Fish on Prozac: Anxious, anti-social, aggressive

   
  Waleed Alzuhair/flickr
   

Fish on Prozac: Anxious, anti-social, aggressive — Environmental Health News.

By Brian Bienkowski
Staff Writer
Environmental Health News

June 12, 2013

When fish swim in waters tainted with antidepressant drugs, they become anxious, anti-social and sometimes even homicidal.

New research has found that the pharmaceuticals, which are frequently showing up in U.S. streams, can alter genes responsible for building fish brains and controlling their behavior.

Humboldt State University
Fish downstream of wastewater treatment plants are more at risk of pharmaceutical exposure, experts say.

Antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States; about 250 million prescriptions are filled every year. And they also are the highest-documented drugs contaminating waterways, which has experts worried about fish. Traces of the drugs typically get into streams when people excrete them, then sewage treatment plants discharge the effluent.

Exposure to fluoxetine, known by the trade name Prozac, had a bizarre effect on male fathead minnows, according to new, unpublished research by scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Male minnows exposed to a small dose of the drug in laboratories ignored females. They spent more time under a tile, so their reproduction decreased and they took more time capturing prey, according to Rebecca Klaper, a professor of freshwater sciences who spoke about her findings at a Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry conference last fall. Klaper said the doses of Prozac added to the fishes’ water were “very low concentrations,” 1 part per billion, which is found in some wastewater discharged into streams.

When the dose was increased, but still at levels found in some wastewater, females produced fewer eggs and males became aggressive, killing females in some cases, Klaper said at the conference.

The drugs seem to cause these behavioral problems by scrambling how genes in the fish brains are expressed, or turned on and off. The minnows were exposed when they were a couple of months old and still developing.

There appeared to be architectural changes to the young minnows’ brains, Klaper said at the toxicology conference. Growth of the axons, which are long nerve fibers that transmit information to the body, was disrupted.

When the dose was increased, but still at levels found in some wastewater, females produced fewer eggs and males became aggressive, killing females in some cases.The new findings build on Klaper’s previous research, which tested minnows with the gene changes to see how well they avoided predators. They swam longer distances and made more directional changes, which suggests that the drugs induced anxiety.

The drugs used in the study were among the most common in sewage: Prozac, Effexor and Tegretol. The researchers tested each drug alone and in combination.

“At high doses we expect brain changes,” Klaper said. “But we saw the gene expression changes and then behavioral changes at doses that we consider environmentally relevant.”

However, there is too little evidence to know whether pharmaceuticals are having any impacts on fish populations in the wild, said Bryan Brooks, an environmental science professor at Baylor University who has extensively studied pharmaceuticals in streams and fish.

Ohio DNR
Fathead minnows exposed to low doses of antidepressant drugs became anxious, anti-social and aggressive.

Any changes in reproduction, eating and avoiding prey can have devastating impacts for fish populations, Klaper said.

The most vulnerable fish populations are those downstream of sewage treatment plants, where prescription drugs consistently show up in higher levels than in other waterways. It’s only within the past decade that technology has allowed plants to test for the chemicals in their wastewater and in waters downstream, though most still don’t, said Steve Carr, supervisor of the chemistry research group at the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts.

One of the antidepressants tested in the fish – Tegretol – comes into the treatment plants and goes out at near constant levels, said Eric Nelson, a senior chemist with the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts.

That means the county’s treatment technology does not seem to have any effect on the drug. It comes in and leaves in a very tight range, about 150 to 400 parts per trillion, Nelson said.

Nelson said the two other drugs tested on the fish – Prozac and Effexor  –  are discharged in effluent at even lower levels: between about 20 and 30 parts per trillion. In comparison, the levels that altered behavior of the lab fish were 50 times higher.

When monitoring an Iowa and a Colorado stream, the U.S. Geological Survey found most drugs at levels similar to Los Angeles County’s. However, these low levels could still find their way into fish brains, according to their 2010 study.

Researchers found elevated levels of pharmaceuticals in the stream water two to six miles from the sewage treatment plants. But the chemicals at the highest levels in the water were not the ones most prevalent in the fish brains.

USGS
U.S. Geological Survey scientists found traces of antidepressants in Iowa’s Fourmile Creek.

“The fish downstream of the wastewater treatment had elevated concentrations of two antidepressants … Zoloft and Prozac,” said Edward Furlong, a research chemist at the U.S. Geological Survey based in Boulder, Colo. “And these were relatively low in water compared to others.”

Even if the levels released into streams seem low, they are constant, which is problematic, Brooks said.

“The drugs may not be classically persistent like PCBs,” Brooks said. “But they’re pseudo-persistent. The [continuous] exposure of organisms in a stream is equivalent to a chemical that is persistent.”

Some drugs bioaccumulate, or build up, in rainbow trout, according to Brooks’ research. Also, rainbow trout exposed to sewage effluent have pharmaceuticals in their blood at levels as high as those that affect the brains of people, according to research in Sweden.

Brooks said the likelihood of bioaccumulation for pharmaceuticals is high. “People have to take these drugs for weeks before they start having effects. They slowly bioaccumulate in your system,” which suggests bioaccumulation potential in fish, too, Brooks said.

Changes to the brain can affect all kinds of things in fish, Klaper said. And since humans have a similar brain gene structure, the findings raise questions about whether traces of these drugs in drinking water might harm human health.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers pharmaceuticals an “emerging concern,” and has concluded that the chemicals may pose risks to wildlife and humans. There are currently no federal regulations of the compounds in waste or drinking water. However, 12 pharmaceuticals are currently on the EPA’s Contaminant Candidate List, which are chemicals that may require regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Studies have consistently found prescription drugs in drinking water at parts-per-trillion levels. U.S. Geological Survey scientists sampled 74 waterways used for drinking water in 25 states in 2008 and found 53 had one or more of the three dozen pharmaceuticals they were testing for in their water. Forty percent of the pharmaceuticals were found at one or more of the sites.

“The drugs may not be classically persistent like PCBs. But they’re pseudo-persistent. The (continuous) exposure of organisms in a stream is equivalent to a chemical that is persistent.” -Bryan Brooks, Baylor UniversityFifty-four active pharmaceutical ingredients and 10 metabolites have been detected in treated U.S. drinking water, according to a 2010 EPA review.

Studies of children exposed in the womb to antidepressants taken by their mothers show effects on their motor development and a higher risk of some birth defects.

But health officials say the levels found in some drinking water are too low to cause harm.

According to a 2012 World Health Organization report, the “trace quantities of pharmaceuticals in drinking water are very unlikely to pose risks to human health.” The report said that the amount found in drinking water is usually 1,000 times lower than doses expected to have an effect on a person.

But Klaper said that in light of the gene changes in fish brains, officials may need to rethink what is considered safe.

“Fish do not metabolize drugs like we do,” Klaper said. “Even if environmental doses aren’t thought to be much for a human, fish could still have significant accumulation, and, it appears, changes in their brain’s gene expression.”

Source:

Fish on Prozac: Anxious, anti-social, aggressive — Environmental Health News.

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Antidepressants Cause Your Arteries to Thicken 400% More Than Aging

Mike Barrett

Depression may be the worst emotional experience there is. The causes are many, and it often drives people to zig-zag past everything that matters and into a pill bottle of pharmaceutical ‘treatments’.

But these solutions offered by the pharmaceutical industry are nothing but a sham, and their antidepressant products only make you more depressed and trigger suicidal thoughts. One study has also found that antidepressants cause your arteries to thicken 400% more than aging – a main factor in the thickening of the arteries.

Antidepressants Linked to Heart Disease and Stroke

A study conducted by the Emory University School of Medicine included over 500 middle-aged male twins, both who served in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. The researchers noted that among 59 pairs of twins where only one brother was on antidepressants, the one ingesting the drugs usually had higher carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) – the thickness of main arteries in the neck.

‘One of the strongest and best-studied factors that thickens someone’s arteries is age, and that happens at around 10 microns per year…In our study, users of antidepressants see an average 40 micron increase in IMT, so their carotid arteries are in effect four years older,’ says the first study author Amit Shah, MD.

The most commonly prescribed antidepressants are known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac.

Researchers found that participants who used SSRIs, which were 60 percent of those taking antidepressants, had higher carotid IMT. This may be due to the effects antidepressants have on serotonin levels, which is a chemical in your body that helps some brain cells communicate.

These findings are just one more thing to add to the long list of why people shouldn’t be taking many harmful pharmaceuticals. More than 1 in 10 Americans are on these suicide-linked antidepressants even though they do not work and only make the problem worse.

Instead of resorting to these pharmaceuticals, try supplementing with vitamin D, as it has been shown to defeat depression naturally. It is also key to de-stress the brain, as depression is always cultivated from stress-related aspects of your life.

via Antidepressants Cause Your Arteries to Thicken 400% More Than Aging | Republic Broadcasting Network.

Antidepressant use in England soars (same in the Americas)

Antidepressant use in England soars | Society | The Guardian.

• Prescriptions rise by more than a quarter in three years
• Depression costing economy nearly £11bn a year
• Financial uncertainty thought to be factor

Prozac pill held between finger and thumb

Prescriptions for antidepressants such as Prozac have increased from 34m in 2007-08 to 43.4m in 2010-11. Photograph: Najlah Feanny/Corbis

The use of antidepressants has risen by more than a quarter in England in just three years, amid fears that more people are suffering from depression due to the economic crisis.

The number of prescriptions for antidepressants increased by 28% from 34m in 2007-08 to 43.4m in 2010-11, according to the NHS information centre.

Depression is also costing the economy nearly £11bn a year in lost earnings, NHS care and drug prescriptions.

Research by the House of Commons found the cost to the NHS of treating the illness is more than £520m a year.

People who are unable to work due to depression lose £8.97bn of potential earnings a year, while the loss of earnings from suicide is put at £1.47bn.

Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat MP who commissioned the research, told the Independent: “Failure to tackle depression hurts us all. It makes a misery of the lives of sufferers, costs the NHS in time and medication, and hampers business by forcing some people out of work.”

Prescriptions for anti-anxiety drugs rose from just over 6m to 6.5m in the same period, an 8% jump, while prescriptions for sleeping pills rose 3% from around 9.9m to 10.2m.

The research found the north-west had the highest antidepressant use in 2010-11, with 7.2m prescriptions dispensed.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, said the tough economic times may have contributed to more people experiencing depression, but improved public awareness may also mean more people are seeking help.

“It’s important to remember that antidepressants can be a lifeline for some people which enable them to manage their mental health problems,” he said.

Emer O’Neill, chief executive of Depression Alliance, said: “These uncertain economic times are linked to an increase in the number of people with the illness.”

Antidepressants Found to Worsen Depression

Antidepressants Found to Worsen Depression | Natural Society.

Antidepressants, which given to more than 1 in 10 Americans, have been found to worsen depression — the very condition they are intended to ‘treat’. According to the new research concerning antidepressant trials, around 1 in 5 patients on popular Cymbalta and other related pharmaceuticals may actually feel worse than those given placebo pills. The research adds to the long list of scientific literature questioning not only the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs, but their safety.

Involving around 2,500 participants with major depression, the researchers combined data from 7 different studies that randomly assigned patients to receive Eli Lilly’s drug Cymbalta, other antidepressants, or a placebo pill for two months. Eli Lilly also created the antidepressant drug Prozac, which studies conducted in the 1980s linked to suicide and adverse health reactions. Despite the evidence, Eli Lilly managed to cover up the evidence until a Harvard psychiatrist leaked the information into the press. The psychiatrist, Martin Teicher, stated that the American people were being treated like guinea pigs in a massive pharmaceutical experiment.

In order to cover up their scandalous actions, the company set up false drug trials in an attempt to prove the safety of Prozac. Teicher explained how the company interfered with the research to produce false conclusions:

“They culled patients from their worldwide trials, they cherry-picked the studies, leaving out the trials showing problems.”

You may be aware of the groundbreaking research linking excessive antibiotic usage to mental illness. A report published in the popular journal Nature revealed that antibiotics are permanently destroying beneficial bacteria within the gut, a condition scientists link to mental illness. Given this research, it seems that pharmaceuticals (antidepressants) are actually being prescribed to treat mental illness brought on by the consumption of other pharmaceuticals (antibiotics).

Fluoxetine (Prozac), an SSRI

Image via Wikipedia

While this relationship is quite concerning, natural solutions do exist to help combat mental illness rates, which are continually climbing. In fact, the numbers are so staggering that now more than half of all Americans will be diagnosed with at least one mental illness in their lifetime. The key to healing gut health lies in the restoration of health-promoting probiotic bacteria, also known as the ‘good’ bacteria. You see, when you have more ‘bad’ bacteria than ‘good’ bacteria as a result of antibiotic use or improper diet, your gut health can really suffer.

Through the consumption of probiotics, you can restore beneficial bacteria that has been damaged or depleted. It is possible to do this through either supplementation or the consumption of probiotic-rich foods, though you may find consuming such foods to be a challenge. Fermented food items such as sauerkraut, tempeh, miso or kefir are all rich sources of probiotic bacteria.

Explore More:

  1. More than 1 in 10 Americans on Suicide-Linked Antidepressants
  2. Antidepressants Prescribed Without Psychiatric Diagnosis
  3. Antidepressants Make You More Depressed and Trigger Suicidal Thoughts
  4. Antibiotics Could be to Blame for Skyrocketing Mental Illness Rates
  5. Probiotics in This Food Could Help Treat Depression

What if the drugs don’t work?

What if the drugs don’t work? – Features, Health & Families – The Independent.

Research repeatedly shows that antidepressants give little benefit – but serious side effects. Yet millions who take them regard them as lifesavers. Markie Robson-Scott reports on the controversy that is dividing psychiatrists

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

When my American friend Bill, who’d been on SSRI antidepressants for 22 years (Prozac, followed by Paxil, Lexapro, then Celexa), read a two-part article by Dr Marcia Angell in The New York Review of Books recently about the crisis in psychiatry and the inefficacy of antidepressants, he stopped taking his meds (tapering off gradually, monitored by his doctor). “The article brought on enough doubt to push me over,” he said. Since then, his moods have become more volatile – more anger, more emotion, such as crying at the end of the last Harry Potter film (he’s in his 50s). But he’s got his libido back after years of “muffled response” and that seems a worthwhile trade-off.

Instead of listening to Prozac, have we been listening to placebo all along? Research repeatedly appears to show that: antidepressants are little more than placebos, with very little therapeutic benefit but serious side-effects (70 per cent of people on Celexa and Paxil report sexual dysfunction, and in some, it carries on even when they stop taking the pills). The theory of chemical imbalance as a cause of depression is an unproven hypothesis; and doctors are prescribing the drugs mainly because of the “juggernaut of pharmaceutical promotion”, as the US psychiatrist Dr Daniel Carlat calls it.

It’s not surprising there’s a US media furore – about 10 per cent of Americans over the age of six take antidepressants. In the UK, prescriptions for the drugs went up 43 per cent in the last four years to 23 million a year.

Professor Irving Kirsch, associate director of the programme in placebo studies at Harvard Medical School and author of The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth, says the theory of chemical imbalance – that there is not enough serotonin, norepinephrine and/or dopamine in the brain synapses of depressed people – doesn’t fit the data (lowering serotonin levels in healthy patients has no impact on their moods). Chemical imbalance is a myth, he says. It follows that the idea that “antidepressants can cure depression chemically is simply wrong”. His meta-analysis of 38 clinical studies – 40 per cent of which had been withheld from publication because drug companies didn’t like the results – involving more than 3,000 depressed patients on SSRIs shows that only 25 per cent of the benefit of antidepressant treatment was due to the drugs and that 50 per cent was a placebo effect. “In other words, the placebo effect was twice as large as the drug effect,” though the placebo response was lower in the severely depressed.

This is not quite as damning as it sounds: placebos are extraordinarily powerful and can be “as strong as potent medications”. Placebo response is specific: placebo morphine eases pain, placebo antidepressants relieve depression. It’s a question of expectancy and conditioning: if you expect to feel better, you will, even if you’re getting negative side effects, because side effects, Kirsch says, convince people that they’ve been given a potent drug.

Psychotherapy boosts the placebo effect and is “significantly more effective than medication” for all levels of depression, he says. Antidepressants should only be used “as a last resort and only for the most severely depressed”.

Of course, not everyone agrees. Ian Anderson, Professor at psychiatry at the University of Manchester, who is to debate whether “antidepressants are useful in the treatment of depression” with Kirsch at a conference in Turkey next month, thinks we’re in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater when we say antidepressants are rubbish. Antidepressants are part of a doctor’s toolbox, though probably most useful for the most depressed; some people don’t take to talking therapies; it’s not an either/or situation, he says.

Professor Allan Young, chair of psychiatry at Imperial College London, agrees. “Depression is such a huge category of illness – there are multiple types, and each type responds differently.” Of course, the brain and the body are inextricably linked, he says, and placebo effects are greater in the less-severely ill.

To make things more complicated, there’s the nocebo effect. If you expect to feel bad when you come off antidepressants, you will, because “we tend to notice random small negative changes and interpret them as evidence that we are in fact getting worse”, Kirsch says.

Lucy, who was suicidal, took Cipramil (Celexa in the US) on and off for 10 years. She says the drug “gave me back myself, it was like a ray of light shining through fog”, but the side effects – nausea and lost libido among others – forced her off it. Then “it was like a clock ticking, a twitch in the back of my mind. I lived in fear of the depression coming back. The only thing that kept me alive was knowing the pills were there. But was it because I believed I was a depressive so when I had the negative feelings I panicked?”

For Judy, lofepramine, a tricyclic, worked well. “First I was given Prozac, which gave me huge anxiety, like a bad trip, and made me horribly aware of all my nerve-endings. But lofepramine worked from the first day. When I took it in the morning I’d get a chemical lift, like a switch being turned on: it was a fabulous rush of joy.”

She stopped taking it after six months. Several months later, she felt low, though not depressed – “I feel depression like a stone in my solar plexus, and it wasn’t like that. But still I thought it would be nice to have that short-cut to happiness, so I took a lofepramine and it had no effect whatsoever – because I wasn’t really depressed. So to me the placebo theory makes no sense.” Neither does it to Hannah, who took Prozac for 10 years and says “it was absolutely fantastic and saved my life”.

Daniel Carlat, a psychiatrist in Boston and author of Unhinged: The Trouble with Psychiatry – A Doctor’s Revelations about a Profession in Crisis says that prescribing is a hit-and-miss affair. “Unfortunately we know a good bit less about what we are doing than you might think,” he writes. “When I find myself using phrases like ‘chemical imbalance’ and ‘serotonin deficiency’, it is usually because I’m trying to convince a reluctant patient to take a medication. Using these words makes their illness seem more biological, taking some of the stigma away.”

Most lay people, he says, don’t realise how little shrinks know about the underpinning of mental illness, though he’s not as convinced as Kirsch about the placebo effect and makes the point that the patients who turn up at his office are different from those recruited into clinical trials because drug companies, desperate to get their product to outperform a placebo, are picky about who they choose.

You have to have “pure” depression, unblemished by alcohol use, anxiety problems, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts, mild or long-term depression – which, says Carlat, would exclude most of his patients. Yet, as Marcia Angell, author of The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It, says: “It’s true… but they are the best we have.”

If there’s one thing that’s clear among the contradictions, it’s that the brain remains mysterious. As Carlat says: “Undoubtedly, there are neurobiological and genetic causes for all mental disorders, but they are still beyond our understanding.” All we really know is that depression exists and that sometimes the drugs seem to work – even if it’s a placebo effect.

Antidepressants: the guidelines

* Never stop taking antidepressants without discussing it with your doctor, because abrupt cessation of SSRIs can cause withdrawal symptoms that can be both physical and mental.

* If you do decide to stop, you’ll need to reduce the dose gradually rather than stopping abruptly.

* If you’re happy with your antidepressant and you feel it works for you, then keep on taking it. Regular use is what works: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, says Professor Irving Kirsch.

Further reading: Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker

27 Years: No Deaths from Vitamins, 3 Million from Prescription Drugs

Vitamins!

Image by bradley j via Flickr

Activist Post: 27 Years: No Deaths from Vitamins, 3 Million from Prescription Drugs.

Anthony Gucciardi
Activist Post

 

Over the past 27 years — the complete timeframe that the data has been available —  there have been 0 deaths as a result of vitamins and over 3 million deaths related to prescription drug use. In fact, going back 54 years there have only been 11 claims of vitamin-related death, all of which provided no substantial evidence to link vitamins to the cause of death. The news comes after a recent statistically analysis found that pharmaceutical drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the US.

In 2009, drugs exceeded the amount of traffic-related deaths, killing at least 37,485 people nationwide.

The findings go against the claims of mainstream medical ‘experts’  and mainstream media outlets who often push the idea that multivitamins are detrimental to your health, and that prescription drugs are the only science-backed option to improving your health. While essential nutrients like vitamin D are continually being shown to slash your risk of disease such as diabetes and cancer, prescription pharmaceuticals are continually being linked to such conditions. In fact, the top-selling therapeutic class pharmaceutical drug has been tied to the development of diabetes and even suicide, and whistleblowers are just now starting to speak out despite studies as far back as the 80s highlighting the risks.

Mainstream medical health officials were recently forced to speak out over the danger of antipsychotic drugs, which millions of children have been prescribed since 2009. U.S. pediatric health advisers blew the whistle over the fact that these pharmaceuticals can lead to diabetes and even suicide, the very thing they aim to prevent. What is even more troubling is that half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental condition during their lifetime thanks to lack of diagnosis guidelines currently set by the medical establishment, of which many cases will lead to the prescription of antipsychotics and other similar medications. 

Covering up the side effects

In order to protect sales, the link between suicide and antipsychotic drugs was completely covered up by Eli Lilly & Co, the makers of Prozac. Despite research stretching as far back as the 1980s finding that Prozac actually leads to suicide, the company managed to hide the evidence until a Harvard psychiatrist leaked the information into the press. The psychiatrist, Martin Teicher, stated that the American people were being treated like guinea pigs in a massive pharmaceutical experiment.

Greedy and oftentimes prescription-happy doctors are handing out antipsychotic medication like candy to adults and young children alike. In 2008, antipsychotics became the top-selling therapeutic class prescription drug in the United States and grossing over $14 billion in sales.

Antipsychotic drugs are not the only dangerous pharmaceuticals. The average drug label contains 70 side effects, though many popular pharmaceuticals have been found to contain 100 to 125. Some drugs, prescribed by doctors to supposedly improve your health, come with over 525 negative reactions.

Ritalin, for example, has been linked to conditions including:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased alertness
  • Suppressed appetite
Perhaps the hundreds of negative side effects is part of the reason why the FDA announced last year that it is pulling more than 500 cold and allergy off the market due to health concerns. Prescription drugs kill more people than traffic accidents, and come with up to 525 negative side effects. Avoiding these drugs and utilizing high quality organic alternatives like whole food-based multivitamins and green superfoods will lead to a total health transformation without harsh side effects and an exponentially increased death risk.

Sources:
Most recent year: Bronstein AC, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR Jr, Green JL, Rumack BH, Giffin SL. 2009 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 27th Annual Report. Clinical Toxicology (2010). 48, 979-1178. The full text article is available for free download at http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/Portals/0/2009%20AR.pdf

Drug-induced mind control where human subjects will be controlled by someone else, and unable to make conscious decisions for themselves.

Fluoxetine HCl 20mg Capsules (Prozac)

Image via Wikipedia

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ethan A. Huff

(NaturalNews)

It may sound like something out of a science fiction plot, but Oxford researchers say that modern conventional medicine is gradually developing ways to change the moral states of humans through pharmaceutical drugs, and thus control the way people think and act in various life situations. These new drugs will literally have the ability to disrupt an individual’s personal morality, and instead reprogram that person to believe and do whatever the drug designer has created that drug to do.

“Science has ignored the question of moral improvement so far, but it is now becoming a big debate,” said Dr. Guy Kahane from the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics in the UK. “There is already a growing body of research you can describe in these terms. Studies show that certain drugs affect the ways people respond to moral dilemmas by increasing their sense of empathy, group affiliation and by reducing aggression.”

While this may sound good in theory, mind control is already a very dangerous side effect of existing drugs. Take the antidepressant drug Prozac, for instance, which has been known to cause those taking it to lash out in violent rages. One young boy murdered his father by beating him and stabbing him in the head, and hit his mother with a crowbar and stabbed her in the face, shortly after starting to take Prozac (http://www.naturalnews.com/News_000…).

But the kinds of drugs Kahane and his colleagues are referring to imply designer drugs specifically designed to not only alter one’s mental state, but also to change the way that person thinks about situations from a moral perspective. The end result is literally a type of drug-induced mind control where human subjects will be controlled by someone else, and unable to make conscious decisions for themselves.

Research on the subject, of course, tries to paint the idea of mind-control drugs in a positive light, suggesting that they could be used to help make the world a better place. Just imagine less violence, more trust, and more love, they say. This rhetoric, though, is really just a ploy to further numb the already mind-numbed masses into accepting the idea as a good thing.

Activist Post.

The Drug Store in Your Tap Water

Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...

Image via Wikipedia

 

You don’t have to eat cattle who have worn trenbolone ear implants to end up with the growth stimulating androgenic hormone in your body reported the Associated Press in 2008.

Water taken near a Nebraska feedlot had four times the trenbolone levels as other water samples and male fathead minnows nearby had low testosterone levels and small heads.

Nor do you have to see a doctor to imbibe a witch’s brew of prescriptions like pain pills, antibiotics and psychiatric, cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy and heart meds in your drinking water, says the AP. Free of charge.

Other “biosolids” found in drinking water include anti-fungal drugs and the toxic plastic, Bisphenol A, from some bottled waters which people ironically drink to avoid tap water.

While pharma and water treatment professionals routinely deny the existence of prescription drugs in public waterways and drinking water — easy to do when they are not tested for anyway! — Mary Buzby director of environmental technology for pharma giant Merck was a little more candid in 2007.No doubt about it, pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds, in the small concentrations that they’re at, could be causing impacts to human health or to aquatic organisms,” she remarked at a conference in 2007, says the AP.

And if we need a second opinion from the antibiotics found in Tucson drinking water, sex hormones in San Francisco drinking water and seizure and anxiety meds in Southern California drinking water, there’s the animals themselves.

Fish caught near wastewater treatment plants near five major US cities had residues of cholesterol, high blood pressure, allergy, bipolar and depression drugs reported Discovery news in 2006.

Male fish in the estrogen-saturated St. Lawrence River around Montreal are developing ovaries, reported Daniel Cyr, at Quebec’s National Institute for Science Research according to the Independent Post in 2008.

And now fish in the same area are showing signs of the antidepressant Prozac in their systems says the University of Montreal.

(And that’s not counting the feminized frogs with both female and male sex organs which are increasingly found in US waterways and even suburban ponds, an ominous “canary-in-the-water” trend that indicates serious ecological damage say scientists.)

When scientists studied hybrid striped bass exposed to Prozac at Clemson University, SC they found the fish maintained a position at the top of the water surface, sometimes with their dorsal fin out of the water unlike the fish not on Prozac who remained at the bottom of the tank. Staying near the top of the water and maintaining “a vertical position in the aquaria” could increase the bass’ susceptibility to predators and decrease their survival reported the researchers. Nor did the bass eat as much as non-Prozac fish.

A similar loss in survival behaviors has been seen in shrimp exposed to Prozac who are five times more likely to swim toward light than away from it, making them also more susceptible to predators reports the Southern Daily Echo News.

”Crustaceans are crucial to the food chain and if shrimps’ natural behaviour is being changed because of antidepressant levels in the sea this could seriously upset the natural balance of the ecosystem,” says Dr Alex Ford, from the University of Portsmouth‘s Institute of Marine Sciences.

For years public health officials have told people that just because the bass and other fish in their waterways are contaminated with chlordane, PCBs and methylmercury doesn’t mean the drinking water is unsafe. But the prescription drugs levels in fish are precisely because the drinking water is unsafe.

Martha Rosenberg is columnist and cartoonist based in Chicago

OpEdNews – Article: The Drug Store in Your Tap Water.

Top Ten Legal Drugs Linked to Violence

Picture taken by myself of my Adderall prescri...

Image via Wikipedia

When people consider the connections between drugs and violence, what typically comes to mind are illegal drugs like crack cocaine. However, certain medications — most notably, some antidepressants like Prozac — have also been linked to increase risk for violent, even homicidal behavior.

A new study from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices published in the journal PloS One and based on data from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System has identified 31 drugs that are disproportionately linked with reports of violent behavior towards others. (More on Time.com: New Hope For An Anti-Cocaine Vaccine)

Please note that this does not necessarily mean that these drugs cause violent behavior. For example, in the case of opioid pain medications like Oxycontin, people with a prior history of violent behavior may seek  drugs in order to sustain an addiction, which they support via predatory crime. In the case of antipsychotics, the drugs may be given in an attempt to reduce violence by people suffering from schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders — so the drugs here might not be causing violence, but could be linked with it because they’re used to try to stop it.

Nonetheless, when one particular drug in a class of nonaddictive drugs used to treat the same problem stands out, that suggests caution: unless the drug is being used to treat radically different groups of people, that drug may actually be the problem. Researchers calculated a ratio of risk for each drug compared to the others in the database, adjusting for various relevant factors that could create misleading comparisons.  Here are the top ten offenders:

10. Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) An antidepressant which affects both serotonin and noradrenaline, this drug is 7.9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.

9. Venlafaxine (Effexor) A drug related to Pristiq in the same class of antidepressants, both are also used to treat anxiety disorders. Effexor is 8.3 times more likely than other drugs to be related to violent behavior. (More on Time.com: Adderall May Not Make You Smarter, But It Makes You Think You Are)

8. Fluvoxamine (Luvox) An antidepressant that affects serotonin (SSRI), Luvox is 8.4 times more likely than other medications to be linked with violence

7. Triazolam (Halcion) A benzodiazepine which can be addictive, used to treat insomnia. Halcion is 8.7 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs, according to the study.

6) Atomoxetine (Strattera) Used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Strattera affects the neurotransmitter noradrenaline and is 9 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to the average medication.

5) Mefoquine (Lariam) A treatment for malaria, Lariam has long been linked with reports of bizarre behavior. It is 9.5 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs.

4) Amphetamines: (Various) Amphetamines are used to treat ADHD and affect the brain’s dopamine and noradrenaline systems. They are 9.6 times more likely to be linked to violence, compared to other drugs.

3) Paroxetine (Paxil) An SSRI antidepressant, Paxil is also linked with more severe withdrawal symptoms and a greater risk of birth defects compared to other medications in that class. It is 10.3 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to other drugs. (More on Time.com: Healthland’s Guide to Life 2011)

2) Fluoxetine (Prozac) The first well-known SSRI antidepressant, Prozac is 10.9 times more likely to be linked with violence in comparison with other medications.

1) Varenicline (Chantix) The anti-smoking medication Chantix affects the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, which helps reduce craving for smoking. Unfortunately, it’s 18 times more likely to be linked with violence compared to other drugs — by comparison, that number for Xyban is 3.9 and just 1.9 for nicotine replacement. Because Chantix is slightly superior in terms of quit rates in comparison to other drugs, it shouldn’t necessarily be ruled out as an option for those trying to quit, however.

Top Ten Legal Drugs Linked to Violence – TIME Healthland.