Las Vegas in the Sights

Stephen Paddock massacred country music fans at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas the night of October 1, 2017 leaving 59 people dead (including Paddock) and 527 injured at last count.

He was prescribed an anti-anxiety drug in June that can lead to violent behavior, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal on October 3rd.

Records from the Nevada Prescription Monitoring Program show Paddock was prescribed 50 10-milligram diazepam tablets by Henderson physician Dr. Steven Winkler on June 21. Diazepam, or Valium, is a highly addictive Benzodiazepine known to cause aggressive behavior and suicide. Chronic use or abuse of psychiatric drugs such as diazepam can also trigger psychotic experiences.

Side effects (also called “adverse reactions”) are the body’s natural response to having a chemical disrupt its normal functioning. One could also say that there are no drug side effects, these adverse reactions are actually the drug’s real effects; some of these effects just happen to be unwanted, such as the violence and suicide observed with psychiatric anti-anxiety drugs. While not everyone on psychotropic drugs commits suicide or uncontrolled acts of violence, the effects of the many other side effects, including withdrawal from these addictive drugs, can be horrendous.

For example, between 2004-2008 there were reports submitted to the FDA’s MedWatch program which included 4,895 suicides, 3,908 cases of aggression, 309 homicides and 6,945 cases of diabetes from people taking psychiatric drugs. These numbers reflect only a small percentage of the actual side effects occurring in the consumer market, as the FDA has admitted that only 1-10% of side effects are ever reported to the FDA.

Reporting of adverse reactions to psychiatric drugs by doctors, pharmacists, other health care providers and consumers once those drugs are out in the consumer market, is fundamental to drug safety monitoring. Yet these reports have been frequently ignored or dismissed as “anecdotal” by the FDA even when serious side effects number in the thousands.

For more information about how psychiatric drugs can cause violence and suicide, go here: http://cchrstl.org/sideeffects.shtml.

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