Judy Tsafrir, M.D.
Holistic Adult and Child Psychiatry in Newton, MA
December 15, 2012 by Dr. Tsafrir 2 Comments
December 16, 2012 at 7:34 am
How interesting for a phsychiatrist to blame it on guns. Please note the following:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – March 8, 2012: 30-year-old John Shick, former patient of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), and former student at nearby Duquesne University, shot and killed one and injured six inside UPMC’s Western Psychiatrist Institute. Nine antidepressants were identified among the drugs police found in Shick’s apartment.
Seal Beach, California – October 12, 2011: Scott DeKraai, a harbor tugboat worker, entered the hair salon where his ex-wife worked, killing her and seven others and injuring one. At DeKraai’s initial hearing, his attorney indicated to the judge that DeKraai was prescribed the antidepressant Trazodone and the “mood stabilizer” Topamax.
Lakeland, Florida – May 3, 2009: Toxicology test results showed that 34-year-old Troy Bellar was on Tegretol, a drug prescribed for “bi-polar disorder,” when he shot and killed his wife and two of his three children in their home, before killing himself.
Granberry Crossing, Alabama – April 26, 2009: 53-year-old Fred B. Davis shot and killed a police officer and wounded a sheriff’s deputy who had responded to a call that Davis had threatened a neighbor with a gun. Prescription drug bottles found at the scene showed that Davis was prescribed the antipsychotic drug Geodon.
Middletown, Maryland – April 17, 2009: Christopher Wood shot and killed his wife, three small children and himself inside their home. Toxicology test results verified that Wood had been taking the antidepressants Cymbalta and Paxil, and the anti-anxiety drugs BuSpar and Xanax.
Concord, California – January 11, 2009: Jason Montes, 33, shot and killed his wife, and then himself, at home. Montes had earlier begun taking the antidepressant, Prozac, for depression related to his impending divorce and a recent bankruptcy.
Little Rock, Arkansas – August 14, 2008: Less than 48 hours after Timothy Johnson shot and killed Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney, the Little Rock Police declared they were investigating shooter’s use of the antidepressant Effexor, which was found in Johnson’s house. A Little Rock city police report later stated that Johnson “was on an anti-depressant and that the drug may have played a part in his ‘irrational and violent behavior.’”
Dekalb, Illinois – February 14, 2008: 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax, and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amount of Xanax in his system.
North Meridian, Florida – July 8, 2003: Doug Williams killed five and wounded nine of his fellow Lockheed Martin employees, before killing himself. Williams was reported as having been taking two antidepressants, Zoloft and Celexa, for depression after a failed marriage.
Wakefield, Massachusetts – December 26, 2000: 42-year-old computer technician Michael McDermott had been taking three antidepressants when he hunted down employees in the accounting and human resources offices where he worked, killing seven.
At least thirteen of the recent school shootings (including Columbine, Colorado ) were committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs. There have been 109 wounded and 58 killed.
Huntsville, Alabama – February 5, 2012: 15-year-old Hammad Memon shot and killed another Discover Middle School student, Todd Brown. Memon had a history for being treated for ADHD and depression. He was taking the antidepressant Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.”
Kauhajoki, Finland – September 23, 2008: 22-year-old culinary student Matti Saari shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.
Dekalb, Illinois – February 14, 2008: 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amount of Xanax in his system.
Jokela, Finland – November 7, 2007: 18-year-old Finnish gunman, Pekka-Eric Auvinen, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people, and wounded a dozen more, at Jokela High School in southern Finland, then committed suicide.
Cleveland, Ohio – October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon had been placed on the antidepressant Trazodone.
Red Lake, Minnesota – March 2005: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, on Prozac, shot and killed his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, where he shot dead 7 students and a teacher, and wounded 7 more before killing himself.
Greenbush, New York – February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano strolled into his high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher, Michael Bennett, was hit in the leg. Romano had been taking “medication for depression”.
El Cajon, California – March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, on the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor, opened fire on his classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School.
Williamsport, Pennsylvania – March 7, 2001: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was taking the antidepressant Prozac when she shot at fellow students, wounding one.
Conyers, Georgia – May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with antidepressants when he opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates.
Columbine, Colorado – April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris and his accomplice, Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students and a teacher, and wounded 26 others, before killing themselves. Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox. Klebold’s medical records remain sealed.
Notus, Idaho – April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin.
Springfield, Oregon – May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to school, where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 25. Kinkel had been taking the antidepressant Prozac.
December 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm
Thanks for taking the time to write. The problems are so much greater than simply psychotropic medications.
Here is an important piece about the lack of availability of psychiatric care:
TREATMENT FOR MENTAL ILLNESS SHOULD BE AS EASY TO GET AS GUNS
(Dec. 14, 2012) ARLINGTON, VA – Friday’s mass shooting that left nearly 30 dead in Connecticut – including 20 young children – is one of nearly a dozen 2012 rampages involving assailants with suspected mental health issues. The year appears on track to end with more victims of rampage killings than any year before.
“Our mental health system has completely failed individuals with severe mental illness and their communities,” said Doris A. Fuller, executive director. “We have emptied the nation’s hospitals, gutted state and local mental health programs, and turned involuntary treatment into a debate point instead of using it as a viable option to prevent tragedy involving those too ill to help themselves.”
Federal law enforcement officials say Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother, Nancy, who worked at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 20 children and six adults. He was dead at the scene.
While the cause of Lanza’s death and other details are still not known, the theme of untreated mental illness that so often characterizes rampage killings already has emerged. Neighbors have described Adam as “troubled for sure for a long time” and “displaying characteristics associated with mental illness.” A relative told ABC News he was “obviously not well.”
“Mental illness is a real disease that can be treated, and those who receive timely and effective treatment are no more dangerous than the general public,” said Fuller. “Tragedies like Sandy Hook are often evidence of five decades of failed mental-health policies. Mental illness treatment laws and policies need to address this failure so people get help before they become dangerous and so the public is protected.”
Connecticut has an estimated 140,000 people with severe mental illness, of whom approximately one-half are untreated at any given time. It is one of only six states without a law authorizing court-ordered outpatient treatment for qualifying individuals with severe mental illness. Between 2005 and 2010, the state eliminated 17% of its public hospital beds, leaving it with only 43% of the number deemed minimally adequate to meet public needs, and has twice as many people with severe mental illness behind bars as in psychiatric hospital beds.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Subscribe to my Blog
Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
Judy Tsafrir, M.D.
E-mail: [email protected]
120 Sumner Street
Newton Centre, MA 02459
Monday to Friday: 6 AM to 6 PM