Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Omaha Shooter was on Psych Drugs

CCHR Gets it right again:

Autopsy Results Confirm Omaha Shooter Was Yet Another Killer Under the Influence of Psychiatric Drugs

Watchdog Urges for Investigation Into Psychiatric Drug-Induced Teen Shootings

LOS ANGELES: The mental health watchdog group Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is calling for a federal investigation into the link between psychiatric drugs and senseless teen shootings, following autopsy results confirming 19-year-old Nebraska mall shooter Robert Hawkins was under the influence of the “anti-anxiety” drug Valium when he killed eight people and wounded five before committing suicide last month. Hawkins is the eleventh recent teen shooter under the influence of psychiatric drugs, resulting in 48 dead and 89 wounded. Many of these drug-induced shootings occurred in schoolyards, including the massacres by Eric Harris at Columbine, Colorado and Jeff Weise at Red Lake, Minnesota
Another notorious figure, John Hinckley, who shot President Reagan and three secret service agents in a 1981 assassination attempt, was under the influence of the same drug as Robert Hawkins—Valium—which has been documented to cause violence, including murder and suicide. Hinckley was prescribed the drugs by his psychiatrist, and later admitted that the drugs turned him into a killer.
Another 19-year-old, James Wilson, killed two 8-year-old girls and wounded several others with his revolver at a South Carolina elementary school in 1988, after seeing psychiatrists and taking psychiatric drugs including Valium since he was 14. Californian Lynwood Drake III also took Valium before he shot and killed six people and himself in 1992.
Clinical psychopharmacologist and psychiatrist Dr. Peter Breggin wrote in his book, Brain Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry (1997) that “benzodiazepines [a class of drugs that includes Valium and Xanax] can produce a wide variety of abnormal mental responses and hazardous behavioral abnormalities, including rebound anxiety and insomnia, psychosis, paranoia, violence, antisocial acts, depression, and suicide.”
Although it is not yet known if Hawkins was prescribed the Valium found in his system (something investigators are looking into), what is known is that a staggering $265,000 in state funds were spent on Hawkins’ behavior and addiction “treatment.” This expensive state “care” included four years in and out of treatment centers, psych evaluations, regular therapy and extensive prescriptions for powerful drugs including Zoloft, Adderall and Effexor, warned to cause “homicidal ideation.” This case clearly refutes the mental health industry's standard negation of psychiatric drug-induced violence--the claim the patient did not get enough treatment, used to clamor for increased funding.
CCHR, concerned that most parents and consumers are unaware of the risk of homicide and suicide connected with these drugs, has launched a striking series of three PSAs warning of these side effects. The PSAs can be viewed at CCHR hopes that these PSAs serve to inform the public about the dangers of these drugs, and encourage support for a federal investigation into the link between these drugs and senseless teen violence.
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is an international psychiatric watchdog group co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus, to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights. Contact CCHR's Media Department at 800-869-2247 or

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