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School shooter took mood-altering drug
THE WASHINGTON TIMES ^ | March 25, 2005 | Joyce Howard Price

Posted on 03/24/2005 10:23:57 PM PST by neverdem


The Washington Times
www.washingtontimes.com

School shooter took mood-altering drug

By Joyce Howard Price
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published March 25, 2005

The teen who went on a deadly shooting rampage at a Minnesota high school Monday was on Prozac, adding to the list of youths involved in similar crimes who were taking antidepressants or other mood-altering medications.


    But medical experts say the role the drugs played in the school shootings is debatable.


    "When you look at the school shooters, some were on Luvox, Prozac, Ritalin, and Paxil. These are mood elevators, but they can push up the psyche and can cause agitation," said Robert Butterworth, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, who specializes in trauma.


    Dr. Robert Findling, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry for University Hospitals of Cleveland, said while some youths "may become more agitated or irritable" while on such drugs, their actions are the result of their illness, not the medication.


    "Association is not the same as causation," he said.


    Jeff Weise, 16, killed nine persons and himself in Red Lake, Minn., making it the second-deadliest school incident in the nation. A cultural coordinator at the school told The Washington Post that he was taking Prozac and had been previously hospitalized for suicidal tendencies.


    The deadliest school shooting occurred in Littleton, Colo. where Eric Harris, 18, who was on Luvox, and Dylan Klebold, 17, killed 13 persons and themselves at Columbine High School in 1999.


    Other school shooters who took prescription drugs include:


    •Kip Kinkel, an Oregon youth, who in 1998 when he was 15 years old, killed both his parents and then went to his school, where...


(Excerpt) Read more at washtimes.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: adversedrugreactions; bang; banglist; depression; disorders; jeffweise; prozac; redlakereservation; schoolshootings; ssri
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1 posted on 03/24/2005 10:24:00 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem
Dr. Robert Findling, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry for University Hospitals of Cleveland, said while some youths "may become more agitated or irritable" while on such drugs, their actions are the result of their illness, not the medication.

Finally! Someone calls it properly. The kids are on these drugs because they are already screwed up in one way or another, not the other way around.

2 posted on 03/24/2005 10:29:38 PM PST by NonValueAdded (It took the submedia to sink Kerry's campaign boat)
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To: neverdem

The witch doctors who prescribe these drugs to children should be held responsible for the results. This is totally outrageous that they can get away scot-free; it is beyond dispute that the effects of these drugs on the brain cannot be predicted with any degree of confidence. Such a prescription is little more than a wild guess as to what the results might be.


3 posted on 03/24/2005 10:31:44 PM PST by thoughtomator (Murder by Judges, 1 - 2 - 3, it's as easy to learn as your ABCBSCNNMSNBCs)
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To: neverdem
The deadliest school shooting occurred in Littleton, Colo. where Eric Harris, 18, who was on Luvox, and Dylan Klebold, 17, killed 13 persons and themselves at Columbine High School in 1999.

Other school shooters who took prescription drugs include: •Kip Kinkel, an Oregon youth, who in 1998 when he was 15 years old, killed both his parents and then went to his school, where...

and other kids - also, the guy that shot up the day-trading center was on prozac. suicidal tendencies and violence have been listed as possible side-effects - and these drugs have never been tested on children. Prozac once countered with saying that these side effects only affect about 1% - well, that isn't as little as it sounds - for that 1% represents over 700,000 a MONTH

There's mountains of evidence and warnings on this on the Internet - has been for years...these drugs in children are the smoking gun. But that doesn't fulfill the drive for gun control - or parental rights. "It's the parents!" "It's guns!" (the school personnel, who see these kids more hours than parents are not held even partially accountable...)

4 posted on 03/24/2005 10:32:54 PM PST by maine-iac7 ("...BUT YOU CAN'T FOOL ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME." Lincoln)
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To: neverdem

Dr. Mike Savage of the Savage Nation called it the first time he discussed the tragedy. He has great instincts - I agreed with him at the time, and it's nice to see it corroborated (days later)!


5 posted on 03/24/2005 10:33:22 PM PST by HitmanLV
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To: NonValueAdded

Maybe so, but it is grossly irresponsible to further compound the problem by the unpredictable effects of drugging them.

There are few people on earth who couldn't be diagnosed with some disorder or another, given sufficient observation.


6 posted on 03/24/2005 10:33:29 PM PST by thoughtomator (Murder by Judges, 1 - 2 - 3, it's as easy to learn as your ABCBSCNNMSNBCs)
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To: thoughtomator

They prescribe the drugs and then don't conduct the follow-up. Actually, many of them are just GPs and can't perform reliable follow-up evaluations.


7 posted on 03/24/2005 10:33:48 PM PST by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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To: NonValueAdded
The kids are on these drugs because they are already screwed up in one way or another, not the other way around.

then how come there aren't an equal number of kids that are 'screwed up" but not on drugs doing the shootings?

just curious

8 posted on 03/24/2005 10:34:56 PM PST by maine-iac7 ("...BUT YOU CAN'T FOOL ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME." Lincoln)
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To: neverdem
"A cultural coordinator at the school...

These must have been invented in the 90s.
9 posted on 03/24/2005 10:35:29 PM PST by Texas_Jarhead (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1366853/)
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To: durasell

In some cases, as the depression lifts and the feeling of being able to conquer the world sets in, the flawed go out to do just that...


10 posted on 03/24/2005 10:37:14 PM PST by KC Burke (Men of intemperate minds can never be free....)
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To: neverdem
Jeff Weise, 16, killed nine persons and himself in Red Lake, Minn., making it the second-deadliest school incident in the nation. A cultural coordinator at the school told The Washington Post that he was taking Prozac and had been previously hospitalized for suicidal tendencies.

I'm surprised they aren't going the full gambit and blaming it on "Prozac AND Smith and Wesson".

Anything but the person perpetrating such a horrific scenario.

11 posted on 03/24/2005 10:38:40 PM PST by EGPWS
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To: maine-iac7
then how come there aren't an equal number of kids that are 'screwed up" but not on drugs doing the shootings?

You wouldn't have an equal number because it is likely the little sociopaths would have already drawn attention to themselves and thus receive some form of medication. The subset of unmedicated shooters that is left appears to be the kids that are picked on until they have had enough and snap.

12 posted on 03/24/2005 10:38:58 PM PST by NonValueAdded (It took the submedia to sink Kerry's campaign boat)
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To: KC Burke

The brain's a complex piece of machinery. Unfortunately, most people (doctors included) treat their MP3 players with more care.


13 posted on 03/24/2005 10:40:02 PM PST by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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To: NonValueAdded

bump for later


14 posted on 03/24/2005 10:42:18 PM PST by Stormcrow ("It's not that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so much that isn't so.")
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To: NonValueAdded

Hmmmm...perhaps they shouldn't be wandering around freely?


15 posted on 03/24/2005 10:43:56 PM PST by TheDon (The Democratic Party is the party of TREASON)
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To: thoughtomator
Maybe so, but it is grossly irresponsible to further compound the problem by the unpredictable effects of drugging them.

But what choices are there? You can't institutionalize them; you are forced to mainstream them into the school system. Are we over prescribing medication? sure. Not providing the proper follow-up care? sure. But it would be truly grossly irresponsible to do nothing. I don't buy that the drug and not the underlying problem is the primary problem. Further, a lot of these drugs have had about a bazillion doses taken by kids so side effects should be well known by now.

16 posted on 03/24/2005 10:48:11 PM PST by NonValueAdded (It took the submedia to sink Kerry's campaign boat)
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To: neverdem

This is a youngster who had already been institutionalized once and removed from the mainstream for a while. Years ago children like this wouldn't be mainstreamed.


17 posted on 03/24/2005 10:54:38 PM PST by armymarinemom (My sons freed Iraqi and Afghanistan Honor Roll students.)
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To: neverdem

I say the shrinks that identify, diagnose and medicate these persons would do a GREATER service to ALL, if they would treat the patients by LOCKING THEM UP, thus sparing the general population the side effects of these mental "diseases."

For example, what happened to insane asylums?


18 posted on 03/24/2005 10:56:09 PM PST by truth_seeker
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To: truth_seeker

Drugs happened to insane asylums. Except for re-hab clinics and various other institutions, there are few nut houses left. This is not a bad thing. What is bad is lazy and unqualified doctors who don't perform follow-up or have the ability to judge a patient's reaction to different drugs.


19 posted on 03/24/2005 10:58:50 PM PST by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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To: NonValueAdded

There are plenty of choices: therapy; foster parentage; special education; mentoring programs; even religious guidance. Giving medication is just a crapshoot at best, and at worst it can be the trigger that pushes the kid from disturbed to outright homicidal. And, as you noted, the lack of followup observation can be downright dangerous. Surely you don't think it's just coincidental, the high incidence of prescribed drug use in these adolescent mass murder cases?


20 posted on 03/24/2005 11:00:25 PM PST by thoughtomator (Murder by Judges, 1 - 2 - 3, it's as easy to learn as your ABCBSCNNMSNBCs)
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To: NonValueAdded
If you take somebody who is unstable but hasn't already starting killing people and then you put them on a drug which you know you cannot predictably determine the reaction, you end up with school shootings a least a dozen times since 1992.

You have you just face the unbelievable array of evidence. What are the odds that every, single incident in this country in the past 25 years of a multiple homicide against strangers is committed by a person who is being treated by a psychiatrist with anti-depressant drugs? What are the odds? If you can think of a single mass killing not caused by somebody on Prozac or another clone, I'd be willing to consider some other option.

But there are millions and millions of people who are at least as messed up as this kind or Kip Kinkle or any of the others who aren't being drugged and who just happen to not be killing their fellow classmates, post office employees or co-workesr.

Face it, there isn't a single person in America who has any idea of how these drugs really work. All they know for sure if that it changes the chemical process in the brain by disrupting its current function. That is like slapping a TV to make the picture better. It make work every now and then but is it really 'treatment?' Remember that none of these kids are ever cured by these drugs. They just change the symptoms so they now are 'bi-polar' instead of manic depressive. Their lives still suck but now in a different way.

Go back to 1989 with Joseph Wesbecker in Kentucky. He was the first guy to take Prozac and shoot 21 employees at the plant he worked at. It has only gotten worse since then and this drug has only been prescribed more and more.

21 posted on 03/24/2005 11:01:29 PM PST by bpjam (Now accepting liberal apologies ....)
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To: bpjam

You are just focusing on the drug angle. There is more to it, the human mind is a sponge which soaks up the violence on TV, the violence in video games, it desensitizes the individual.


22 posted on 03/24/2005 11:22:27 PM PST by Stellar Dendrite (Not everyone here is your FRiend, watch out for the "opinion shapers" (aka troll with an agenda))
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To: bpjam

Here is an actual conversation I had with a highly respected neurologist, frustrated at an inability to diagnose many months of midday dizzyness/wooziness. Perhaps the attitude was that if I didn't have something that showed up on the MRI I was a waste of time, making it up, a headcase or somesuch...

"When is the last time you had sex"?

"I don't know, many years"

"You're depressed." (writes prescription for anti-depressant, dismisses me)

I was in disbelief at the diagnosis, and moreso at how it was made. Out of desperation about my condition I took the pill anyway, had a racing heart that scared me, stopped taking it and gave up on the doctors.


23 posted on 03/24/2005 11:28:08 PM PST by Mount Athos
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To: neverdem
"Association is not the same as causation," he said."

And how many people per year receive DUI charges who are NOT involved in an accident?

24 posted on 03/24/2005 11:29:24 PM PST by Khurkris (This tagline is available on CD ROM)
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To: durasell

When I meet a psychologist that isn't a ____ing fruitcake themselves, I'll be sure to let you know.


25 posted on 03/24/2005 11:35:45 PM PST by agitator (...And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark)
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To: thoughtomator; neverdem
The witch doctors who prescribe these drugs to children should be held responsible for the results.

But what about the teachers and school administrators who pressure the parents to medicate their children. Shouldn't they also share the blame?

26 posted on 03/24/2005 11:44:05 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Andrew Heyward's got to go!)
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To: neverdem

My girlfriend just started taking prozac because it helps with fibromialsia. Should I hide the guns?


27 posted on 03/24/2005 11:44:30 PM PST by Quick1
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To: thoughtomator
Such a prescription is little more than a wild guess as to what the results might be.

Declining to medicate a psychologically disturbed adolescent is also a dangerous gamble as to what the results might be. No one has ever asserted that these psychoactive drugs are guaranteed miracle producers. However, they help a significant percentage of people who take them, and there is no evidence that not taking any medication would yield better results overall, much less in the small subset of the severely troubled group who go on to commit suicide or violent acts on others.

If there is any actual danger associated with the use of these drugs, it is that they may cause excessive optimism on the part of those in charge of making decisions about seriously disturbed youth. This boy is an example of a case where in hindsight, he clearly should have been confined to a secure institution (where he had already spent some time due to suicidal tendencies). The fact that he was released was likely due to doctors' and authorities' optimism that the drugs would have sufficient positive effect on his mental condition, that he did not need to be kept confined.

28 posted on 03/24/2005 11:55:41 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: NonValueAdded
"Finally! Someone calls it properly. The kids are on these drugs because they are already screwed up in one way or another, not the other way around."

Why would they be treated with drugs unless there was a diagnosis? Let's leave ADD and ADHD out of this discussion as far as the question of those diagnoses being legitimate.

FDA Public Health Advisory October 15, 2004

Pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be closely observed for clinical worsening, as well as agitation, irritability, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases.

But with depressed patients you're usually worried about suicide. With these drugs you're also seeing bizarre homicidal rampages. Do you remember that kid in South Carolina who killed his grandparents that was recently found guilty? He also had a recent increase in the dose of Prozac or Zoloft like this kid in the Minnesota school killing and suicide.

29 posted on 03/24/2005 11:57:04 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

Another fine endorsement for Prozac


30 posted on 03/25/2005 12:01:15 AM PST by dennisw ("What is Man that thou art mindful of him")
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To: HitmanNY

See comment# 29. I only became aware of all the school shootings and this class of antidepressants about six months ago.


31 posted on 03/25/2005 12:02:59 AM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem

Well, no sh!t! I am SO surprised...../SARCASM


32 posted on 03/25/2005 12:04:48 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (Repeal the NFA of '34! the GCA of '68! and the '86 ban!)
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To: Quick1
Should I hide the guns?

See comment# 29. I would make sure all firearms are secured, but I don't know what you're going to do about cutlery.

33 posted on 03/25/2005 12:13:58 AM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: NonValueAdded
All those wifebeaters out there who wait to get drunk to whip the ol' lady would sure indicate that you are not entirely correct.

The effects of the drug (in this case, alcohol) reduce judgement and emotional control and the underlying tendencies become manifest in a violent act.

Although there are numerous other complicating factors which may be involved, and the natural tendency may be present, the drug acts as either catalyst or excuse.

Imho, being in a drugged state probably increases the lack of connection with reality, and renders acts which would not have been considered by someone otherwise acceptable in their minds, at least until they see the mayhem they have committed and realize the implications. Then reality slaps them in the face, and unable to deal with that, they commit suicide.

Not a shrink, just my $0.02

34 posted on 03/25/2005 12:16:39 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (Repeal the NFA of '34! the GCA of '68! and the '86 ban!)
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To: All

Was Jeff a Churchill ward?


35 posted on 03/25/2005 12:21:08 AM PST by poetknowit
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To: agitator

That's part of the problem. A psychologist helps you get over a bad relationship. A psychiatrist actually knows how the drugs work or are supposed to work.


36 posted on 03/25/2005 12:28:02 AM PST by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

There seems to be an almost religious belief that the effects of these drugs on the brain are known. They are not. We know extremely little about brain chemistry and how it relates to disorders. All the science of these drugs amounts to is the measurement of some symptoms to the exclusion of others and a guess that certain things may or may not work. Furthermore the fact that adolescents' brains are still developing adds additional complications to the matter, there is no telling what the long term effects of drugging them might be.

Somehow we managed to get through a lot of history without either drugging kids or experiencing regular mass murders at their hands. What is going on today is an attempt to mask the natural symptoms of abandonment and other increasing dysfunctional cultural practices. It should be no surprise that with kids' brains being chemistry experiments that such things are happening more frequently.


37 posted on 03/25/2005 12:35:03 AM PST by thoughtomator (Terri Schiavo, murdered by court order. Who's next? Maybe you!)
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To: durasell

No psychiatrist knows the complete effects of these drugs, and any that claims to is a liar.


38 posted on 03/25/2005 12:35:42 AM PST by thoughtomator (Terri Schiavo, murdered by court order. Who's next? Maybe you!)
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To: thoughtomator

No, they don't -- but they can monitor a patient and change dosages or switch prescriptions if there is something bad going on. They can see things that a GP can't see. The trouble, of course, is tha qualified people are more expensive.


39 posted on 03/25/2005 12:38:26 AM PST by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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To: durasell

And of course, that there's really very little monitoring of patients going on. They prescribe the drugs and forget about the patient.


40 posted on 03/25/2005 12:40:01 AM PST by thoughtomator (Terri Schiavo, murdered by court order. Who's next? Maybe you!)
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To: thoughtomator

Medicine is now a "you get what you pay for" deal. Discount care is a fistful of pills prescribed by a GP with a degree from some second rate school. First rate care is a carefully calibrated dose accompanied by regular visits to the shrink who is up on the latest protocols.

The drugs themselves are the less expensive part of the deal.


41 posted on 03/25/2005 12:44:48 AM PST by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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To: thoughtomator

Let's see here, there weren't many school shootings before we started giving out powerful drugs to kids and most of the shooters were taking powerful drugs. It' doesn't take an Einstein to figure this one out.


42 posted on 03/25/2005 12:52:03 AM PST by John Lenin (The closer you get to death the more respect you have for life)
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To: John Lenin

There weren't many school shootings prior to mothers dosing the unborn in their womb with drugs, either. Neither were there many school shootings prior to weird kid diets. And, let me also mention the lack of school shootings prior to wide availability of drugs among the pre-teen set.


43 posted on 03/25/2005 12:55:43 AM PST by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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To: durasell

In the 70's we used to laugh about saying "high school" because there were so many drugs floating around at school. Guess what, we had no school shooters and the most you could get from the school nurse was an asprin.


44 posted on 03/25/2005 1:03:06 AM PST by John Lenin (The closer you get to death the more respect you have for life)
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To: John Lenin

You have kids smoking pot at 9 and 10 years now. And it's not the pot that existed 20 or 30 years ago. This is hybrid stuff. You also have teens taking drugs that contain weird psychotropic cocktails.

What we now have is a situation where kids are getting dosed with odd concoctions from before they are born...does this make for school shooters? Maybe. And when you say that you didn't have kids shooting up the school, I'll bet your school -- like the vast majority -- had a couple kids who showed sociopathic behavior, such as killing small animals or random acts of viciousness.


45 posted on 03/25/2005 1:09:28 AM PST by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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To: thoughtomator
Nobody has ever claimed that the biochemical mechanisms behind these drugs (or any drugs) are fully understood. Most decisions taken in life -- not just medical ones -- are necessarily taken without absolute understanding of everything involved. But plenty of empirical evidence shows that these drugs are often helpful, and there is really no evidence at all of a causative effect when bad results ensue -- the people taking them were messed up to begin with, and many stay that way in spite of the drugs, and proceed to do things that they were inclined to do in the first place.

What is going on today is an attempt to mask the natural symptoms of abandonment and other increasing dysfunctional cultural practices.

That is quite true, but given these underlying social problems which obviously aren't going to go away overnight, it's not clear that trying to alleviate symptoms with drugs in the meantime, isn't the best approach.

This boy's case would have defied any easy answers, even in a stable close-knit community with a surplus of human and financial resources. From another article: "Weise's father, Daryl Lussier Jr., committed suicide in 1997. Two years later, a serious automobile accident killed a cousin and left Weise's mother partly paralyzed and brain damaged. Then, about two years ago, "his other grandfather on his mom's side passed away." It's not as if back in the "good old days", kids who'd experienced repeated psychological trauma like this, never flipped out and became violent. However, they were much more likely to be institutionalized or incarcerated for a long time, or even permanently, after displaying the kind of warning signs that this boy displayed.

46 posted on 03/25/2005 1:13:56 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: durasell
Medicine is now a "you get what you pay for" deal.

When was it not?

47 posted on 03/25/2005 1:15:18 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: durasell

Ritalin is a derivitive of cocaine and prozak is a mind altering drug. It's almost like they want this kind of stuff to happen. It's a braindead policy to put kids on powerful drugs to perk them up or keep them alert. If anything they should be given downers to take the spunk out of them. 2+2, before drugs were handed out, no shootings, after drugs are handed out, one every few years. We are totally destroying society, it's amazing how differnet things are from 30 years ago.


48 posted on 03/25/2005 1:17:04 AM PST by John Lenin (The closer you get to death the more respect you have for life)
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To: GovernmentShrinker

Technology changed a lot of things...So did increased costs. So did different types of treatment options along with the types of drugs and treatments excluded under some insurance plans.

Fifty years ago a doctor's choices were limited. The CEO of a Fortune 500 company and the local dog catcher received about the same kind of care. Now, with boutique medical practices and the growth of HMOs, there is a wide division between the type of care available to the dog catcher and the CEO.

Mostly, this doesn't matter -- unless you want a house call or a suite for your hospital stay. But for serious illness, it's a matter of life or death.


49 posted on 03/25/2005 1:20:42 AM PST by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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To: John Lenin

They're not sure exactly how ritalin works, but somehow it allows some kids to focus more clearly on the task at hand. There are millions of kids on ritalin today -- and at younger and younger ages. Nobody really knows the long term effects. Same with prozac.


50 posted on 03/25/2005 1:27:49 AM PST by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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