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Feb-19-2014 13:16printcomments

Duty to Warn - It's the Drugs, Stupid!

People, especially the parents of teens who are taking these drugs, call them the “I don’t give a damn” drugs for a good reason.

drugs

(DULUTH, MN) - A year ago an email correspondent of mine from out east, Charles Gant (M.D., Ph.D. and a member of the American Academy of Psychiatrists in Addiction and Alcoholism) forwarded an article to me that he co-wrote with Greg Lewis, PhD. It had been published on the American Thinker website (see link below) and was titled It’s the Drug, Stupid!

A decade ago, in 2002, Gant and Lewis had co-authored a ground-breaking book about the curative brain nutritional approach to addiction and other mental health issues. The book was titled, End Your Addiction Now: The Proven Nutritional Supplement Program That Can Set You Free (buy it at: http://www.amazon.com/End-Your-Addiction-Now-Nutritional/dp/0446527238).

Not only do I agree with the concept and content of that book, I also agree with the content of the American Thinker article that is printed below. I could not have presented the issue any better in the thousand words they used; therefore I reprint it in its entirety below.

Following the Gant and Lewis article, I attach an old Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter (PPEN) of mine from the same era as their book (during the decade of my practice, I published over 400 issues of the PPEN, although they were never archived on any website. I mostly emailed them to patients, their loved ones, to colleagues and to others who were interested in alternative, non-drug, holistic mental health care.

PPEN # 73 consisted of excerpts from the October 1990 Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology that informed my holistic mental health care practice and warned be about the dangerous brain-altering effects of the new (so-called “SSRI” = selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant drugs like Prozac, which was the first of a series of “me-too” amphetamine molecule-based drugs (including Luvox, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, Wellbutrin) that were, from 1989 forward, about to be aggressively marketed for sadness and depression.

Note that the psychopharmacology journal article was authored in 1990, just one year after Eli Lilly’s Prozac was granted marketing approval by the FDA. (See Talking Back to Prozac, by psychiatrist Peter Breggin, Let Them Eat Prozac, by psychiatrist David Healey, MD and Prozac Backlash, by Harvard psychiatrist Joseph Glenmullen, for much more on the sobering history of neurotoxic SSRI drugs like Prozac.)

Sadly, journals like the peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology was, and still is, widely ignored by clinicians in the mainstream, increasingly Big Pharma-controlled medical and psychiatric industries and thus its important content is also being missed by practicing and prescribing physicians. The same is true of the many basic neuroscience journals where BigPharma’s non-clinical scientists publish some of their findings in their efforts to synthesize the next block-buster psychiatric drug

.

 

First read the Gant and Lewis essay:

 

It’s the Drugs, Stupid!

 

(An essay by Charles Gant, MD, PhD and Greg Lewis, PhD}

 

Original essay posted at:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/01/its_the_drugs_stupid.html#ixzz2JNfyL9Up

Psychotropic drugs have been used for the purpose of suppressing fear and enabling murderous rage for a long time. In Dispatches, his extraordinary book about the war in Vietnam, Michael Herr passes this along about the use of drugs by American soldiers:

“Going out at night the medics gave you pills. . . . I knew one 4th Division Lurp [Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrol] who took his pills by the fistful, downs from the left pocket of his tiger suit and ups from the right, one to cut the trail, the other to send him down it. He told me that they cooled things out just right for him, that he could see that old jungle at night like he was looking at it through a starlight scope.”

Today, many of our children are prescribed the same psychotropic drugs as were given to our soldiers, in the children's case for the treatment of such conditions as ADHD and for psychiatric disorders. In fact, the practice of psychiatry has become in many cases nothing more than a license to distribute powerfully addictive, brain-damaging drugs to our children.

And where illegal drugs such as cocaine and "speed" are often cited for their negative effects, in fact, among the drugs that are often prescribed for ADHD, Ritalin is chemically similar to cocaine and Adderall is a mix of four powerful amphetamines. We're addicting more than ten percent of our children -- overwhelmingly boys -- to these drugs because they have difficulty sitting still and paying attention in class.

And those who aren't prescribed the drugs can purchase them without prescriptions through online drug outlets or from friends. In fact, among many children, using psychotropic drugs has become de rigeur. When their friends are prescribed these drugs, peer pressure dictates that they themselves also be able to take the drugs, and the black market for such substances among young people is very large.

 

One thing must be made very clear: psychotropic drugs of any kind, whether or not they're stimulants, damage our brains, especially our frontal lobes. The frontal lobes are the area of the brain that enables us to make rational decisions, to avoid taking unnecessary risks, and to experience empathy for others. Recently, the term "frontal lobe syndrome" has been brought into use to describe the effects of prolonged drug use that damages this portion of the brain  and increases our propensity to act violently and with depraved indifference.

Among the consequences of physicians' irresponsible prescribing practices is this: in every single gun massacre over the past several decades for which we have reliable information about drug use, the shooter has been taking psychotropic drugs prescribed by a physician. It may be the case that if those shooters who have committed such recent atrocities as that in Newtown had not had access to psychotropic drugs, the shootings would not have occurred. That they are occurring more frequently and are escalating in brutality -- if that is possible -- is due to the fact, not that we are legal gun owners, but that we are legal drug users.

As far as we are aware, every study of the effects of the long-term use of psychotropic drugs, whether illicit, "recreational" -- e.g., alcohol -- or prescribed, indicates that such use causes brain injury, especially to the frontal lobes, by far the least rugged area of our brains. Over time, the consequent frontal lobe syndrome renders a person increasingly incapable of inhibiting impulsive and violent behaviors while at the same time generally sparing the intellect so that such drug users can systematically plan their assaults but are unable to refrain from carrying them out.

Young people are far more vulnerable  than adults to the negative side effects of all drugs, and criminal activity by young people under the influence of drugs becomes an iatrogenic outcome in an anything-goes society that does its part by placing few restraints on its younger members' behavior and compounds that by looking the other way as they damage their brains with prescription chemicals that magnify the youngsters' capability to exhibit violent behavior.

How can we talk about protecting our kids from gun violence if we don't at the same time protect their brains from iatrogenic drug violence, the real cause of such behavior? In fact, children who refrain from the use of drugs and alcohol -- and this includes prescription psychotropic drugs as well as illegal drugs -- are much less likely to commit violent crimes as adults than children who have used such substances.

The area in which we need much more restrictive laws is not gun control; rather, we need tighter and more restrictive controls against allowing psychotropic chemicals to get into the brains of children 21 years of age and younger, during which time their brains are developing and very vulnerable. The war against drugs needs to begin with eliminating prescription psychotropic drug availability to and use by our children.

Gun control laws, or the lack thereof, had nothing to do with the Newtown massacre. Adam Lanza was denied a permit to purchase a gun, but that didn't prevent him from committing a gun crime. In the meantime, and for a long time to come, there are going to be great quantities of "legal" psychotropic drugs out there, not least because "psych meds" are still going to be prescribed to children as if they were candy.

Until we have the will to demand an end to prescribing psychotropic substances for our children, we must call for the hiring of armed security guards at schools, as we already do in many inner-city locations, and for the upgrading of schools with bullet-proof access portals. These are things we must do based on the truth that it's the drugs, and not the guns, that are the real danger.

End Your Addiction Now presents Dr Gant's groundbreaking program for reducing substance abuse and eliminating addiction naturally.


Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter # 73

Apathy and Indifference in Patients on Luvox and Prozac

(Excerpts from the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, vol 10/No. 5, p. 343 Oct 1990)

 

“Apathy and Indifference in Patients on Fluvoxamine (Luvox) and Fluoxetine (Prozac)”

Authors: Hoehn-Saric, Rudolf, MD; Lipsey, John R. MD; McLeod, Daniel R. PhD.

 

Abstract

Apathy, indifference, loss of initiative, or disinhibition (without concurrent sedation or hypomania) were observed among five patients receiving the serotonin reuptake blocking antidepressants fluvoxamine or fluoxetine. These effects appeared to be dose related. They disappeared rapidly when the dose of fluvoxamine, which has a short half-life, was reduced. Fluoxetine, which has a long half-life, was more difficult to titrate. A possible relationship between mild drug-induced indifference and the therapeutic effects of serotonin reuptake blocking medication in anxiety disorders is discussed.

Apathy, indifference, loss of initiative, or disinhibition (without concurrent sedation or hypomania) were observed among five patients receiving “selective” serotonin reuptake inhibitors drugs (SSRIs), fluoxetine (Prozac) and fluvoxamine (Luvox – currently removed from the US market because Columbine school shooter Eric Harris was taking the medication at the time of the massacre).

 

Tiredness and loss of initiative due to excessive sedation, or indifference and impaired judgment due to hypomanic mood may occur as complications in patients who receive antidepressants.

 

Apathy and indifference without somnolence were the prominent side effects of fluoxetine and fluvoxamine in the patients described. One panic patient showed, in addition to apathy, disinhibition when stimulated.

 

Depressed patients on Prozac also experienced apathy and loss of initiative without sedation.

 

These symptoms strongly resemble the frontal lobe syndrome, which is a syndrome of brain damage to the frontal lobes of the brain that occurs after a surgical lobotomy, traumatic brain injury, stroke, neurotoxic drug overdose, brain tumor or other brain insult.

 

Patients with frontal lobe lesions or with interruption of the tracts connecting the frontal lobes with the basal ganglia and thalamus may display apathy, flatness of affect and lack of emotional concern, childishness and euphoria, socially inappropriate behavior, and difficulty foreseeing the outcome of an action.

 

It is conceivable that the induction of a mild form of indifference or disinhibition is a therapeutically important ingredient of serotonin reuptake inhibiting drugs.

Ed. Note: My personal experience and the reported experiences of virtually all of my patients who have taken the SSRIs is the same. People, especially the parents of teens who are taking these drugs, call them the “I don’t give a damn” drugs for a good reason. The literature abounds with tales of patients who, up until they started swallowing as SSRI drug, had never had a suicidal thought in their lives. Nor had they ever performed a homicidal, criminal, aggressive or irrational act but then, for the first time in their lives started thinking about suicide, may have even attempted suicide or committed suicide, or may have attempted or committed homicide, attempted or committed criminal acts and may have actually felt and acted more depressed, manic, agitated, uninhibited or otherwise irrational after starting these drugs.

    _________________________________________

    Dr Kohls is a retired physician from northern Minnesota. He writes a weekly column for the Duluth, Minnesota area’s alternative newsweekly, the Reader Weekly (http://duluthreader.com/articles/categories/200_Duty_to_Warn). His topics include ethics, peace, justice, mental health, nutrition, militarism and the environment.

    Dr Kohls warns against the abrupt discontinuation of any psychiatric drug because of the common, often serious (even life-threatening) withdrawal symptoms that can occur. It is important to obtain close consultation with an aware, informed physician who is familiar with treating drug withdrawal syndromes and who is aware of the dangers of psychiatric drugs and the nutritional needs of the drug-intoxicated and nutritionally-depleted brain.

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