By: Jonathan Benson
The use of antidepressant and psychiatric drugs, particularly among children, is an extremely risky activity that could have fatal consequences for both the individuals that use them, as well as their friends and family. According to the National Post, a Canadian judge recently ruled that the extreme mind-altering effects of the antidepressant drug Prozac were in large part responsible for causing a 15-year-old boy to thrust a nine-inch kitchen knife into one of his closest friends.
Though the Winnipeg boy that committed the heinous crime had allegedly abused prescription drugs and “experimented” with cocaine long prior to the incident, he had never had a violent or aggressive personality about him, according to reports. It was only when he began taking Prozac, the very thing doctors had given him as a so-called “solution” to his previous illicit drug problems, that he began to rapidly go off the deep end.
“He had become irritable, restless, agitated, aggressive and unclear in his thinking,” said Justice Robert Heinrichs of the Manitoba Justice Department, who ruled on the case. “It was while in that state he overreacted in an impulsive, explosive and violent way. Now that his body and mind are free and clear of any effects of Prozac, he is simply not the same youth in behavior or character.”
What the judge appears to be implying here is that Prozac is directly responsible for altering the brain of a user and causing them to think irrationally, which in turn can cause them to harm themselves or others. In other words, if it were not for the use of this mind-warping drug, the murderer in this case most likely would never have dreamed of slaughtering one of his best friends.
Judge Heinrichs ultimately determined that, because of the drug’s involvement, the boy who murdered his friend would not be tried in an adult court. Even though the boy pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, the judge only added a ten-month sentence on top of the two years that the boy had already spent in jail pending the trial — and there will apparently be no appeal, which is a first in any North American court.
In a similar outcome back in 2001, a Wyoming jury ruled that the antidepressant drug Paxil had caused a man to murder his wife, daughter, and granddaughter, after which he killed himself. And one of the mass-murderers in the infamous Columbine High School shooting, Eric Harris, had allegedly been taking the antidepressant drug Luvox at the time that he participated in the tragedy.
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