Skip to comments.Government's Suicide Initiative Ignores Suicide-Linked Drugs
Posted on 09/13/2012 7:55:30 AM PDT by To-Whose-Benefit?
It would be laughable if it weren't tragic. This week Surgeon General Regina Benjamin introduced a plan to stem the nation's growing suicide rate without addressing the nation's growing use of suicide-linked drugs.
Antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil, antipsychotics like Seroquel and Zyprexa and anti-seizure drugs like Lyrica and Neurontin are all linked to suicide in published reports and in FDA warnings. (Almost 5,000 newspaper reports link antidepressants to suicide, homicide and bizarre behavior.) Asthma drugs like Singulair, antismoking drugs like Chantix, acne drugs like Accutane and the still-in-use malaria drug Lariam, are also linked to suicide.
The US's suicide rate has risen to 38,000 a year, says USA Today, after falling in the 1990s. The rise correlates with the debut of direct-to-consumer drug advertising in the late 1990s, the approval of many drugs with suicide links and more people taking psychoactive drugs for lifestyle problems.
Dr. Benjamin announced that federal grants totaling $55 million will save 20,000 lives in the next five years through suicide hotlines, more mental health workers in the VA, better depression screening and Facebook tracking of suicidal messages. Nowhere, including in the suicide-racked military, does she suggest looking at the overmedication which has gone hand-in-hand with the deaths. A month earlier, it was announced the Army has awarded $3 million to a scientist to develop a thyroid related nasal spray to combat suicidal thoughts, also ignoring overmedication.
Suicide increased more than 150 percent in the Army and more than 50 percent in the Marine Corps between 2001 to 2009, reported Military Times displaying graphs of the suicide and prescription drug increases, in a print edition, that are similar enough to be laid over one another. One in six service members was on a psychoactive drug in 2010 and "many troops are taking more than one kind, mixing several pills in daily 'cocktails' for example, an antidepressant with an antipsychotic to prevent nightmares, plus an anti-epileptic to reduce headaches--despite minimal clinical research testing such combinations," said Military Times.
Eighty-nine percent of troops with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are now given psychoactive drugs and between 2005 and 2009, half of all TRICARE (the military health plan) prescriptions for people between 18 and 34 were for antidepressants. During the same time period, epilepsy drugs like Topamax and Neurontin, increasingly given off-label for mental conditions, increased 56 percent, reports Military Times. In 2008, 578,000 epilepsy pills and 89,000 antipsychotics were prescribed to deploying troops. What?
Nor is the suicide rate going down as troops withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan. In July, 2012, there were 38 Army suicides says USA Today and in July of 2011, there were 32. According to the Army's in-depth Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention Report in 2010, 36 percent of the troops who killed themselves had never even deployed.
Why are such drugs, which affect reaction time, motor skills, coordination, attention and memory even allowed during active duty? And why are they prescribed to soldiers who are at the exact age--young adults--that is most at risk for suicide according to warning labels?
Nor are troops the only cash cows for Big Pharma. One in four women are on psychoactive drugs according to published reports and millions of children are on psychoactive drugs, especially poor and those with disability status.
When the FDA first put suicide warnings on antidepressants for young people in the mid 2000s, Big Pharma linked psychiatrists like Charles Nemeroff argued that suicides would go up if doctors and patients were scared off by the black box warnings. Though the argument was absurd--is the nation fat because fen-phen was withdrawn?--the theory got play in the mainstream and medical press until it was proven wrong.
Yet as the Surgeon General and HHS proved this week, the government is still in denial about suicide and the elephant in the room called Big Pharma. Instead of spending millions on counselors, crisis lines, and "awareness campaigns" why doesn't it look at the millions it's spending on suicide-linked drugs?
More information about overmedication of troops and suicide-linked drugs is found in Martha Rosenberg's recently published Born With a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health.
Here’s the Party Approved version from HHS on yet another $56 Million they blew to Cause misery and death.
Fix the economy and that will lower suicides too.
True enough, but there’s a crucial difference.
Normal doses of Aspirin, Tylenol and Motrin don’t cause people to hang themselves or go on shooting rampages.
I was given Paxil in the mid-90s and it is effective for certain types of chemical depression.
Anti-depressants are given, primarily to people who are depressed. People who are depressed are more prone to commit suicide than people who are not depressed. Therefore, people who are given anti-depressants are still prone to commit suicide because depression is complex and can be caused due to more than one factor and any drug is only designed to attack one factor.
I suppose in our litigious society, it’s not surprising that lawyers would look to pharma companies to blame for patients on anti-depressants who commit suicide but my point is that the patients were already predisposed to be suicidal. The drug may make them better or may make them worse but they were already suicidal to begin with.
The wife of Phil Hartman is a perfect example. She murdered Phil in his sleep and then killed herself. She was on anti-depressants but she also drank and took drugs but the lawyers want to blame the anti-depressants. Seems to me you could have blamed all sorts of things for this but the lawyers just pick the deep pockets.
4800 Independent News Stories of people behaving as if they’re remaking an Exorcist movie and it’s the Lawyers faults.
Look through the top 20 AERs on these 23 crap drugs.
Only Neurontin features Gun Shot wound in its Top 20, and That’s because the Military is pushing Neurontin and pushing it hard.
190 cases of Gun Shot wound, in the Military where guns are everywhere, but it’s the Lawyers.
All I’m saying is that when you give drugs to people who have suicidal tendencies and some of them commit suicide, you shouldn’t rush to blame the drug companies. It’s like blaming swimsuit manufacturers for the higher rate of people drowning while wearing swimsuits.
These “crap” drugs do help some people. Are they overprescribed? Yes. Are some people misdiagnosed? Yes. But people want to go after the drug companies because that’s where the lawyers smell the deep pockets.
You can’t sue cocaine pushers for all the misdeeds done by people on cocaine but if they are taking cocaine and anti-depressants, you can sure sue the people who make the anti-depressants.
I think I understand your position. So don’t take it personally. These drugs are good for Nothing. They don’t Cure anything. They can’t legally Claim to Cure Anything.
Antidepressants Do More Harm Than Good.
The whole class of psychiatric Drugs is garbage. They Kill people.
Here’s Paxil in Less than 3 years, US only
Paroxetine Reported By
Adverse Reaction Cases MD CN OT PH LW NR
Suicidal Ideations 1,837 1,281 1,176 189 50 401 160
Attempted Suicides 786 592 522 121 89 151 48
Completed Suicides 921 616 474 78 34 631 51
Deaths Not From Suicide 238 141 131 21 19 4 33
Homicidal Ideations 136 53 144 28 11 22 4
Homicides 78 23 66 3 0 17 11
Hypomania/Mania 297 189 210 29 15 9 17
Heart Disease 1,149 432 1,436 1,236 595 381 48
Movement Disorders 2,273 1,207 1,416 237 129 468 163
Birth Defects 2,154 446 2,895 1,378 631 407 57
Premature Births 121 74 103 158 71 14 11
Prenatal/Neonatal Deaths 153 65 105 17 17 14 9
Those are only the AERS that Got reported.
“ The median under-reporting rate across the 37 studies was 94% (interquartile range 82-98%).”
921 Completed Suicides in not an acceptable trade for I don’t care How many people experienced a short term, Placebo like boost from it. The Serotonin Boost only lasts for 2 months tops, and then tens of thousands of people suffer the emotional and perceptual distortions of the damned from it.
I know 1 guy who tried to quit, and it took him 22 Months of misery and electric like Brain Shocks to get rid of it.
And those are the lightweights. Try the Antipsychotics. Lobotomy in a pill.
So, like I said, it’s not personal, but these drugs are good for absolutely nothing. They’re filth.
And you say this despite my personal first-hand experience that I was helped by Paxil? I knew what it did to me. It reduced my level of emotional excitement. It may me not care enough to kill myself that day.
It wasn’t the only thing I was doing for treatment (excercise, discussion therapy, prayer) but it was the only drug I was taking at the time that could have effected my emotions and perceptions.
And it wasn’t difficult to quit. When my doctor started putting me on high blood pressure medicine, I stopped Paxil without doctor approval because I was worried about drug interaction. I took Paxil every other day for a week or so and then just quit cold turkey. No side effects that I could notice.
So you’re welcome to believe all the propaganda you have at the ready to defame this medicine. All I have is my personal experience that a) I was helped by it, b) I stopped it on my own and c) it probably helps at least some other people with a particular type of brain chemistry depression issue or it never would have been approved by the FDA.
I willing to accept that it doesn’t help everybody, especially because people were misdiagnosed. Depression is a tricky thing to treat and it is still not well-understood.
I’m sorry for the people who weren’t helped by it but I don’t accept that medicine is flawless. Science tries to help but it can’t help everyone every time. That’s life.
Thousands of other people’s suicides are not an acceptable trade for your “feelings.”
And why do you keep referring to “brain chemicals?” when the Serotonin hypothesis became untenable at least 20 years ago?