On November 5, 2017, 26-year-old Texas Church Shooter Devin Kelley killed 26 people and injured 20 more, with victims ranging in age from 18 months to 77 years old. From a very early age Kelley was taking prescription psychotropic drugs, which the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System has linked to homicidal ideation, homicide, physical assaults and abuse, and other violence-related symptoms. A telling question is, of those committing mass shootings or violent acts, how many had never had a history of violence or a criminal past before they were prescribed a mind-altering drug? And did that send them on a path of uncontrollable aggression? A thorough investigation could determine if this were the case in a percentage of people taking psychiatric drugs.
An article in the current British Medical Journal explains why the link between antidepressants and the epidemic of violence is stronger than previously thought. ANH-USA has researched dozens of the most high-profile cases of violent crimes over the last few decades. We found that in just under half of the cases (eleven out of twenty-three), the perpetrator was documented to be taking, or had recently stopped taking, some form of antidepressant or antipsychotic medication. The FDA recognizes this, and many antidepressants carry “black box warnings,” the most stringent precaution a drug label can carry before being removed from the market. Many antidepressants carry a black box warning of an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Dr. Robert Whitaker notes that there is also a shocking risk of increased violence to others, which is not highlighted in the black box.