antidepressant which affects both serotonin and noradrenaline, this drug is 7.9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.
    "


    "But whatís really concerning to me is not just that a minority of users of these drugs might flip out and punch someone in the face. I mean, that would be bad enough. No, the real concern is how many of our recent mass shootings were perpetrated by individuals using SSRIs who had not been violent previous to be prescribed an SSRI or anti-depressant. And these side affects are not unknown. Drug companies know that they can cause violence. Itís on the warning labels. Your doctor is supposed to discuss these things with you.

    So, I have to ask, if so many, so so many of the mass shootings committed today, including the Navy Yard shootings by Aaron Alexis, were committed by individuals taking SSRIís and dopamine/seratonin affecting anti-depressants why isnít that being discussed more? While most murders committed in the US are committed by persons on no drugs at all, almost all of the mass shootings in the US are committed by individuals on SSRIs or anti-depressants. Is pharmaceutical money that coveted?

    Look, there has been a very real uptick in mass shootings in the US while the actual murder rate has continued to drop. Violence, specifically gun murders, in the US are lower now than they were in the 80s and 90s and yet the number of mass shootings is rising. Why is that? There appears to me to be a very real correlation and one that has been almost completely ignored by the press and the government and this is to say nothing of suicide rates among SSRI users with veterans being the poster boys and girls for the phenomenon."

    10 Completely Legal Drugs That Could Really Trash Your Life | Thought Catalog
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  2. #2
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    Would a ban result in more mass murders?

    Or would lifting the ban (including serious financial penalties to all agencies of all government for their lack of action) on reporting all mental illness cases to the FBI gun background check database be more effective?

    Don't perceive my comments as not in favor of your notion that we have a serious problem ... we do.
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  3. #3
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    In every mass shooting the killer was on one of those listed meds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    I feel this deserves a separate thread. Overall gun violence and murder rates in the US have been declining for decades and continue to decline, but these mass shootings seem to be increasing, and, every single one I can recall, the shooter was on some sort of prescription psychoactive drug. Why are we not calling for a ban on these drugs?

    ""
    Varenicline (Chantix): The anti-smoking medication Chantix affects the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, which helps reduce craving for smoking. Unfortunately, itís 18 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to other drugs ó by comparison, that number for Xyban is 3.9 and just 1.9 for nicotine replacement. Because Chantix is slightly superior in terms of quit rates in comparison to other drugs, it shouldnít necessarily be ruled out as an option for those trying to quit, however.
    Fluoxetine (Prozac): The first well-known SSRI antidepressant, Prozac is 10.9 times more likely to be linked with violence in comparison with other medications.
    Paroxetine (Paxil): An SSRI antidepressant, Paxil is also linked with more severe withdrawal symptoms and a greater risk of birth defects compared to other medications in that class. It is 10.3 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to other drugs.
    Amphetamines:: (Various) Amphetamines are used to treat ADHD and affect the brainís dopamine and noradrenaline systems. They are 9.6 times more likely to be linked to violence, compared to other drugs.
    Mefoquine (Lariam): A treatment for malaria, Lariam has long been linked with reports of bizarre behavior. It is 9.5 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs.
    Atomoxetine (Strattera): Used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Strattera affects the neurotransmitter noradrenaline and is 9 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to the average medication.
    Triazolam (Halcion): A benzodiazepine which can be addictive, used to treat insomnia. Halcion is 8.7 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs, according to the study.
    Fluvoxamine (Luvox): An antidepressant that affects serotonin (SSRI), Luvox is 8.4 times more likely than other medications to be linked with violence
    Venlafaxine (Effexor): A drug related to Pristiq in the same class of antidepressants, both are also used to treat anxiety disorders. Effexor is 8.3 times more likely than other drugs to be related to violent behavior.
    Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq): An antidepressant which affects both serotonin and noradrenaline, this drug is 7.9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.
    "


    "But whatís really concerning to me is not just that a minority of users of these drugs might flip out and punch someone in the face. I mean, that would be bad enough. No, the real concern is how many of our recent mass shootings were perpetrated by individuals using SSRIs who had not been violent previous to be prescribed an SSRI or anti-depressant. And these side affects are not unknown. Drug companies know that they can cause violence. Itís on the warning labels. Your doctor is supposed to discuss these things with you.

    So, I have to ask, if so many, so so many of the mass shootings committed today, including the Navy Yard shootings by Aaron Alexis, were committed by individuals taking SSRIís and dopamine/seratonin affecting anti-depressants why isnít that being discussed more? While most murders committed in the US are committed by persons on no drugs at all, almost all of the mass shootings in the US are committed by individuals on SSRIs or anti-depressants. Is pharmaceutical money that coveted?

    Look, there has been a very real uptick in mass shootings in the US while the actual murder rate has continued to drop. Violence, specifically gun murders, in the US are lower now than they were in the 80s and 90s and yet the number of mass shootings is rising. Why is that? There appears to me to be a very real correlation and one that has been almost completely ignored by the press and the government and this is to say nothing of suicide rates among SSRI users with veterans being the poster boys and girls for the phenomenon."

    10 Completely Legal Drugs That Could Really Trash Your Life | Thought Catalog

  4. #4
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    Sounds like many of these folks should have been on more drugs.

    The problem is this mass killing thing (the modern version of which basically started with a guy with a brain tumor that almost certainly played a role in driving him over the edge) has become such a cultural meme that when it gets into the consciousness of millions of mentally ill people every once in a while one of them is going to decide for whatever reason to carry the thing out.

    It would be interesting to see what % of these things have been carried out by people with serious mental illness.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne Barry View Post
    Sounds like many of these folks should have been on more drugs.

    It would be interesting to see what % of these things have been carried out by people with serious mental illness.
    Not so sure I can agree w your first statement... I simply don't trust the big pharma / FDA connection to do anything beyond line each other's pockets.

    On the second statement... isn't that true by definition? What sane person would commit a mass murder?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
    In every mass shooting the killer was on one of those listed meds?
    I don't know that to be true; I do know from recall that these recent ones were all on some type of rx drugs.

    Naturally that gets under-reported and instead we get to hear Piers Morgan blame an AR-15 that was not even used at the Navy Yard.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    Drug companies know that they can cause violence. Itís on the warning labels. Your doctor is supposed to discuss these things with you.
    I hate to blame the doctors, but for prescription meds the expectation is that the doctor is supposed to respond to the side effects. 3 years ago my wife was undergoing cancer treatments and was on all kinds of meds. Her doctor was very interested in any and all side effects and very quick to make adjustments.

    Now what I really don't like is commercials for presciption meds. It makes people think they need a certain medciation for a certain condition. While it is possible they do, what meds they take needs be determined by their doctor and the patient based on the medical need and risk. Just because you saw some happy people on TV does not mean it is right for you. Yet people come in with strong belief that need med X just because they saw it on TV even if in their case there is safer alternative.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    I don't know that to be true; I do know from recall that these recent ones were all on some type of rx drugs.
    Could you be more specific? Which of these recent ones, and which drugs were they on?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    Not so sure I can agree w your first statement... I simply don't trust the big pharma / FDA connection to do anything beyond line each other's pockets.

    On the second statement... isn't that true by definition? What sane person would commit a mass murder?
    I'm pretty anti-psychoactive drugs too but I hardly think an argument for that is it's inducing people to commit mass killings.

    No I'm not including the act of committing a mass killing as being proof of mental illness. E.g the Columbine killers gave no signs of mental illness, this Navy guy did, the Sandy Hook person did, the guy who shot up the Congressman in Arizona did, the Colorado movie theater did, etc.

    A few have been political, many appear to be just angry people who say "**** it, I'm going out and taking some people with me". A lot of those appear to be the going postal work place ones.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    Not so sure I can agree w your first statement... I simply don't trust the big pharma / FDA connection to do anything beyond line each other's pockets.

    Do you trust the millions of people who credit such medications with improving their lives?
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  11. #11
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    How, exactly, can more drug use be linked to less violence including less murder, but more mass shootings? What causal mechanism would apply to ALL of these drugs in exactly that manner? How can they be upping massive violence, but have no effect on less severe violence? Why is the trend opposite for different types of violence if the claim is the meds make people more violent?

    The idea shows a distinct lack of critical thinking.

    And of course, we might question whether all these kooks pushing such an idea out there (lots of paranoid raving web pages) actually have their numbers correct No increase in mass shootings - James Alan Fox - Crime & Punishment blog - Boston.com :

    There is one not-so-tiny flaw in all of these theories for the increase in mass shootings. And that is that mass shootings have not increased in number or in overall body count, at least not over the past several decades.

    Based on data extracted from official police reports to the FBI, the figure below shows annual incident, offender and victim tallies for gun homicides in which at least four people were murdered. Over the thirty-year time frame, an average of about 20 mass murders have occurred annually in the United States with an average death toll of about 100 per year.
    The graph on that link shows wide variation year to year, but no real up or down trend over the long term.

    That's from an actual criminologist, btw. James Alan Fox
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  12. #12
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    I've been on a couple of different SSRIs in the past and will never take them again.

    My experience was that they limit the depression (they were prescribed for) by limiting all emotion. I felt like a zombie; there were no down periods but no real ups either; I just felt kind of blah and emotionless.
    I don't know how they affected it but I didn't feel as much love or passion or compassion as I normally do.

    It has only been recently that they've tied those drugs to an increased number of suicides in young people.
    I don't believe that they really know all the ways those drugs affect different people. The list of negative side-effects is long and hard to relate to the drugs' purpose.

    I actually wouldn't be surprised if they found that those drugs helped some of the killers to not feel any compassion toward their innocent victims.
    "When you know absolutely nothing, anyone who knows 1% more than nothing sounds like an expert."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    ..... but these mass shootings seem to be increasing, and, every single one I can recall, the shooter was on some sort of prescription psychoactive drug.
    They seem to be increasing... but they AREN'T. The stats I've seen have mass killing as about the same... which proportionately... would be a decline. But most presidents don't give speeches about common domestic killings... so they seem.. like a bigger deal.

    Don't forget the vast majority of the mass killer are also:
    Registered democrats.
    Not actively Christen
    Video gamers
    Young men
    Not sexually active
    quite
    right handed
    have both eyes!

    Using the rationalization that all things in common are things that should be regulated or changed could be.... inconvenient.
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  14. #14
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    What about the effect of taking drugs away from some of these people? They might be even more unstable without them. Not to mention the people that could not function without these drugs. What are they supposed to do?

    I think taking the guns away would be far more effective than taking the drugs away. But I am a "Treat the Cause, Not the Symptom" kind of guy.
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    Are these shootings happening when these people are on their meds of when they fail to take them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by serious View Post
    But I am a "Treat the Cause, Not the Symptom" kind of guy.
    So... you think guns cause mental illness?
    If I didn't bicycle when the weather is bad... I wouldn't be a cyclist. I'd just be another old fat man... with a bicycle hanging in his garage.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit View Post
    Are these shootings happening when these people are on their meds of when they fail to take them?
    No one knows for sure. The NSA hasn't figured out how to track medication.... yet.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    So... you think guns cause mental illness?
    Seems to drive some of us crazy.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    So... you think guns cause mental illness?
    You have no idea what that phrase means in this context, do you?
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiQuaeQuod View Post
    How, exactly, can more drug use be linked to less violence including less murder, but more mass shootings? What causal mechanism would apply to ALL of these drugs in exactly that manner? How can they be upping massive violence, but have no effect on less severe violence? Why is the trend opposite for different types of violence if the claim is the meds make people more violent?

    The idea shows a distinct lack of critical thinking.
    I'm not suggesting causation. I'm pointing out a potential correlation, "pointing out" being the key words because I haven't seen much mention of this topic anywhere in all these mass shootings coverage.

    So, you're the stat expert, is there a correlation?
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  21. #21
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    Also, I know you people love Ann Coulter so read this:

    Ann Coulter - September 18, 2013 - CRAZIER THAN LIBERALS
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    I'm not suggesting causation. I'm pointing out a potential correlation, "pointing out" being the key words because I haven't seen much mention of this topic anywhere in all these mass shootings coverage.

    So, you're the stat expert, is there a correlation?
    Quote Originally Posted by the factual stuff I posted earlier that you seem to ignore showing just how much effort you are putting into this;
    There is one not-so-tiny flaw in all of these theories for the increase in mass shootings. And that is that mass shootings have not increased in number or in overall body count, at least not over the past several decades.

    Based on data extracted from official police reports to the FBI, the figure below shows annual incident, offender and victim tallies for gun homicides in which at least four people were murdered. Over the thirty-year time frame, an average of about 20 mass murders have occurred annually in the United States with an average death toll of about 100 per year.
    Given there is no change in mass shootings, according to James Allen Fox the criminologist who looked at FBI data, how could there be a correlation?

    IOW, if one line is flat and the other slopes, there is NO correlation. Not positive, not negative, no correlation.
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