Stop Drugging Our Children

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by Paul R. Hollrah, ©2013

(Feb. 8, 2013) — Do all Muslims walk around in public places with explosives strapped to their bodies, hoping to blow themselves up along with a lot of innocent people?  No.  But it is fair to say that essentially all those who do walk around in public places with explosives strapped to their bodies, hoping to kill themselves and a lot of innocent people, are Muslims.

Similarly, not all children who are prescribed behavior-modifying psychotropic drugs can be expected to pick up a firearm and murder members of their family, or walk into a school and murder large numbers of innocent people.  However, in almost every such incident in recent history the killer or killers were found to be on one behavior-modifying psychotropic drug or another… sometimes more than one.

In June 2006, The American Free Press quoted Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, executive director of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness, as saying that the brains of the Columbine High School killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were “awash in serotonin, the chemical which causes violence and aggression and triggers a sleep-walking disorder in which a person literally acts out their worst nightmare.”  Dr. Tracy is the author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare.

The report tells us that, “Shortly before the Columbine shooting, Eric Harris had been rejected by Marine Corps recruiters because he was under a doctor’s care and had been prescribed an anti-depressant medication.  Harris was taking Luvox, an anti-depressant commonly used to treat patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.”

Dr. Tracy has also reported that Effexor, the most popular anti-depressant on the market, has been shown to produce “homicidal ideation” (obsessive thoughts of killing and how to kill) listed as a side effect.  And while the manufacturer was aware of this side effect for over a decade, they chose not to disclose it until a few years ago.  Andrea Yates, a nurse, drowned her five children while taking this drug.

A March 2011 report by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights International tells us that, in 1997, five million children were listed as using psychotropic drugs, Ritalin being among the most commonly prescribed.  They report that Ritalin use has increased by 700% since 1990.  “By the year 2000, it was prescribed for approximately 7 million children.

The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality says that treatment for mental disorders in children made up the bulk of the money spent on them in 2006 healthcare: $8.9 billion.

The agency ells us, “Kids are diagnosed with attention deficit disorders and drugged to make them more compliant in class and more convenient for both parents and teachers.  The emotional roller coaster that naturally occurs during adolescence is quickly diagnosed as pathological.  Bipolar disorder is a hugely growing childhood diagnosis, as if the normal ups and downs of life require smoothing out.”

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is diagnosed eight times more often in boys than in girls.  Of these diagnosed children, 90% use a stimulant to help control their behavior.  Seventy percent of children with ADHD are prescribed Ritalin, while 20% use its counterpart, the generic form known as methylphenidate and an amphetamine known as Dexedrine.

Just days before his untimely death in an automobile accident, noted rifle manufacturer, John Noveske, published an extensive report on the apparent connection between psychotropic drug use and incidents of violence and mass murders.  To cite just a few of his examples:

  • On December 1, 1997, Michael Carneal, age 14, fired into a group of students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky.  Carneal had been prescribed Ritalin.  Three dead, five wounded.
  • On July 28, 1997, Mathew Miller, age 13, hanged himself in his bedroom closet in Kansas City after being on Zoloft for only six days.  One dead.
  • On March 10, 1998, Jeff Franklin, of Huntsville, Alabama, attacked and killed both of his parents, using a sledge hammer, a hatchet, and a butcher knife.  He then attacked a younger brother and sister, both under age 12, wounding them.  Franklin had been prescribed both Prozac and Ritalin.  Two dead, 2 wounded.
  • On March 24, 1988, Andrew Golden, age 11, and Mitchell Johnson, age 14, opened fire on their classmates at the Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, killing four students and a teacher.  Both had been prescribed Ritalin.  Five dead, 11 wounded.
  • On May 20, 1988, Kip Kinkel, age 15, shot and killed his father and mother in their home in Springfield, Oregon.  The following day he went to the Thurston High School where he shot and killed two classmates and wounded 22 others.  He had been prescribed both Prozac and Ritalin.  Four dead, 22 wounded.
  • On November 28, 2001, Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both of his grandparents in Chester, South Carolina.  Having been prescribed Paxil for mild depression in Florida, a doctor in South Carolina prescribed Zoloft for him.  Two dead.
  • On March 1, 2005, Jeff Weise, age 16, shot his grandfather, his grandfather’s girlfriend, and a number of fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota, before shooting himself.  He had been prescribed 60 mg per day of Prozac.  Sixteen dead, 12 wounded.
  • On February 14, 2008, Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, a graduate student, shot and killed five and wounded 17 on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, before taking his own life.  Kazmierczak had been taking Prozac, Xanax, and Ambien.  Six dead, 17 wounded.

When I was a child, ADHD may have existed, but our parents and teachers failed to recognize it as a treatable disorder.  Those who suffered from it were called “disruptive” or “unruly” and were dealt with accordingly.

My boyhood friends who attended Catholic parochial schools told me many stories about how terrified they were of nuns armed with twelve-inch rulers.

My father had a dual-purpose device that was sure to cure any and all episodes of misbehavior in school.  The primary purpose of the device was to keep his trousers from falling down around his ankles.  The other purpose was to insure that I did not misbehave or fail to do what was expected of me in the classroom.  It was called a “belt.”

My Lutheran parochial school teachers, too, had their magic devices.  My fourth and fifth grade teacher, Mr. Oscar Roschke, had a long thin hardwood device with a black rubber tip on one end, called a “blackboard pointer.”  When he was not using it to direct our attention to things written on the blackboard, it was used to correct episodes of unruliness or bad behavior… most often preceded by a command to “go to the front of the room, bend over, and grab your ankles.”

My eighth grade teacher, Mr. Siebrass, also had a dual-purpose cure for unruly or otherwise unacceptable conduct.  Its primary purpose was to smack a horse across the hindquarters to make him/her move a bit faster.  But since he didn’t own a horse, the highest and best use of the device was to punish unacceptable behavior and poor performance in the classroom.

Since the days of Dr. Benjamin Spock, parents have been conditioned to believe that the act of administering corporal punishment to misbehaving children might in some way cause them lasting emotional damage.  That simply is not true.  It is nothing more than a “cop-out” for lazy or uncaring parents and teachers.

In what he referred to as “common sense,” Barack Obama told the nation recently that, “If there’s a step that we can take to save just one child from what happened in Newtown, we should take that step.”

The nine cases of SSRI-induced violence cited above produced 52 dead and 92 wounded.  In the absence of Ritalin, Prozac, Zoloft, and other behavior-modifying drugs, those 52 people would probably still be alive today.  If Mr. Obama is truly interested in “commonsense” solutions to school violence, he might want to take his attention off guns and background checks and focus on the psychotropic drugs that appear to be related to so much death and violence.

If we could prevent just one episode of massive violence by the judicious application of corporal punishment, where only one person experiences a bit of short-term discomfort, instead of the use of behavior-modification drugs, where a great many people suffered and died, “we should take that step.”  We could have saved the lives of many children.

Once again, Obama lacks the ability to analyze simple cause-and-effect situations.  Once again, he has it all backwards.















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