CCHR: Psychiatric Drugs – The Unseen Hand Behind Violence in America

Share this news:

Close to 17% of Americans are taking psychiatric drugs with side effects such as acting aggressively, being angry, or violent and acting on dangerous impulses.

According to the United Health Foundation there were over 1.2 million acts of violent crime in 2018 including 16,214 homicides, or five homicides per 100,000 people. Additionally, “homicide was the third-leading cause of death among young adults ages 15-34 and the fifth-leading cause of death among children ages 10-14.” The same report details the financial burden violent crimes places on hospitals and health care systems. “Costs — including violence preparedness, prevention, as well as security and safety within health care facilities — were estimated at $2.7 billion in 2016. The overall estimated economic burden of violent crime was $65 billion in lost productivity and $6 billion in direct medical costs in 2007. Researchers estimate the following per-offense total costs: $9 million per homicide, $241,000 per rape/sexual assault, $107,000 per aggravated assault and $42,000 per robbery (2008 dollars).” [1]

With close to 17% of the American population prescribed some type of psychiatric drug with their accompanying violent side effects, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) believes that there is more behind this violence than bigotry and prejudice. [2]

Psychotropic Drugs

A psychotropic describes any drug that affects behavior, mood, thoughts, or perception.

Nearly one in six Americans are taking psychotropic drugs and the percentage of women taking these drugs are even higher at 23%. [2] And women are 2½ times more likely to be taking an antidepressant than men. [3] There is no better way to collapse a society than under the guise of help. Help simply means to give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; contribute strength or means to; render assistance to; cooperate effectively with; aid; assist and furthermore save or rescue.

But how is it help when these mind-altering drugs do anything but help. Psychotropic drugs are hardly helping when their side-effects include worsening depression, new or worsening anxiety, agitation or restlessness, panic attacks, new or worsening irritability, acting aggressively, being angry, or violent, acting on dangerous impulses, an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania), and other unusual changes in behavior or mood. [4]

“Rather than helping the individual, psychotropics alienate, and push them into more and more potentially dangerous behavior,” states the president of the Florida chapter of CCHR, Diane Stein.

This situation was so egregious that in 2004, the Federal Drug Administration issued a “black-box” label warning indicating that the use of certain antidepressants to treat major depressive disorder in adolescents may increase the risk of suicide, homicide, and other acts of violence.[5]

A study entitled Prescription Drugs Associated with Reports of Violence Towards Others, by Thomas J. Moore (Institute for Safe Medication Practices), Joseph Glenmullen (Department of Psychiatry-Cambridge Hospital, Harvard Medical School), and Curt D. Furberg (Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine) declared “Violence towards others is a seldom-studied adverse drug event and an atypical one because the risk of injury extends to others… In the 69-month reporting period we identified 484 evaluable drugs that accounted for 780,169 serious adverse event reports of all kinds. This total included 1,937 (0.25%) cases meeting the violence criteria. The violence cases included 387 reports of homicide, 404 physical assaults, 27 cases indicating physical abuse, 896 homicidal ideation reports, and 223 cases described as violence-related symptoms.” [6]

Numerous drugs contain FDA-required warnings to doctors or patients regarding the risk of aggressive or violent acts. Among the drugs with warnings about aggressive behaviors are varenicline ((trade name Chantix and Champix is a prescription medication used to treat nicotine addiction), zolpidem, montelukast, and all antidepressant drugs. [6] Varenicline has come under further study with the result that “…Varenicline is associated with thoughts and acts of aggression/violence. We recommend that physicians and pharmacists ensure that all patients are informed of possible psychiatric symptoms of varenicline, including violent and aggressive thoughts.” [7]

ADHD Medication and Violence

Psychotropics prescribed for individuals, including children, labeled with ADHD have also come under scrutiny. As far back as 2006, a psychiatric review team from the Federal Drug Administration called for stronger warnings on Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin and Strattera packaging regarding cases of psychosis and mania from taking these drugs. “Patients and physicians should be aware that psychosis or mania arising during drug treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder may represent adverse drug reactions.” [8]

As a watchdog organization that exposes abuse in the mental health industry, CCHR strongly feels that the surge in psychiatric drug prescriptions, the associated side effects and the resulting violent and aggressive behavior should be investigated.

Know Your Rights

“Individuals, parents and families have a right to know what the possible side-effects of these dangerous drugs are. There are many associated risks with taking them and no one should be forced or coerced into taking them,” said Diane Stein. “The FDA needs to step up and conduct further investigations into the relationship between psychiatric drugs and violence.”

CCHR encourages anyone who is being advised that they or a loved one should take psychiatric drugs to demand a “differential diagnosis” where the doctor obtains a thorough history and conducts a complete physical exam, ruling out all the possible problems that might cause a set of symptoms and explains any possible side effects of the recommended treatments. For more information or to report psychiatric abuse please visit or call 1-800-782-2878.

About CCHR: Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHR’s mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, first brought psychiatric imprisonment to wide public notice: “Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the ‘free world’ tortured, castrated, killed. All in the name of ‘mental health,’” he wrote in March 1969.

Sources: All references can be found here

Release ID: 88993323