My column this week is about the importance of us dealing with the human component involved in mass violence and killings, especially the need to look at the possible impact of psychotropic and other mind-altering prescription medication.
Rarely do we get the transparency about drugs mass shooters were taking, but today the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported the Vegas maniac had been prescription an anti-anxiety drug in June. That’s important. We don’t know any possible diagnosis involved with him, or other drugs he may have been taking, but the details here are compelling.
Stephen Paddock, who killed at least 58 people and wounded hundreds more in Las Vegas on Sunday with high-powered rifles, was prescribed an anti-anxiety drug in June that can lead to aggressive behavior, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has learned.
Records from the Nevada Prescription Monitoring Program obtained Tuesday show Paddock was prescribed 50 10-milligram diazepam tablets by Henderson physician Dr. Steven Winkler on June 21…
Diazepam is a sedative-hypnotic drug in the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, which studies have shown can trigger aggressive behavior. Chronic use or abuse of sedatives such as diazepam can also trigger psychotic experiences, according to drugabuse.com.
“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.”
Pohl, who spoke to the Review-Journal from the Netherlands, said the effects of the drug also can be magnified by alcohol.