Throughout its history, Freedom has exposed the harmful and often deadly effects—long suppressed by the psychopharmaceutical establishment—that mind-altering drugs wreak upon bodies and minds.
“Children being given Ritalin or Dexedrine showed a considerable stunting of growth when compared to a group of similar children who were not given drugs,” Freedom noted as early as 1972. “Insomnia and other sleep disturbances occur in almost a third of the children with vomiting, headaches, abdominal pains, fainting, dizziness and nausea being frequent additional side effects.”
The sweeping and even more severe consequences of mass drugging were put in perspective in Freedom’s April 1985 interview with a former consultant to the National Institute of Mental Health, who noted: “Psychiatry, with psychiatric drugs, has created the worst plague of brain damage in the history of the world.”
In probing episodes of mass violence, Freedom found time and again a causal relationship with psychopharmaceuticals. In 1988, when Laurie Dann shot six children and an adult in Winnetka, Illinois, then killed herself, Freedom investigated and found that Dann’s condition had deteriorated after being prescribed the experimental antidepressant Anafranil, linked to violence, psychosis and suicide.
Later that year, Freedom interviewed James Wilson after he attacked a school in Greenwood, South Carolina, killing two 8-year-old girls and wounding seven children and two teachers. Wilson, then 19, told Freedom that since he was 14 he had been on psychiatric drugs, including Xanax and Valium. Freedom described a 1984 study that documented violent and hostile acts linked to Xanax in people who mostly had no prior history of such destructive behavior.
In the wake of Joseph Wesbecker’s 1989 onslaught that claimed nine lives and wounded 14 others in a Kentucky printing facility, Freedom reported that Jefferson County Coroner Richard Greathouse had found Prozac in Wesbecker’s blood. “Prozac, in certain individuals, has caused a violent, hostile type of reaction,” Greathouse said.
Many other drug-induced tragedies have since unfolded, including in Columbine High School, where 13 died and 23 others were wounded. In case after case, Freedom dug for what had been administered and what psychiatrist prescribed the killers.
Through the work of Citizens Commission on Human Rights, data regarding these adverse effects, supported by studies, were brought to the attention of legislative bodies and government regulatory agencies across the globe.
Antidepressant drugs now bear 134 drug agency warnings from 11 countries about risks including suicide, violence and psychosis. And antipsychotic drugs carry 72 warnings from eight nations for effects that include psychosis, stroke, heart problems and sudden death.