by MAUREEN SIELAFF
The Vigo Examiner
SPRINGFIELD, OREGON - Before going on a wild shooting spree at his Springfield Oregon high school that left 2 dead and 22 injured, Kip Kinkel had been attending anger control classes and was taking a prescription drug called Prozac. This particular drug has factored in almost all wild shooting sprees which have taken place in the last ten years. Eli Lilly of Indianapolis, Indiana was recently sued over the homicidal tendencies this drug is alleged to induce in patients. Prozac is commonly given to youth as a treatment for depression.
In the book "Prozac and other Psychiatric Drugs," by Lewis A. Opler, M.D., Ph.D., the following side effects are listed for Prozac:
apathy; hallucinations; hostility; irrational ideas; and paranoid reactions, antisocial behavior; hysteria; and suicidal thoughts.
The following information is taken from form PV 2472 DPP, prepared by Dista Products Company, a division of Eli Lilly and Company of Indianapolis, Indiana. It was last revised on June 12, 1997, and can be found in each package of Prozac.
Anxiety and Insomnia: In clinical trials for the depressed, held in the U.S., 12% to 16% of those tested reported increased anxiety, nervousness, or insomnia. In similar trials for those diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorders insomnia was reported in 28% of the patients, and anxiety was reported in 14%.
Altered Appetite and Weight: In controlled U.S. clinics 11% of patients treated with Prozac reported an anorexic appetite. However, only rarely have patients discontinued treatment with Prozac because of this symptom. Those diagnosed with OCD, again, came in at a higher rate of 17%.
Other symptoms: (considered to be frequent by Dista) chills, hemorrhage and hypertension of the cardiovascular system, nausea and vomiting, agitation, amnesia, confusion, emotional liability, sleep disorder, ear pain, taste perversion, and tininitus.
The outcome classification (%) on the Clinical Global Impression improvement scale based on two studies showed that of those who took 40mg of Prozac 0% were reported to be no worse, 33% showed no change, 28% were minimally improved, 27% much improved, and 12% very much improved. Meaning that of those tested only 39% showed any reasonable improvement from taking this drug.
Though many are demanding stricter gun control laws as a solution to this sudden increase in homicidal shootings, these events do not appear to correlate to a sudden increase in firearm ownership. But when the percentage of these killers that are on Prozac is compared to the percentage of the general public on Prozac, a very disturbing pattern emerges. Though Prozac does indeed help many people suffering from depression, it appears that it does indeed also drive many into homicidal rages.
When Kip Kinkel's home was investigated several bombs that he had constructed were discovered. With a ban on bombs already in place, he nevertheless managed to have several in his possession that he might well have taken to school instead of guns. So the question arises, if guns had been banned like bombs, would the danger have been averted? The unmistakable answer is that it would not. And with the shootings correlating far more closely with the psychiatric drug Prozac, why is the public put in such great danger by its widespread use, while efforts are directed instead toward something that shows no correlation?
On Tuesday, May 19th, Kip Kinkel's father took away his rifle, after finding that Kip was taking the gun out of the house on unsupervised ventures into the woods. The next day, Wednesday, May 20th, 15 year old Kip Kinkel showed up at Thurston High School with a dangerous attitude and a newly purchased stolen gun that he had gotten from another student. A security guard caught wind of the arrangement and the two boys were arrested, booked, and then released to their parents.
On Thursday, May 21st, Kip Kinkel walked out of his home after shooting his parents with the rifle his dad had taken away from him and proceeded to the high school. He walked into the cafeteria and fired off 51 rounds of ammunition which resulted in the deaths of two of the students and injuries of various degrees to 22 other students ages 14 through 18. The onslaught ended when one of the wounded students, a 17 year old wrestler, tackled Kip, and other students piled on top of Kip to help restrain him.
Those who have known Kip Kinkel present very differing portrayals of his life and his demeanor on an everyday basis. Gun control advocates are outraged that "a gun" has again taken the lives of innocent citizens. Others are saying that Kip Kinkel is just an average kid who went about on a daily basis doing stunts that average kids do. Still other's paint a depressing picture of a child and a family in crisis and at the end of their ropes, and of a young boy who for years had displayed his unhappiness, albeit apparently reasonless, by doing acts which should have been considered highly questionable and certainly not normal.
A close family friend told reporters that Bill Kinkel had begun confiding in him about four years ago about severe behavioral problems with his son. The friend stated that the boy's parent sought counseling and attempted to maintain a very structured home life. "As parents, they just kept trying."
The day before the shooting spree Mr. Kinkel contacted the Oregon National Guard to inquire about having his son enrolled in the Guard's Youth Challenge Program. An official with the Guard stated that Mr. Kinkel seemed at the end of his rope, and that he wanted to get his son "mainstreamed back into school." The Guard YCP takes in children who "are on the razor's edge, ready to fall on the dark side." Obviously Kip Kinkel was already over the edge.
His attitude regarding life and his subsequent behavior was irrationally ignored by not only his closest friends but also the teachers, the school nurse, school management, and police officials. Most had the attitude that he was just a kid, that no one needed to be concerned. But how could this be?
All were well aware of the boys bizarre behavioral patterns. Although they might say what a nice kid they thought he was, most can follow up with one story or another of comments and actions that definitely describe a boy that is anything but "average".
Apparently it is easier to drug our youth, to fill their bodies with drugs that many times have worse side effects on their minds and spirits than the problems they have. You name the attitude and there is a drug to supposedly help or cure it.
It may be time to take the War On Drugs to where it can really be effective; getting these society cop-out drugs out of our children's lives. It may be time we rise and help our children through productive activities and quit drugging them senseless.