Mental health professionals suggest that the latest spate of mass killings require more psychiatric services and stronger involuntary commitment laws to prevent future violence. However, Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, a mental health industry watchdog, warns that this could increase violence because psychiatric drugs are usually the first line of treatment and carry a risk of inducing suicide and hostility in a percent of those taking them. CCHR says billions of dollars in appropriations have been funneled into violence-prevention programs without investigating psychiatric treatment links to acts of violence. A financial audit of violence prevention mental health programs should be conducted to show accountability for results–reduced acts of school violence.
Since the Columbine high school massacre in 1999 where two students–the ringleader on an antidepressant–killed 13 and injured 24, national violence prevention programs in schools have been implemented. Another $1 billion of federal funds was recently allocated for community violence intervention, which includes mental health services.
The Safe Schools Act of 1994 was introduced with a goal that by the year 2000, every school in America would be free of violence. The Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015 allocated more federal funds for school-based violence prevention programs. However, school shootings increased by 37% between the 1990s and 2013. Since 2000, CCHR has documented at least 27 acts of mass violence in schools committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs or having undergone mental health treatment, resulting in 33 deaths and 83 wounded. At least seven of the killings involved knives and a machete.
Psychiatrists, often backed by the pharmaceutical industry, claim there is no “scientific” evidence that psychiatric drugs cause violence, even though violent behavior, including homicide, are reported side effects in some of the drugs. Of nearly 410 drug regulatory agency warnings against psychotropic drugs, 27 warn of violence, aggression, hostility, mania, psychosis or homicidal ideation. Over 2.1 million 0-17-year-olds are taking antidepressants that carry a Food and Drug Administration suicide black box warning for teens and young adults and have been linked to acts of school shootings.
A forensic psychotherapist asserts: “Most people who commit these kinds of acts of severe violence are only prescribed medication because of their horrible thoughts, moods, and ideas.” Jan Eastgate, President of CCHR International said: “This is the point. Having been prescribed mind-altering drugs, they acted on their thoughts and killed. Kids are driven to commit violent acts after taking drugs or being in the throw of withdrawal from them.”
“Violence and other potentially criminal behavior caused by prescription drugs are medicine’s best kept secret,” international psychopharmacology expert and psychiatrist, Prof. David Healy, says.
CCHR questions the role this may have had on a 19-year-old who planned the San Antonio, Texas mass shooting at an Amazon Delivery Station in 2022. The alleged perpetrator had a history of mental health treatment and was institutionalized at 16.
The July 4th Illinois parade shooting suspect, 21, reportedly took psychedelic drugs, some of which can cause impaired judgment feelings of detachment, and psychosis. In April 2019, a report to said he had tried to take his own life. They were told mental health professionals were handling the matter.
While not excusing crime, courts have recognized the “overwhelming probable” relationship between antidepressant and murder, and “treatment-induced psychosis.” In one case, an antidepressant was determined to “cause some people to become homicidal and/or suicidal” and was found 80% responsible for a normally calm and caring father to kill his family.
On July 3rd in Denmark, a suspected gunman, 22, said his antipsychotic drugs weren’t working before a shooting spree in a shopping center that left 3 dead and 27 injured.
In an article published in the June 2022 edition of Addictive Behaviors Reports, John Read, Ph.D. reviewed the experiences of 585 people when they withdrew from antipsychotics: 72% reported withdrawal effects, including anxiety and agitation; 18% reported psychosis.
Researchers also calculate that 56% of antidepressant users experienced withdrawal symptoms, some lasting up to 79 weeks after stopping the drug, including aggression.
 bja.ojp.gov/program/community-violence-intervention/overview; “APA Statement on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” Psychiatric Times, 24 June 2022, www.psychiatry.org/News-room/News-Releases/APA-Statement-on-the-Bipartisan-Safer-Communities (breaks down the dollar amounts)
 “School Safety Policies and Programs Administered by the U.S. Federal Government: 1990-2016,” A Report Prepared by the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress under an Interagency Agreement with the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice
 Allison Paolini, “School Shootings and Student Mental Health: Role of the School Counselor in Mitigating Violence,” ACA (American Counseling Assoc.) Knowledge Center, Vistas, 2015
 Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence and Suicide, CCHR International, 2018, p.3, www.cchrint.org/pdfs/violence-report.pdf
 www.cchrint.org/psychiatric-drugs/people-taking-psychiatric-drugs/; “By the numbers: Antidepressant use on the rise,” American Psychological Assoc., Nov. 2017, citing Pratt L.A., Brody D.J., & Gu Q. Antidepressant use among persons aged 12 and over: United States, 2011-14. NCHS Data Brief, No. 283. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017, www.apa.org/monitor/2017/11/numbers
 Snejana Farberov, “Texas teen arrested for plotting mass shooting at Amazon warehouse: cops,” New York Post, 5 July 2022, nypost.com/2022/07/05/texas-teen-accused-of-plotting-mass-shooting-at-amazon-warehouse/
 www.cchrint.org/2022/01/09/cchr-warns-against-psychedelic-trips-potentially-planned-for-55m-americans/; drugabuse.com/drugs/hallucinogens/psilocybin-mushrooms/effects-use/
 Safia Samee Ali, Natasha Korecki and Corky Siemaszko, “Highland Park shooting suspect’s past littered with ‘red flags,” NBC News, 5 July 2022,
 Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence and Suicide, CCHR International, 2018, pp. 3-4.
 James Crip, “Pictured: ‘Gunman’ charged with killing three in Copenhagen shopping mall attack,” Daily Telegraph (UK), 5 July 2022, www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/07/05/pictured-gunman-charged-killing-three-copenhagen-shopping-mall/
 John Read, Ph.D., “The experiences of 585 people when they tried to withdraw from antipsychotic drugs,” Addictive Behaviors Reports, 15 June 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9006667/
 www.cchrint.org/2021/04/06/antidepressant-withdrawal-warning-vital/; “How Hard is it to Stop Antidepressants?” American Psychological Assoc., 1 Apr. 2020; www.apa.org/monitor/2020/04/stop-antidepressants
Citizens Commission on Human Rights International
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