A top-rated lawyer who has beaten the Food and Drug Administration more times in court than any other attorney is calling on the Trump administration to launch a probe into possible links between commonly-prescribed psychiatric drugs and the epidemic of school shootings.
“The financial interests of the psychiatric industry is to feed this drug industry,” said Jonathan Emord in a short documentary video. “And the drug industry’s financial interest is to come up with the agents to feed the psychiatric industry.
“The psychiatric industry, then, is endlessly engaged in identifying new disorders,” he continued, “which can then be treated with psychiatric drugs. Now psychiatric drugs are the primary drugs that are consumed in America.”
He’s right about that. In October 2011, Harvard Medical School noted the “astounding” increase in the use of antidepressants by Americans. According to a report by “the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the rate of antidepressant use in this country among teens and adults (people ages 12 and older) increased by almost 400% between 1988–1994 and 2005–2008,” wrote Peter Wehrwein.
By December 2016, as reported by the Scientific American, fully one-in-six Americans were taking a psych drug.
Emord says the studies show the number is higher — one-in-five Americans. And he believes there is a substantive link between increased psychiatric drug use, especially by younger Americans, and the rash of school shootings.
The attorney notes that psych drugs are known to produce dangerous side effects that include thoughts of and/or tendencies towards suicide and, importantly, violence. As such, “shouldn’t we expect aberrant behavior to be cropping up all over the nation?” Emord said.
The attorney added that it’s shocking there isn’t more outrage over the use of drugs even the FDA has admitted can cause dangerous side effects and the high number of school shooters in recent years that have been taking them. (Related: On the same day that 17 children were murdered in a Florida high school, almost 300 Americans were killed by FDA-approved prescription medications.)
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) International agrees.
“There is overwhelming evidence that psychiatric drugs cause violence. 27 International drug regulatory warnings cite violence, mania, hostility, aggression, psychosis and even homicidal ideation. Individuals under the influence of such drugs and committing these acts of senseless violence are not limited to using guns are not limited to just schools,” the CCHRI said on the organization’s website.
The organization reports that “at least 36 school shootings and/or school-related acts of violence have been committed by those taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs.” The result: 172 people wounded and 80 people killed.
The number could be higher; medical and psychiatric histories are not known about all school shooters.
In the video interview, Emord discussed his efforts on behalf of an organization to obtain the medical records of Adam Lanza, who committed the atrocious murders of six-year-old first-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
But state officials refused to turn them over, claiming that doing so would mean identifying the antidepressants he was taking and thus “cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications.”
Emord said that argument “is ridiculous.” He argued in a Freedom of Information Act case to see Lanza’s records that there were no longer any privacy interests among the concerned parties because those were “extinguished by the acts of” Lanza, yet the state of Connecticut continued to resist.
“Against all of that is this huge financial interest of both the psychiatric community and the drug industry,” he said. “If this did not exist, if there wasn’t this huge lobbying presence, I strongly suspect that the coroner’s offices would release the information to the public.”
He also suspects there would be investigations on the state and federal level. But so far, there aren’t any.