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 Luvox not to blame for Eric's actions at Columbine

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kurayami

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PostSubject: Luvox not to blame for Eric's actions at Columbine   Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:28 am

I've been working on a post regarding psychopathy in Eric (though I'm probably going to expand it to Dylan too) and how/why it does or doesn't fit due to current diagnostic procedures and recent academic papers on psychopathy. But while I was doing that, I found some information in one of my old psychology textbooks from my undergrad in Criminal Justice. I remembered there being a really small bit somewhere about Columbine when discussing the forensic application of mental disorder or the effects of medications on potential culpability.

So, do you guys remember that one of the victims sued the manufacturer of Luvox because it supposedly caused Columbine? That was the premise behind the civil suit anyway. Here's what my textbook actually had to say about it.

“In 2002, Mark Taylor, a survivor of the Columbine High School shooting, sued the pharmaceutical company that manufacturers the antidepressant drug fluvoxamine (Luvox) that Eric Harris was taking. Is there scientific evidence that this drug caused Eric Harris to be violent? Peter Breggin M.D., one of the experts involved in the litigation, thought so, yet was his testimony impartial and based on good science? Or was it an example of expert bias, poor science, or both?

Breggin opined in a preliminary report filed with the U.S. District Court in Denver that Luvox triggered Harris’s rampage. “Absent persistent exposure to Luvox, Eric Harris would probably not have committed violence and suicide,” noted Breggin.
Breggin is a Washington D.C.-area psychiatrist who describes himself as a medical expert with over 30 years’ experience in product liability lawsuits involving psychiatric drugs. However, it should be noted that his expert evidence was excluded by a judge in 1995 who in a ruling, said “Dr. Breggin’s opinions do not rise to the level of an opinion based on ‘good science’.” and in 1997 a Wisconsin judge also ruled: “Dr. Breggin’s observations are totally without credibility. I can almost declare him a fraud, or at least approaching that. I cannot place any credence or credibility in what he has to recommend in this case.”1

So, Taylor's tort never got off the ground because his lawyers picked an "expert" to give evidence without appropriately vetting him and cross-referencing Dr. Breggin's name across a national US civil case database. It's very easy to do. What a bunch of morons.

TL;DR - Luvox didn't "cause" Columbine, or at least the evidence to even advance such a claim at a civil standard (which is only 50%+ likelihood of harm, decided by a jury of 6, or a judge) sucked so bad, the premise is unable to be proved or disproved.

And of course, playing Devil's Advocate, I have to ask, if Luvox were a contributing factor, how would Dylan's involvement be explained? He wasn't taking Luvox.

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1. Edie Green and Kirk Heilburn, Wrightsman’s Psychology and the Legal System (Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2009 7th Ed, 2009) 230.
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sororityalpha
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PostSubject: Re: Luvox not to blame for Eric's actions at Columbine   Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:07 am

There are known side effects of taking SSRI's that include suicidal thoughts and depression.

However, I agree with you that the medication Eric was taking did not cause Columbine.
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Love
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PostSubject: Re: Luvox not to blame for Eric's actions at Columbine   Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:22 am

Eric had problems long before taking this medicine. Maybe it would be better if Eric openly talked with his therapist about his problems than taking Luvox. Not all problems can be solved with pills.

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kurayami

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PostSubject: Re: Luvox not to blame for Eric's actions at Columbine   Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:51 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
There are known side effects of taking SSRI's that include suicidal thoughts and depression.

However, I agree with you that the medication Eric was taking did not cause Columbine.

You're right about suicidal ideation and such, but they don't cause homicidal thoughts. It could just be an assumption, but it seems to me that you're indicating that you believe that Columbine was a suicide first and a murder second. It seems to me, it's the other way around. Most suicidal people don't plan to blow up their school, they're only interested in taking themselves out of the gene pool.
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PostSubject: Re: Luvox not to blame for Eric's actions at Columbine   Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:29 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
You're right about suicidal ideation and such, but they don't cause homicidal thoughts.
There is evidence that mass murder frequently has roots in suicidal ideation.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
It may be a questionable statement in regard to Eric's state of mind but it certainly seems to be true for Dylan and other mass killers.

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Fatheroftwo
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PostSubject: Re: Luvox not to blame for Eric's actions at Columbine   Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:08 am

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I've been working on a post regarding psychopathy in Eric (though I'm probably going to expand it to Dylan too) and how/why it does or doesn't fit due to current diagnostic procedures and recent academic papers on psychopathy. But while I was doing that, I found some information in one of my old psychology textbooks from my undergrad in Criminal Justice. I remembered there being a really small bit somewhere about Columbine when discussing the forensic application of mental disorder or the effects of medications on potential culpability.

So, do you guys remember that one of the victims sued the manufacturer of Luvox because it supposedly caused Columbine? That was the premise behind the civil suit anyway. Here's what my textbook actually had to say about it.

“In 2002, Mark Taylor, a survivor of the Columbine High School shooting, sued the pharmaceutical company that manufacturers the antidepressant drug fluvoxamine (Luvox) that Eric Harris was taking. Is there scientific evidence that this drug caused Eric Harris to be violent? Peter Breggin M.D., one of the experts involved in the litigation, thought so, yet was his testimony impartial and based on good science? Or was it an example of expert bias, poor science, or both?

Breggin opined in a preliminary report filed with the U.S. District Court in Denver that Luvox triggered Harris’s rampage. “Absent persistent exposure to Luvox, Eric Harris would probably not have committed violence and suicide,” noted Breggin.
Breggin is a Washington D.C.-area psychiatrist who describes himself as a medical expert with over 30 years’ experience in product liability lawsuits involving psychiatric drugs. However, it should be noted that his expert evidence was excluded by a judge in 1995 who in a ruling, said “Dr. Breggin’s opinions do not rise to the level of an opinion based on ‘good science’.” and in 1997 a Wisconsin judge also ruled: “Dr. Breggin’s observations are totally without credibility. I can almost declare him a fraud, or at least approaching that. I cannot place any credence or credibility in what he has to recommend in this case.”1

So, Taylor's tort never got off the ground because his lawyers picked an "expert" to give evidence without appropriately vetting him and cross-referencing Dr. Breggin's name across a national US civil case database. It's very easy to do. What a bunch of morons.

TL;DR - Luvox didn't "cause" Columbine, or at least the evidence to even advance such a claim at a civil standard (which is only 50%+ likelihood of harm, decided by a jury of 6, or a judge) sucked so bad, the premise is unable to be proved or disproved.

And of course, playing Devil's Advocate, I have to ask, if Luvox were a contributing factor, how would Dylan's involvement be explained? He wasn't taking Luvox.

---
1. Edie Green and Kirk Heilburn, Wrightsman’s Psychology and the Legal System (Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2009 7th Ed, 2009) 230.

agree or disagree, this is a great post.

Welcome to the board, nice addition.
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Moonshadow
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PostSubject: Re: Luvox not to blame for Eric's actions at Columbine   Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:43 am

Thumbs up. Nothing to add.
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sororityalpha
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PostSubject: Re: Luvox not to blame for Eric's actions at Columbine   Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:16 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
It could just be an assumption, but it seems to me that you're indicating that you believe that Columbine was a suicide first and a murder second.

You are assuming wrong, I do not believe that.
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Lizpuff
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PostSubject: Re: Luvox not to blame for Eric's actions at Columbine   Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:03 am

Luvox did not cause Columbine. I think even without it, if nothing else changed, Columbine would have still happened. Especially with Dylan being the way he was. Medication and therapy did not help Eric.
Look at his diversion work....he made such a great impression. Doing everything right when he was supposed to do it, arriving on time, saying all the right things... and inside he was seething with anger.

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PostSubject: Re: Luvox not to blame for Eric's actions at Columbine   Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:01 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
There are known side effects of taking SSRI's that include suicidal thoughts and depression.

If I remember correctly, Eric's autopsy indicated that he had therapeutic levels of Luxov in his system at the time of his death. I don't know if Eric was taking the immediate-release version of Luxov, but the evidence suggests that high doses of SRIs are effective for treating OCD patients because of the serotonin reuptake inhibition in brain neurons. Because Luxov is a more potent inhibitor of in vitro serotonin, patients are typically started out at 50 mg and then increased by 50 mg based on the patient's tolerance.

It's difficult for me to say how much or how often Eric took the drug, so I can assume that he might have skipped taking the drug in order to feel the immediate withdrawal symptoms.Does that mean Luxov caused Columbine? While Luxov might have contributed to it, I doubt that the drug was the cause.
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