What to do with our mentally ill

by Ben Hoffman

The recent shootings in Tucson and the story on 60 Minutes this evening have raised people’s awareness of mental illness. For some unknown reason, Jared Loughner lost touch with reality a few years ago. Many have called him schizophrenic or suffering from a dissociative disorder. Whatever it was, he was delusional when he went on his shooting rampage.

Loughner believed several conspiracy theories such as a New World Order would bring about a one world currency and that the government was using mind control to control grammar. He also believed NASA had faked space flights.

Those are bizarre thoughts, indeed. The problem is, though, they’re not that much different than the thoughts of a lot of right-wingers.

Many right-wingers believe Barack Obama is trying to establish a New World Order — that he is conceding powers to a single world government and surrendering America’s sovereignty. They believe that global warming is a hoax used by Obama and liberals to impose an embryonic socialist world government.

Not only that, the vast majority of right-wingers believe that around two thousand years ago, some guy was born to a virgin mother and rose from the dead three days after he was crucified. They also believe that he died for our sins, which gives them an excuse to do evil things.

Right-wingers are also the most adamant about their gun rights and often are the ones who commit murder for their causes such as abortion and government policies.

So what do we do with the mentally ill? Do we lock them all up to prevent them from going on a shooting rampage? These are questions we need to find answers to before we have another Oklahoma City bombing. Or worse.

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4 Comments to “What to do with our mentally ill”

  1. When people consider the connections between drugs and violence, what typically comes to mind are illegal drugs like crack cocaine. However, certain medications — most notably, some antidepressants like Prozac — have also been linked to increase risk for violent, even homicidal behavior.

    A new study from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices published in the journal PloS One and based on data from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System has identified 31 drugs that are disproportionately linked with reports of violent behavior towards others. (More on Time.com: New Hope For An Anti-Cocaine Vaccine)

    Please note that this does not necessarily mean that these drugs cause violent behavior. For example, in the case of opioid pain medications like Oxycontin, people with a prior history of violent behavior may seek drugs in order to sustain an addiction, which they support via predatory crime. In the case of antipsychotics, the drugs may be given in an attempt to reduce violence by people suffering from schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders — so the drugs here might not be causing violence, but could be linked with it because they’re used to try to stop it.

    Nonetheless, when one particular drug in a class of nonaddictive drugs used to treat the same problem stands out, that suggests caution: unless the drug is being used to treat radically different groups of people, that drug may actually be the problem. Researchers calculated a ratio of risk for each drug compared to the others in the database, adjusting for various relevant factors that could create misleading comparisons. Here are the top ten offenders:

    10. Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) An antidepressant which affects both serotonin and noradrenaline, this drug is 7.9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

    9. Venlafaxine (Effexor) A drug related to Pristiq in the same class of antidepressants, both are also used to treat anxiety disorders. Effexor is 8.3 times more likely than other drugs to be related to violent behavior. (More on Time.com: Adderall May Not Make You Smarter, But It Makes You Think You Are)

    8. Fluvoxamine (Luvox) An antidepressant that affects serotonin (SSRI), Luvox is 8.4 times more likely than other medications to be linked with violence

    7. Triazolam (Halcion) A benzodiazepine which can be addictive, used to treat insomnia. Halcion is 8.7 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs, according to the study.

    6) Atomoxetine (Strattera) Used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Strattera affects the neurotransmitter noradrenaline and is 9 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to the average medication.

    5) Mefoquine (Lariam) A treatment for malaria, Lariam has long been linked with reports of bizarre behavior. It is 9.5 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs.

    4) Amphetamines: (Various) Amphetamines are used to treat ADHD and affect the brain’s dopamine and noradrenaline systems. They are 9.6 times more likely to be linked to violence, compared to other drugs.

    3) Paroxetine (Paxil) An SSRI antidepressant, Paxil is also linked with more severe withdrawal symptoms and a greater risk of birth defects compared to other medications in that class. It is 10.3 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to other drugs. (More on Time.com: Healthland’s Guide to Life 2011)

    2) Fluoxetine (Prozac) The first well-known SSRI antidepressant, Prozac is 10.9 times more likely to be linked with violence in comparison with other medications.

    1) Varenicline (Chantix) The anti-smoking medication Chantix affects the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, which helps reduce craving for smoking. Unfortunately, it’s 18 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to other drugs — by comparison, that number for Xyban is 3.9 and just 1.9 for nicotine replacement. Because Chantix is slightly superior in terms of quit rates in comparison to other drugs, it shouldn’t necessarily be ruled out as an option for those trying to quit, however.

    Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2011/01/07/top-ten-legal-drugs-linked-to-violence/#ixzz1BOQLbMGi

    So can you imagine quiting smoking, being depressed and have ADHD you’ll be the next Jeffrey Dahlmer! or Jared Lee Loughner.

    But don’t worry, it will be Talk Radio’s, Limbaugh,Beck,Bush, or Right-Wingers fault. 🙂

  2. Liberals don’t hate Big Pharma??
    Since when?
    And it’s interesting psychology studying your knee-jerk reactions and need for childish attacks.

  3. And as for guilt by association who is making accusation about the Tucson shooter and rightwingers…hmm…

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