Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Are psychiatric drugs a trigger for massacres?

AS the search for answers begins after the shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, the cause of violent behaviour is once again under the spotlight.

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 been prescribed psychiatric drugs.

It has been reported in the US that the Navy Yard shooter, Aaron Alexis, had been prescribed an antidepressant drug which is documented to cause mania and violent behaviour.

And after the tragic incident at the movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, where James Holmes killed 12 people, police found psychiatric drugs in Holmes's apartment.

There have been 22 international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs, but the manufacturers and the prescribers have been allowed to carry on unabated. It's time for a change.

BRIAN DANIELS

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