Monday, May 07, 2007

There are other ways to prevent suicide

Tampa Tribune
There Are Other Ways To Prevent Suicide
May 7, 2007

Columnist Dan Ruth ("The NRA of Cults Strikes Again, April 28) obtained an e-mail I wrote in which I discouraged a suicide "prevention" initiative - Senate Bill 224.

The reason is simple. The pharmaceutical industry salivates over suicide "prevention" programs, such as the very controversial and unscientific TeenScreen program, whose advisory board has major pharmaceutical ties. (Google TeenScreen, folks!) TeenScreen admits a percentage of kids screened will wind up on psychiatric drugs that can increase suicide risk.

The tax records of the backers of another suicide "prevention" program called Signs of Suicide reveal millions in pharmaceutical funding.

The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) pushes suicide screening of children nationwide and receives millions in drug money. Eli Lilly gave NAMI $544,500 in the first quarter of this year alone. NAMI is on the "coordinating council" named in Senate Bill 224.

Ruth's cheap shot that I am opposed to suicide prevention is a bonafide lie. Ruth said I did not respond to questions he submitted. Although he had my e-mail, he chose not to write to me directly. I finally received his correspondence after his column appeared.

Ruth failed to mention from my e-mail: "The Office of Drug Control is tasked with limiting the devastation of substance abuse in Florida. Ironically, the Office of Drug Control has vigorously pushed TeenScreen in various parts of Florida but so far has failed. The Office of Drug Control even lists TeenScreen on their Web site: The former head of the Florida Office of Drug Control, James McDonough, is listed on TeenScreen's national advisory board."

In Senate Bill 2800, The Florida Mental Health Institute is slated to receive $400,000 for a statewide suicide "prevention" program. FMHI estimates they will need an additional $11.8 million. They are intent on implementing unproven child suicide screening, despite the fact that they've already failed to implement TeenScreen in Florida schools, including Pinellas and Hillsborough, because of the concerns of parents and school officials.

I analyzed every autopsy and toxicology report on every single child suicide in the state of Florida from 2000 to 2004. The majority had already received psychiatric treatment - consistent with FDA warnings that these drugs can cause mania, suicide, psychosis, worsening depression and even homicidal thoughts. Cho Seung-Hui at Virginia Tech is no surprise.

Everyone should get educated at the very least on the FDA black box warning: "Antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children and adolescents." This FDA warning alone should be a wake-up call for any true suicide prevention effort.

I, along with countless others, oppose the mass drugging of children. Ruth's ignorant attempt to dehumanize my friends, concerned parents and myself is bald-faced bigotry and is not becoming of The Tampa Tribune.


1 comment:

concerned heart said...

NAMI is totally suspect to say the least for also not telling the public that advancing paternal age is the major avoidable risk factor for autism and schizophrenia. They seem very thrilled to have Teen Screen and more and more profits for Lilly et al. If NAMI had anything else but pharmaceutical industry profits in mind, it would have warned about advancing paternal age end mental illness since its earliest days. Not a single word do they write or say about the most potent cause/risk factor of schizophrenia or autism.
Mutations in the DNA of sperm making cells accumulate rapidly with paternal age 33 and above.

"The most irrefutable finding is our demonstration that a father’s age is a major risk factor for schizophrenia. We were the first group to show that schizophrenia is linearly related to paternal age and that the risk is tripled for the offspring of the oldest groups of fathers.7 This finding has been born out in every single cohort study that has looked at paternal age and the risk for schizophrenia. The only other finding that has been as consistently replicated in schizophrenia research is that there is an increased risk associated with a family history of schizophrenia. Since only 10% to 15% of schizophrenia cases have a family history, family history does not explain much of the population risk for schizophrenia. However, we think that approximately one third or one quarter of all schizophrenia cases may be attributable to paternal age. Paternal age is the major source of de novo genetic diseases in the human population, which was first described by Penrose8 in the 1950s. He hypothesized that this was due to copy errors that arose in the male germ line over the many cycles of sperm cell replications. These mutations accumulate as paternal age advances. After the Penrose report, medical researchers identified scores of sporadic diseases in the offspring of older fathers, suggesting that these could occur from gene mutations. Particular attention was paid to conditions in last-born children. In the 1960s, an excess of schizophrenia in last-born children was also reported. Dolores Malaspina, M.D.