“America’s number one cause of unnatural death now is suicide…I want to get people off pills that the insert says will make you commit suicide and kill people. I want to blame the real culprit — suicide pills! Mass murder pills!” — Alex Jones on Piers Morgan Tonight
Following his debate with CNN’s Piers Morgan this week, Alex Jones became the number one trend on Twitter. The quote above was seized upon and retweeted by many insinuating that Alex is “crazy” for referring to prescription antidepressants and other psychotropic medications as “suicide pills” and “mass murder pills.”
CNN even mocked the line in an article the outlet posted yesterday.
But can Alex’s comment be so easily dismissed?
Americans consume more psychotropic drugs than any other country in the world.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prescriptions for antidepressants had risen in this country by 400 percent since 1988. New research was based on old research which showed that 11 percent of Americans over the age of 12 take antidepressants, otherwise known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Antidepressants were ranked the number one most common prescription for all adults age 18-44, and 60 percent of Americans who take SSRIs stay on them for more than two years. At the start of the decade, the fasting growing class of antidepressant users was preschoolers.
Antidepressants and other psychotropics are prescribed “on-label” — or uses approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — for psychiatric issues such as depression, anxiety and personality disorders (“off-label” use for issues like hyperactivity and sexual disorders is obviously not regulated). Side effects of these drugs can include confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, agitation, mood swings, impulse-control disorder, paranoia, psychosis and hostility.
A Canadian judge even ruled that SSRIs can cause children to commit murder when he found that Prozac was largely responsible for a 15-year-old stabbing one of his closest friends.
Dr. Moira Dolan, an internal medicine physician with the Medical Accountability Network, discusses the connection between antidepressant medications, violence, suicide and homicide in the video below: