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Report: Prescription drug cocktail led to Pennsylvania shooting rampage

Monday, April 02, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: prescription drugs, Pennsylvania, shooting

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(NaturalNews) A few weeks ago, 30-year-old John F. Shick, a former mental health patient, went on a shooting rampage at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). And while law enforcement officials were searching Shick's apartment after the incident, they discovered a shocking 43 different medications in the man's apartment unit that appear to have played a direct role in triggering the tragic event.

It is becoming an all-too-common occurrence, but one that deserves far more media attention than it is currently getting -- psychiatric drugs so severely altering the minds of patients that they end up going on violent rampages where people are left seriously injured or dead. And in the case of Shick, it appears as though both his prescribed psychiatric drugs and treatments sent him over the edge into a drug-induced killing spree that left one man dead and five others seriously wounded.

If the system decides you're mentally ill, you can kiss your sanity goodbye

It all began in 2009 when Shick was arrested at Portland International Airport in Oregon following an exchange with police where an officer reportedly ended up being kicked in the head. A judge eventually ordered that Shick undergo six months of mental health treatment, which turned out to be primarily psychiatric drug regimens with powerful mind-altering consequences that appear to have left Shick in a worse state than he was prior to the scuffle.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Shick's apartment after the shooting spree was found to contain the 43 different medications, which were prescribed by about a dozen different doctors, as well as a number of disturbing notes lying around and messages scrawled into the walls complaining about what his psychiatric treatments were doing to him. By all appearances, Shick's medications, all of which were ordered as part of his state-mandated mental health protocol, appear directly responsible for triggering the crimes he committed.

Shick was particularly incensed with the way an unnamed internal medicine physician at UPMC, who also lived in the same building as Shick, treated him. According to reports, Shick's notes explained that his psychiatric doctors had misdiagnosed him, and presumably ordered him to take medications for conditions he did not actually have. Shick even reportedly put sticky notes with apparent cries for help on the outside of his apartment door.

So instead of actually trying to help Shick with his obvious mental ailments, the government merely tossed him into the mental health system where he was pumped with drugs and sent on his way to fend for himself. And in the end, these powerful drugs, which are already known to spur violent behavior, led to yet another pharmaceutical drug-induced tragedy that did not need to happen.

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