IS THE GOVERNMENT TO BLAME FOR THE WAVE OF SCHOOL VIOLENCE?
by Mark Valverde
In the wake of the recent wave of shootings in America's government schools, there has been an orgy of hand wringing and finger pointing in the mainstream media. Blame for these tragedies is variously ascribed to the availability of firearms or the violent content of movies, television and video games. Occasionally, blame is placed with the parents of the perpetrators. Even the patently absurd notions that black trench coats or Marilyn Manson are somehow to blame were soberly debated in the American broadcast and print media.
Amidst all of the clamor there have been a few voices sounding a very different alarm: that millions of American children are on psychotropic drugs - many of which have violent side effects.
Samuel L. Blumenfield, writing in World Net Daily (July 7) noted: What is most disturbing, however, is the growing awareness that the increased violence among school children may have more to do with the drugs than with the guns they use to carry out their violence.
Kelly O'Meara, writing in the June 28, 1999 issue of Insight magazine, (and cited by Blumenfield) reports that there are now over five million school children on psychotropic drugs, most of which are prescribed and administered in the government schools themselves. The December 1996 Teacher Magazine (also cited by Blumenfield) reports that there are four million on Ritalin alone, while Alexander Cockburn, writing in the Los Angeles Times (July 6), reports that Ritalin is being given to about two million American school children.
Eighteen-year-old Eric Harris, who with his friend Dylan Klebold, 17, massacred their classmates and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado on April 20, had been taking Luvox for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. T. J. Solomon, 15, who shot and wounded six fellow students at Heritage High School in Conyers, Georgia, on May 20 was on Ritalin for depression. Also on Ritalin for Bi-polar Disorder was fifteen-year-old Shawn Cooper, who fired two shotgun rounds, narrowly missing classmates and teachers at his high school in Notus, Idaho. Kip Kinkel, 15, who first killed his parents and later killed two students and wounded 22 more in his Oregon school's cafeteria, was on Ritalin and Prozac. Mitchell Johnson,
13, who, with his friend, Andrew Golden, 11, shot several children and a teacher at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, was being treated by a psychiatrist and is presumed to have been on some sort of medication.
Ritalin, is commonly used to treat a disorder known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). According to Time magazine's July 1994 cover story, "ADHD has three main hallmarks: extreme distractibility, and almost reckless impulsiveness, and in some but not all cases, knee-jiggling, toe-tap-ping hyperactivity that makes sitting still all but impossible." A 1986 article by Richard Scarnati in the International Journal of the Addictions lists more than a hundred adverse reactions to Ritalin, including paranoid delusions, paranoid psychosis, amphetamine-like psychosis and terror.
Dr. Peter R. Breggin, a psychiatrist (and a member of ISIL's advisory board), says, "I have no doubt that Prozac can contribute to violence and suicide. I've seen many cases. In a recent clinical trial, 6% of the children became psychotic on Prozac. And manic psychosis can lead to violence."
The reason for the widespread use of Ritalin and other psychotropic drugs on children, according to Dr. Sharon Presley, a libertarian psychologist with Resources for Independent Thinking, is "as a method of social control. It's a lazy way of keeping kids under control. Instead of dealing with their children's problems in an in-depth way, parents and school administrators drug them to shut them up."
What is it about these drugs that leads to explosive behavior?
Jack Wheeler, writing recently in Strategic Investment, observed that Prozac and Luvox are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): Serotonin is a brain chemical or neurotransmitter that conducts messages in the brain's serotonergic nervous system. As an inhibitory transmitter, it inhibits or slows down other nerves from firing. Thus it is essential for impulse regulation, for inhibiting acting without thinking first. Serotonin-deficient people are more prone to depression, impulsive violence, and committing suicide by violent means . . . . When serotonin carries it's message from one nerve to another, it is taken back to storage vesicles by a transport mechanism. What is left over in the gap between the nerves is eaten up by an enzyme. A SSRI like Luvox or Prozac blocks or slows down the transport mechanism, leaving more serotonin in the gap. This causes an increase in production of the enzyme to eat it up. People feel more optimistic, and less depressed and prone to go out of control, with more serotonin in the receptors. But note that an SSRI doesn't enable the brain to produce more serotonin - rather, it causes what serotonin there is to be used up faster. If a person's brain cannot manufacture enough serotonin to keep up with the increased use and faster rate of enzymatic destruction, over time a person's serotonin levels can get critically low, and he explodes.
Breggin, author of Talking Back to Ritalin and Toxic Psychiatry, described at least part of what Wheeler believes could have happened to Eric Harris:
According to the manufacturer, Solvay, 4% of children and youth taking Luvox developed mania during short-term controlled clinical trials. Mania is a psychosis which can produce bizarre, grandiose, highly elaborated destructive plans.
Wheeler, insists that the "FDA is far more to blame than the NRA" for the recent incidences of school violence, not because the FDA approved these drugs, but because the FDA legally prohibits a nutritional alternative. The way the brain makes a neurotransmitter is with a main building block or precursor and various vitamin co-factors. The precursor of serotonin is the essential amino acid tryptophan (essentially meaning your body can't make it, you have to get it through your diet). Ten years ago 15 million people were taking tryptophan supplements in the United States. Then a number of people got sick and died, all of whom were taking supplemental tryptophan. . . . It was traced to one contaminant in one batch from one manufacturer. Yet after tryptophan was proven not to be the culprit, the FDA refused to lift the ban. SSRIs like Prozac had just come on the market, and a cheap, nutritional alternative that naturally increases serotonin availability (rather than using it up faster) would be disastrous to billions of dollars of drug sales!
NeuroGenesis, Inc. (NGI) tried for a decade and a half to go through the medical community. It had some success. Over 100,000 people used it successfully. However, the threat of lawsuits for not using an FDA approved product meant only those doctors with great courage of conviction prescribed or recommended the product. It was named SAAVE in 1985 and later became known as beCALM'd. In the last four years the NGI product has caught on and the number of people using it has nearly double over the previous fifteen years.
Success rate for those using the product for a year or more is 87% for addiction recovery, 85% for stress effect reduction, 62.5% for ADHD, and 38% for carbohydrate bingeing. The ADHD rate is probably closer to 95% of those whose ADHD symptoms are caused by shortages of serotonin, opioids, and/or GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid).
NGI made an interesting discovery in 1993: Hyperactive children and adults tend to easily become addicted to alcohol, heroin, and cocaine.
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