|Back to July Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 246||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||JULY 2006|
|Anti-Depressant Drugs Weighing in at Columbine|
On June 9, 2006, Christopher Bollyn interviewed former Columbine student Mark Taylor, his mother Donna Taylor, and Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? (2001) and Exec. Director of the International Coalition For Drug Awareness.
Following are interview excerpts concerning serotonin-enhancing medications, which include Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) a class of anti-depressant drugs. SSRI are commonly used for treating depression, anxiety disorders and some personality disorders.
Christopher Bollyn (CB): . . . This is Dr. Ann Blake Tracy . . . an expert on these kinds of [serotonin-enhancing] drugs that Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were taking. Can you tell . . . about . . . these drugs that these boys were taking: why a student would be taking them and what it does to their way of thinking?
Dr. Ann Blake Tracy: Well, why somebody would be taking them is a whole show in and of itself . . . . It's very simple to do. It looks as though Eric and Dylan were given them about the time they broke into the van and they were diagnosed with . . . some kind of "Defiant Disorder." Anyway, what the drugs do is they work very, very similarly to LSD or PCP. Of course, most people have no idea that they were introduced to the market by the same company who originally gave us LSD. And when they patented it . . .
CB: Is that Solvay?
Dr. Tracy: That was Eli Lilly [pharmaceutical company].
CB: Eli Lilly. Okay.
Dr. Tracy: And Lilly came out . . . in February 1956 with their patent on LSD. And just before that, in LIFE magazine, there was a huge article, like two months before, talking about this great new medication that was going to cure mental illness, and cure alcoholism, and aid in psychoanalysis. We now know that drug to be LSD.
CB: What about these drugs . . . like these boys were taking, how is it like that?
Dr. Tracy: . . . When LSD goes into the brain, the brain reads it as if it's a rush of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain. That's the same neurotransmitter that these drugs affect. How these drugs work, as one doctor who I do shows with regularly likes to put it: he calls them a slow fuse LSD. Because they impair your ability to metabolize serotonin so that it starts to build up in the brain. So gradually over time, what you are getting is the same effect as if you took a hit of LSD.
CB: . . . I read that when people take these kinds of drugs, that they often act out their nightmares.
Dr. Tracy: Exactly.
CB: . . . [H]ow does that work?
Dr. Tracy: It's called a REM Sleep Behavior Disorder. . . . It was known as something they would expect to see in drug withdrawal. Now we know that 86% of the cases being diagnosed are patients taking an anti-depressant. So what REM sleep behavior disorder is, is exactly what you just described. It's acting out nightmares. You have no muscle paralysis during that state and therefore you can just start acting out whatever is going through your brain.
CB: . . . [A]re many people taking these drugs today?
Dr. Tracy: Huge amounts of people are taking these drugs. In fact, so many are taking them that now we've just heard that the anti-psychotic use among children is as high as 1 out of 69 children in the United States [who] are taking drugs for insanity psychosis, which is what these drugs produce.
CB: [W]ho determines . . . that this child needs to take these drugs? . . .
Dr. Tracy: There are tests now, done by the schools, where they will refer the children to a practitioner to get meds [medication]. It's called TeenScreen. . . .
Listen to the full interview:
For more details about TeenScreen locations:
Learn more about serotonin-enhancing drugs: International Coalition For Drug Awareness