Las Vegas massacre gunman Stephen Paddock was taking a drug linked to violent outbursts in yet another example of a mass shooter being on a pharmaceutical medication that causes aggressive behavior.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Paddock “was prescribed an anti-anxiety drug in June that can lead to aggressive behavior”.
The drug in question – diazepam – more commonly known as its brand name Valium – was prescribed by Henderson physician Dr. Steven Winkler on June 21 and Paddock purchased 50 10-milligram diazepam tablets from a Walgreens store in Reno on the same day. Paddock was also previously prescribed the same drug in 2016.
The article cites DrugAbuse.com, which warns that diazepam can trigger “aggressive behavior” and “psychotic experiences,” which can be amplified by alcohol consumption.
“If somebody has an underlying aggression problem and you sedate them with that drug, they can become aggressive,” said Dr. Mel Pohl, chief medical officer of the Las Vegas Recovery Center. “It can disinhibit an underlying emotional state. … It is much like what happens when you give alcohol to some people … they become aggressive instead of going to sleep.”
A 2015 study published in World Psychiatry found that teens convicted of homicide were 45 per cent more likely to kill during time periods when they were on benzodiazepines.
However, Dr. Michael First points out that Paddock’s attack was obviously pre-meditated, carefully planned, and could not have occurred on a whim, although he acknowledges the reason behind why Paddock was prescribed diazepam may explain “why he did what he did”.
As we previously highlighted, virtually every major mass shooter was taking some form of SSRI or other pharmaceutical drug at the time of their attack, including Columbine killer Eric Harris, ‘Batman’ shooter James Holmes, Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof and Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza.
As the website SSRI Stories profusely documents, there are literally hundreds of examples of mass shootings, murders and other violent episodes that have been committed by individuals on psychiatric drugs over the past three decades.
Pharmaceutical giants who produce drugs like Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil spend around $2.4 billion dollars a year on direct-to-consumer television advertising every year. By running negative stories about prescription drugs, networks risk losing tens of millions of dollars in ad revenue, which is undoubtedly one of the primary reasons why the connection is habitually downplayed or ignored entirely.