The Link Between Psychiatric Drugs and Increased Violence in Our Communities

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For more than 20 years, CCHR has been investigating the correlation between violence and psychiatric drugs while urging lawmakers to look into the connection.

The tragic shooting this week in Denver, Colorado is the latest spree of violence that has rocked our country. If there is anything good that could possibly come from such a tragedy, perhaps it will be that those seeking to understand what may be behind acts of violence in our communities could be connected to the dangerous side effects associated with psychotropics. [1,2]

Studies show that an estimated 40 million Americans take psychiatric drugs, antidepressants being the most common, and that from 1996 to 2013 the number of people filling a benzodiazepine prescription increased by 67 percent. Unlike the well-publicized opioid crisis, which has seen a 20%, decrease in prescribing every year since 2012, the prescription of benzodiazepines continues to rise. It is also known that of the nearly 410 psychiatric drug warnings, 27 warn of violence, aggression, hostility, mania, psychosis or homicidal ideation and 49 warn of self-harm or suicide/suicidal ideation. [3,4,5]

According to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) an investigation into the link between psychiatric drugs and violence is long overdue when you take into consideration that between 2004 and 2012 the FDA received a staggering 14,773 reports of psychiatric drugs causing violent side effects. [6]

Over 34 antidepressants alone come with a black box warning, with additional classes of psychiatric drugs labeled with over 409 warnings. A black box warning is the strictest label possible that the FDA can put on a drug, or medical device, to alert people that serious safety risks, including life-threatening dangers, are associated with the drug. Despite these alarming public alerts, from 1999 to 2013, psychiatric drug medication prescriptions have increased by 117%, resulting in a 240% increase in death rates. [7,8,9,10]

For more than 20 years, CCHR has been investigating and exposing the correlation between mass murder, violent crime, suicide and psychiatric drugs. During this time CCHR has reported that those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs have committed at least 36 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence. CCHR is urging lawmakers to look into the connection between psychiatric drugs and the deadly events that have transpired across the country. For more information, please read Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence & Suicide. [11]

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.


[1] At least 4 dead, 3 injured in Denver-area shooting spree, authorities say; suspect also killed

[2] CCHR’s “Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence & Suicide” Report—a Wakeup Call on Mass Violence

[3] An estimated 40 million Americans take psychiatric drugs

[4] Benzodiazepines: our other prescription drug epidemic

[5] Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence & Suicide

[6] Psychiatric Drugs and Violence: A Review of FDA Data Finds A Link





[11] Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence & Suicide

Release ID: 89058249