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Brendan Dilley is a Congressional candidate in Arizona and YourVoice™ America Co-host.

He receives intelligence messages from a source he keeps anonymous. Dilley’s Twitter account has many positive messages about life. His Periscopes have the intel data.

Someone on 8chan watches the videos then summarises the content. I’ve read this intel several times over the past few weeks and found it interesting enough to share.

Part 1 covers excerpted drops from January 17 through January 27, 2018.

Part 2 covers intel from January 29 through February 1.

Part 3 covers February 2 and 3.

Part 4 covers intel from February 5.

This post covers intel from Thursday, February 8.

Most of the typos are fixed, although I left some capitalisations and abbreviations in. The transcriber seems to want to stress the capitalised words. Emphases mine below.

To explain the first part, refer back to the end of Part 4, which includes a Q message. Here is message 688:

People asked for arrests.
Gave one example.
Just because you can’t see doesn’t mean it’s not ongoing.
Trust the plan.
Q

The first part of Dilley’s Periscope is summarised as follows:

Dilley spoke to a ex-military c who speaks to generals. Says EVERY perp must do a perpwalk to restore faith in our republic.

Dilley is holding Trump and Sessions to the highest standard. Says ‘I am a sycophant to no man’ if they to not prosecute.

Dilley says Arrests Happened 2-3 days ago, relates it to Q but wants to know who Q showed being arrested, not just “somebody in China.” he will ask his source for a name!!

This is an excerpt from the second part, which has to do with Q’s identity. There is also a mention of Anthony Weiner (currently in prison in Massachusetts), husband of Huma Abedin, a former Hillary staffer and her close companion:

Dilley believes Q is in the administration

Dilley says there is real panic in DC, they have lost the ability to push back fast enough

Dilley says we need e-verify for voting

Mentions Weiner’s phone contact list dropping

‘Things aren’t done on your timeline’ ref voter fraud

update on voter fraud – “voter fraud count at 8.75 million atm”

multiple reports will come out

This is the third part:

Dilley says his source monitors Twitter

His Source WILL NOT give a name for Q China arrest drop but give a hint: “WAS SUPERB”

Dilley mentions 84 doctors killed over last few years

Dilley was a personal trainer to a Lady who was a researcher on cancer cures.

She discovered something about the early stages of a cancer cure on Monday- by Wednesday, the lab was SHUT DOWN.This was in 2009.

That does not surprise me one bit. How can they get a cure for cancer or even the flu released to the public when healthcare, particularly cancer care, has been an industry for nearly 50 years? It’s a money spinner.

Q also posted on the same day about this (messages 690 to 692):

Q !UW.yye1fxo ID: ee33a6 300345
Make sure the list of resignations remains updated. Important. When does big pharma make money? Curing or containing? Cancer/AIDS/etc. Mind will be blown by chain of command. Q

Q !UW.yye1fxo
ID: ee33a6 300473
What if cures already exist? What about the billions (public/private/govt) provided to fund cure dev? Sheep. These people are sick! Q

Q !UW.yye1fxoID: 296675 300885
How many top medical researchers found dead in past 5 years?
Why is this topic relevant now? Why does the US taxpayer subsidize meds for the rest of the world? Q

Back to Dilley and his source. An additional sentence appeared later:

Remember during the campaign when POTUS said that maybe we will even cure cancer. He KNOWS!

Here is the fourth part:

When Dilley gets to Congress, he will SCOPE from the Hill and name names as to WHO is on our side

New Intel:

Shanghai Grab and Hit ‘first of many’

Watch the skies over Cali next

Then borderland north

Runners cant run with broken legs

Think misery

(Garbled) Mueller about to open his Special Counsel Reveal

I read anecdotally about military planes flying over California for an extended period of time around that date.

This is an excerpt from the fifth part. I haven’t included the whole message as part of it is over the top. Anyway, this is what Dilley’s intel source says about Robert Mueller:

Mueller is a guy trying to stay out of jail

No, he is not a good guy

Here is the sixth part, which concerns Valerie Jarrett, close adviser to Obama who now lives with them in Washington DC and Bush I:

Let’s run some names

Obama answers to VJ who answers to rogue CIA

Rogue CIA is run by GHWB

Who runs p[oin]t for GHWB?

The seventh part answers that question and brings up the late Michael Hastings, an American investigative journalist who had a lot of information about the CIA. He died mysteriously in 2013 in what some think was a car cyber attack. Sparks began flying then the car veered and slammed into a tree. Some of this message is a nod to Q, e.g. ‘crumbs’ and ‘fly, fly, fly’:

JOHN MCCAIN is the man who runs point for GHWB

Someone is about to be arrested in California

Hannity has intel

DHS busy at border

Someone has twitchy feet
Crumbs drop to incite perps to run
Fly, fly, fly

Michael Hastings has scary raw intel…murdered by maybe john brennan?
Hastings was sitting on massive intel
His girlfriend is a contributor on Morning Joe

Why is USSS on high alert? not for reason you think…’think mirror’
Who protects POTUS? drones up,we see all, time to go hunting

Why are non government official pervs important to big picture. Think Weiner. now think Weinstein. Laptop. What does Perv #2 have?

Dilley says Big things are coming very very soon
including convictions and indictments
wheels are turning behind the scenes
nothing is an accident

Dilley then took questions from his listeners. He referred to Bush II who recently gave a speech overseas with some anti-Trump barbs:

Although, great work by some Anons were done, I’ve provided another report with additional details
Someone in post asked Dilley if Q was real.
Brendan responded: “How much more evidence do you have to be shown that the information you’re getting is legit before you finally believe it?”
Same question is asked of Brendan’s source. “Brendan, is your source legit?”
Brendan responded: “I’ve been giving you information for 3 months. I don’t know how many times in a row I have to be right before ppl go ‘ok, we’re gonna listen'”
Your own critical mind should be able to decipher what’s real and what’s not anymore. It’s time to start using your nugget
“You ask the wrong questions. You waste time. You waste my time, you waste your own time.”
“Who is Q?”, Dilley responds “Who cares. It doesn’t matter whether you like the Intel or you don’t. If they’re right, they’re right.”
“It doesn’t matter if you know who Q is. At the end of the day, what you’re seeing comes into the public domain and the information ends up being real.”
Everybody wants things to be like CNN and Fox News. That’s not the way this works. You’re expected to be smarter than that.
You want spoon-fed information… Mockingly “Brendan, what date on this guy will this person come get arrested?”
Even if I had this information, I’m not telling you. That’s just not the way this works.
Dilley expect smarter people in his scopes asking better questions.
Begins talking about news drops about Texts, Memos, revolving around Obama.
You can’t put the Genie back in the bottle. IT IS OUT! The MSM is unsuccessfully trying to divert attention away from it.”
Mocks George W Bush who was trending today claiming “Russia, Russia, Russia”. No one cares what he has to say. He’s a treasonous sh!tBag.
It’s a big charade but the evidence is brutal. These ppl are AWFUL. They will not be able to run from what this is.
It’s their HUBRIS that continues to try and maintain their power right now in America.
They continue to trot themselves out with their “comments” and “opinions”. Nobody cares what George Bush thinks especially in this day and age.
“We know what you did Georgy Porgy! We don’t care. You’re full of crap, buddy”
Answers attack on Trump Supporters as “Conspiracy Theoists”:
Even if president Trump wasn’t in the equation, if you found this stuff out, you should be absolutely furious! There’s no way any American should be look at the evidence against these people. They tried to take over this country and almost did.
Dilley’s statement to POTUS “We will not settle for anything less than FULL BLOWN PROSECUTION for these people’s crimes. No one can to walk on this one.”
“THIS MUST BE OUR LINE IN THE SAND.”
“I don’t care if half the country tries a civil war because of it. As an American citizen, you either have a country or you don’t” …
Liberals can’t allow the truth to happen because if the truth happens, they’ve got to reassess their own identity. That’s why they reject everything
“Q showed you guys an arrest last night? That’s funny, My guy told me there were arrests coming a couple days ago. I was like, huh?”

The next part has a few more new pieces of information:

Dilley agrees with Periscope, we ABSOLUTELY need e-verify for voting …
Dilley confirms Voter fraud info/report WILL come out
“It’ll come out. There’s multiple reports. It just won’t be one location
“I can tell you that my source is EVERYWHERE“. Dilley believes he listens to comments and twitter.
It’s a team of people… Not just one person.
Source replies back that not allowed to give out any info person snatched in China
Dilley encourages his Periscope followers to DO THEIR OWN RESEARCH
He is then is fascinated by the fact that may of his followers have good intel:
“You guys have got good information in here”
He then begins to give insight on what he’s seeing:
One of the things I hope you’re learning from the Q drops and certainly from me is there is a VALUE in asking large groups of ppl to pray for the country
GOD & COUNTRY – Keeping those 2 things together… The power of your prayers are what’s bringing about ALL of this truth. It’s your PRAYERS
“You’re literally manifesting everything you’re seeing right now. That is a HUGE thing that ppl are overlooking in this process.”
Your resilience for the truth. Your ABSOLUTE, UNRELENTING pursuit of that truth combined with your prayer is what’s allowing all of this to happen.”
You’re literally creating this. This was NOT gonna happen.”
“You guys are actually bringing this about. IT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. This HUGE group, this HIVE MIND that you’ve got right now for TRUTH and for PRAYER.”
“That’s why GOD & COUNTRY – every single time.”
“Right now, we’ve got the HUGE COLLECTIVE that is committed to the truth. That power is REAL and it’s AMAZING”
2nd INTEL was dropped in the middle of Periscope:
Shanghai Grab and Hit
‘First of Many’
Watch the skies over Cali next
Then borderland north
Runners can’t run with broken legs
Think MISERY

The questions and answers continued. Some asked about California Democrats — Jerry Brown, Ted Lieu and Nancy Pelosi:

Someone jokes on Periscope: I hope it’s Gov Brown
Dilley laughs and compliments his Periscope:
“I love that you guys all know who the actual enemies are now. Cause there are a bunch of Democrats who are faceless. They’re just democrats… and they’re not evil people, they’re just kind of.. whatever. But you guys know the evil ones. You guys recognize them REAL QUICK!” …
Persicope asks about Rod Rosenstein
Dilley responds: “I told you guys RR would be screwed in, like, December. Remember when my source was breaking it down for you guys?”
People who Dilley agrees with Periscope on who is “Screwed”:
Ted Lieu
Nancy Pelosi
Everyone keeps asking about if Mueller is a “Good Guy”
Dilley Responds:
No he is not a good guy, he’s just a selfish old bum who wants to stay out of prison so he’s gonna do this in the middle. I keep telling you guys this.”

Dilley begins discussing someone he knew who swears that Soros and Hillary Clinton installed real Nazis into Ukraine Government.
“It is my genuine belief that the corruption is SO DEEP AND SO BAD that they’re having to ease an American Public into the reality of what’s been going on. It’s is THAT BAD

The penultimate part has this information:

Dilley Live 2/8/18 2230 pm Facebook Live
https:// http://www.facebook.com/dilleyforcongress/videos/325851541240999/
A lot of people are compromised. This is all part of the red-pilling that is going to take place.
They’re all dirty and we’re finding it out more and more
Follow Sundance on Conservative Treehouse …

Michael Hastings Raw Intel is scary, I wonder who has twitchy feet now that coded Anon post told them we have the whole story fully deciphered
Crumbs drops sometimes for the purpose of the perpetrator ONLY

In the final part, Dilley discusses Harvey Weinstein, the military, the panic among the elites and the executive order from December 21, 2017 about asset seizure:

Repeats Intel Drop, this time with his own opinions:
Who protects POTUS? Dilley answers, not just USSS, but Marines!
Perv #2 is Weinstein, what does Weinstein’s laptop have?
Harvey Weinstein’s charges are now at the DA’s office & he could be grabbed @ any time.
How many people does Harvey Weinstein have leveraged just the way Anthony Wiener had leveraged through the laptop.
Dilley believes Weinstein was definitely into Human Trafficking & is going to try to keep himself out of prison & there is only one way to do that.
Turn on everyone else involved in it.
There are major happenings every single day now. THIS IS NOT AN ACCIDENT.
There are things happening both at home and abroad that you are completely unaware of.
Our president and our military, specifically our Sec. of Defense General James Mattis have managed to close all leaks on the military side.
You’ll notice most Americans have no clue of any operations we’re executing right now.
The media is in the total dark about what the military is performing right now. THAT IS PERFECT!
The less we know of what our military is doing, the safer our troops are abroad. This is a good thing so.
You’ve got military operations happening around the globe.
Many people that you may know… friends, family… Soldiers are being recalled in right now.
There are big operations underway and commencing very soon.
But more importantly, as this is being made globally, here at home,
there is a full blown panic within Washington DC/establishment class.
Because their handlers and their financiers are in real big trouble.
This is one of the most undertold stories in 2018
It’s not going to stop at Obama, the Clintons, McCain, Flake. The ppl that “own” them will be outted.
The real goal is “how far up can we go to get the rest?”
The real power and money, this is where you then begin to see names like “Gates, Bezos, Soros”
These financiers of corruption around the globe are about to face their day and they’re not going to have any choice.
Because without their money, they’re nothing.
This upcoming EO that Dilley has been priming for weeks is absolutely still in the works. They’re pretty close to rolling it out.
EO ties in directly with the last EO as well as with the Dec 21 EO.
One of the most important elements of this effort/Operation to restore this republic is YOU THE PUBLIC.
More ppl have to become aware of what’s been going on and not be tolerant of this corruption.

To doubters: this is important. It is not a joke.

To those who say things aren’t happening quickly enough, this is why things are moving at the current pace. I’m not sure Q actually said this, because it is too straightforward, but it gets the point across nonetheless:

Those who cannot understand that we cannot simply start arresting w/o first ensuring the safety & well-being of the population, shifting the narrative, removing those in DC through resignation to ensure success, defeating ISIS/MS13 to prevent fail-safes, freezing assets to remove network-to-network abilities, kill off COC to prevent top-down comms/org, etc etc. should not be participating in discussions.
Q

In closing, two things happened since the beginning of the month.

First, Sergey Medvedev was arrested at his Bangkok residence on February 2. He is a bad hombre. US authorities shut down his Infraud (yes!) international theft ring on February 6. Infraud operated on the dark web:

It was “the premier one-stop shop for cybercriminals worldwide”, said Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Rybicki …

The gang allegedly sells narcotic drugs, illegal weapons, stolen credit card PINs, protected wild animals and illegally obtained government documents, the source said.

Secondly, the CFO of Rosatom, Vyacheslav Ivanov, was one of the passengers killed in the plane crash outside of Moscow on February 11. Rosatom is the Russian company that bought Uranium One in Hillary Clinton’s crooked deal while she was Secretary of State.

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Yesterday’s post on narcotics addicts in the Bakken oil fields region — North Dakota and Montana — where MS-13 has a foothold, shows just how difficult kicking the drug habit is.

On March 21, 2017, Cleveland’s News 5 had an article about the money Big Pharma is making off drugs that admittedly save people from an overdose — a good thing — but also influences Ohio’s politicians.

‘Pharma company linked to Ohio senator benefits from opioid addiction and treatment’ says it all and is accompanied by a video of News 5 of their broadcast. This is one of the worst articles I’ve ever seen with regard to incomplete sentences and punctuation. (I’ve made the corrections that I could below, but stopped. Otherwise I would have to rewrite it.) However, the content is excellent. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

CLEVELAND – We’ve seen the videos of countless Northeast Ohioans revived with Naloxone[, t]he drug fighting an epidemic fueled in part by the billion dollar pharmaceutical industry.

But our News 5 investigation found at least one those big pharmaceutical companies is making money off the overdoses too

But where did this nightmare begin? “The way we got here frankly is prescription drugs and people getting addicted to opioids,” said Ohio Senator Rob Portman in a phone interview with News 5. To combat this epidemic, emergency crews have their own drug of choice, Naloxone

See how Big Pharma, big money and the senator are connected. Furthermore, this has helped Big Pharma nationwide. Naloxone, or Narcan is:

A drug so effective, Senator Portman ensured every first responder in the U.S. [c]arried it, expanding access through the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) he co-authored. “Because they are saving lives every day,” said Portman.

An antidote to a deadly epidemic experts say was fueled by pharmaceutical companies, the same companies, that have donated heavily to Ohio lawmakers, including Senator Portman.

Interesting, to say the least.

Portman denied being influenced by donations and said that he receives a lot of them from various industry sectors. However:

According to the Associated Press, Portman was a top recipient collecting over $200,000 in six years. One of those companies Pfizer Inc. [a]lso contributed to his most recent campaign.

Portman told News 5 he doesn’t even know what type of drugs Pfizer makes. Really?

News 5 went on to state:

besides the opioid painkillers Pfizer is most notable for, it has also recently begun producing Naloxone by acquiring the leading seller of the reversal drug.

Portman insisted he knew nothing about that and acts in the interest of his constituents.

News 5 named other politicians who have received Big Pharma donations:

From 2006 to 2015 the Pain Care Forum, a coalition of pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists, poured $3.5 million dollars into Ohio political coffers. According to the Associated Press, a huge chunk, $875,000[,] went to then House Speaker John Boehner, below him Representative Pat Tiberi received $300,000, while Congresswoman Marcia Fudge collected $78,000.

Okay, we knew this was going on. However, it’s good to see actual figures.

But don’t think for a moment that anyone in power — whether captains of industry or politicians — is interested in seeing a drop in drug addicts.

Drugs fuel the mighty money machine in more ways than one.

As President Trump says, ‘Follow the money’.

The worried well are, by and large, Westerners overcome by health fears.

Many of these fears are driven by preventive health programmes — interventions — present not only in doctors’ offices but places of employment.

Denmark’s puzzling statistics

Some of these can actually harm one’s health. My reader from The Last Furlong has a report from Denmark which says that their public health programmes have actually increased the number of hospitalisations, oddly, after the country’s smoking ban in 2007. Soon afterward:

the number of hospital admissions exploded.

By 2012, there were

a staggering 1.33 million annual hospital admissions – it was 150,000 more compared to 2006, or 13% more. This is double the rate of increase compared to the corresponding period before the smoking law.

Is this a mere coincidence? Or are Danes fretting more about their health?

Another curious increase is in the number of Danish patients admitted for heart disease, which increased between 2006 and 2012. Surely, with healthier lifestyles being mandated, this should have continued to decline.

Then there is the public health intervention encouraging people to exercise more. The result is that more Danes, especially women, have been admitted to hospital for joint and bone fractures caused by the perceived need for rigorous physical workouts in the name of better health.

The Danish report concluded:

The plan to reduce medical expenses by means of patronage has not worked as intended. The “healthy” Denmark, on the contrary, has been a regular disease factory.

The figures make a total failure of the idea that the state should interfere in people’s lifestyle to prevent disease.

Preventive [medicine] makes healthy people sick – and pharmaceutical companies happy.

Preventive interventions dubious

Huffington Post has an interesting article on preventive medicine by Allen Frances, Professor Emeritus at Duke University. Dr Frances begins with a quote from Aldous Huxley:

Medical science is making such remarkable progress that soon none of us will be well.

Isn’t that the truth!

Frances says (emphases mine):

The evidence is compelling that we in the developed countries (especially the US) are overtesting for disease, overdiagnosing it, and overtreating. Wasteful medical care of milder or nonexistent problems does more harm than good to the individual patient, diverts scarce medical resources away from those who really need them, and is an unsustainable drain on the economy.

Westerners, especially Americans, might have noticed that screening advice and frequency has changed over the years. One example is prostate cancer screening:

It used to be recommended that men of a certain age be tested yearly. It is now recommended that the test not be done at all unless a man has a family history or other special risk factors.

Why the big change? Definitive long term studies prove that the test doesn’t save lives and instead ruins them by triggering invasive interventions with painful complications. Screening is usually too late to stop fast spreading tumours and too good at identifying slow growing ones that don’t count and are better left alone. If they live long enough, the majority of men will develop an incidental and benign prostate cancer before they die from something else. Picking up these tumours early causes great grief for no return.

But, surely, early screening encourages disease prevention? Frances disputes that line of thinking:

The reality is that getting there too early misidentifies too many people who are not really at risk and then subjects them to needless and harmful tests and treatments.

Along with that is the psychological stress not only for the patient but for his nearest and dearest.

As for the radiation from certain tests, he tells us:

If we do enough CT scans we can find structural abnormalities in just about everyone. But most findings are incidental and don’t have any real clinical meaning. Paradoxically, lots of otherwise healthy people will get dangerous cancers from the CT radiation that served no useful purpose.

Other questionable procedures

Dr Kenny Lin is a family physician and public health professional who practises medicine in the Washington, DC, area. He teaches at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. His website is called Common Sense Family Doctor.

He advocates a cautious, informed approach to batteries of medical tests.

With regard to routine blood tests:

In 2007, I co-authored an editorial in the journal American Family Physician about this topic. We wrote:

“‘Big-ticket’ tests [such as CT (Computed tomography) scans and MRIs] are easy targets for those seeking to reduce waste in health care. But what about the seemingly innocuous practice of performing routine tests such as a complete blood count (CBC) or urinalysis? … These tests would be useful only if they provided additional diagnostic information that would not otherwise be obtained during a history and physical examination. In fact, large prospective studies performed in the early 1990s concluded that these tests rarely identify clinically significant problems when performed routinely in general outpatient populations. Although the majority of abnormal screening test results are false positives, their presence usually mandates confirmatory testing that causes additional inconvenience, and occasionally physical harm, to patients.”

Don’t misunderstand me. There are certain situations in which targeted screening tests can provide valuable information for the early detection of diseases. To learn more about which tests are recommended for your or your family members, I recommend that you visit the excellent website Healthfinder.gov. But the next time you go to a doctor’s office and he or she proposes to check some “routine blood work,” be sure to ask what these tests are for and what would happen if any of them turn out to be positive, so that you can make an informed choice about what’s right for you.

As for mammography:

the only reliable measure of a screening test’s superiority is whether or not it leads to fewer deaths. For 3D mammography, there’s absolutely no proof that it does.

I recognize that for women or loved ones of women who believe their lives to have been saved by mammography, no amount of scientific evidence that I or anyone else can marshal will change their minds …

So how can we counter the prevailing narrative of the Task Force [recommending fewer mammographies] as a group of cold-hearted scientists who are more concerned about population-level data than the individual lives of the women we love? We can tell the human story of the guideline developers – half of whom are women over the age of 40 who have personally faced the mammography decision at some point themselves – but we can do much more than that. We can tell a representative story of the hundreds of thousands (or millions, perhaps) of women who experienced serious emotional or physical harm as a result of screening mammography

He goes on to recount a case that Dr Louise Aronson wrote about for the Journal of the American Medical Association. Mammogram results for this patient, Elizabeth, revealed ‘gross’ abnormalities. Not surprisingly, she was called back for more mammograms over the next few weeks. She was beside herself with worry as was her family. She could barely concentrate at work and that year the family Thanksgiving gathering was sombre, to say the least. Aronson wrote:

Meanwhile, her physicians were at war: based on the x-ray films, the radiologists argued she had metastatic cancer with a less than 50% chance of 5-year survival, while her surgeons, based on the biopsy pathology, contended she had a rare, mostly benign condition. Fortunately, the surgeons were right. Still, sorting that out took weeks, and because the condition was associated with increased cancer risk, they insisted on bilateral surgery to remove all of the suspicious areas. So Elizabeth’s mammogram didn’t find cancer, but it did lead to the permanent mutilation of her breasts, huge medical bill copays, significant lost time from work, months of extreme stress, and ongoing anxiety about her disfigurement and risk of cancer.

Was it worth it?

Then there are the CT scans for lung cancer. These are just as contentious as mammograms. Many of Dr Lin’s readers fiercely defend them, however, his post warns that the risks may outweigh the benefits in some cases:

1. The risk of developing cancer from the CT scan itself isn’t trivial. A recent analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that a single chest CT scan exposed patients to the radiation equivalent of more than 100 chest X-rays, and that at age 60, an estimated 1 in 1000 women or 1 in 2000 men would eventually develop cancer from that single scan. (Participants in the lung cancer screening study actually underwent three consecutive annual CT scans.)

2. False alarms are extremely common. In the NCI’s lung cancer screening study, researchers found that 1 in 3 patients had at least one false-positive result after undergoing two CT scans. Of those patients, 1 in 14 needed an invasive lung biopsy to be sure they were cancer-free.

3. Even if screening catches lung cancer early, there’s no guarantee your prognosis will be better. This is due to “overdiagnosis,” or the unnecessary diagnosis of a condition (typically cancer) that will never cause symptoms in a patient’s lifetime, either because it’s so slow-growing or the patient dies from some other cause … because there’s no way of knowing at the time of diagnosis if a lung cancer will be fatal, inevitably many patients will be needlessly subjected to the side effects of treatment.

4. Finally, it’s highly likely that a CT scan for lung cancer will find some other abnormality that will require further investigation. You might think this is a good thing, but studies show that most of these abnormalities turn out to be false alarms, too

Finally, there are the private screening companies that send you a nice letter about the package of tests they can perform on you. The target market is the 50+ age group, and, even here in the UK, we receive such solicitations.

Dr Lin warns:

1. “Blocked arteries” / stroke screening is most likely a carotid ultrasound scan, which doesn’t help because most patients with asymptomatic carotid artery blockages will not suffer strokes. Although the screening test is “non-invasive and painless,” the confirmatory test, angiography, is not (it actually causes a stroke in a small number of patients) and unnecessary carotid endarterectomy can lead to death.

3. “Hardening of the arteries in the legs,” or screening for peripheral vascular disease with an arterial-brachial index, hasn’t been proven to prevent heart attacks but will certainly lead to many false positive results.

He discusses three other tests of dubious value and concludes:

In a nutshell, that’s why companies like Life Line have no business portraying these services as “preventive health screenings,” in my church or any other community setting. (I’ve sent an e-mail to my pastor recommending that they be dis-invited for the reasons I’ve outlined above.) It’s one thing to draw blood for a cholesterol test and take someone’s blood pressure (which will cost a whole lot less than $149), and quite another to offer these other procedures which are, at the very least, a waste of money and quite possibly harmful.

Solutions to excessive testing

Dr Frances makes the following recommendations, excerpted below:

  • Tame and shame Big Pharma. Stop the direct to consumer advertising that is allowed only in the US and New Zealand. Prohibit all Pharma contributions to professional associations and consumer groups. Regulate and make transparent all the marketing ploys used to mislead doctors. Force the publication of all clinical research trial data.
  • Recognize that all existing medical guidelines that define disease thresholds and make treatment recommendations are suspect. They have been developed by experts in each field who always have an intellectual conflict of interest (and often enough also have a financial conflict of interest) that biases them toward overdiagnosis and overtreatment in their pet area of research interest …
  • Employers, insurance companies, and government payors should be smarter consumers of health services and should stop paying for tests and treatments that do more harm than good and are not cost effective.
  •  Consumers should be smarter consumers and not buy into the idea that more is always better.
  •  Medical journals need to be more skeptical of the medical research enterprise and should look toward the harms, not just the potentials, of each new purported advance.

He concludes by reminding us that there are many really ill people who cannot get the healthcare they need and deserve.

Big Pharma, he says, is every bit as big a monster as Big Tobacco. On that point, I would disagree. Big Pharma is much more dangerous than ‘Big Tobacco’ — I use the term advisedly — will ever be.

Big Pharma probably kills more people around the world than tobacco. If statistics were honest, we could find out the truth. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a few more decades. By then, tobacco will no doubt be back in style!

I’ve written about statins before, highlighting the bad science behind them and Professor Philippe Even’s verdict on them as well as THINCS’s theories on cholesterol.

Recently, the Daily Mail featured a guest article by Dr Aseem Malhotra, a British cardiologist. One of Malhotra’s patients, John, had had heart surgery during the past year, went on statins and then complained of chest pains.

Malhotra performed various tests on John (emphases mine):

But after numerous investigations found nothing untoward, we recognised the real problem: his statins. So I told him to try going without them for two weeks.

The doctor explains:

These drugs, taken by eight million Britons, are routinely prescribed to anyone who suffers a heart attack as they lower the likelihood of a second attack. They have an anti-inflammatory effect, which reduces the risk of a clot forming in the heart arteries.

Statins are also prescribed to patients with high cholesterol. As has happened in the United States, the reading for a ‘high’ cholesterol level in Britain is much lower than it was several years ago. Consequently, more people are being prescribed statins:

High (Total) Cholesterol:

Old Definition: Cholesterol > 240 mg/dl total cholesterol
People under old definition: 49.5 million
New Definition: Cholesterol > 200 mg/dl total cholesterol
People added under new definition: 42.6 million
Percent increase: 86%

The definition was changed in 1998 by U.S. Air Force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study.

However, as Malhotra’s patient’s case illustrates, statins can bring a variety of alarming and unexpected aches and pains. They can also result in memory loss.

Yet, whilst patients who stop their statin treatment often experience relief from these side effects, family doctors are less happy. As Malhotra relates:

John … was elated. For the first time in months his chest pains had gone. But he now had a new concern: his GP had since told him: ‘You must never stop your statin!’

The cardiologist says that, although statins can reduce cholesterol, so can changes in diet and lifestyle.

He explains that overhyped clinical trials in the 1980s put the buzz factor into statins, perhaps unwisely:

increasingly the medical profession is discovering that the health benefits of lower cholesterol have been exaggerated.

Two recent studies have cast serious doubt on early clinical trials into statins in the 1980s. These trials overplayed how good for us they could be, which contributed to a culture of over-prescribing the drug. The studies also suggested significant side effects of statins may have been underplayed.

Last month [April 2013] one of the world’s most respected sources of medical information, the British Medical Journal, presented serious doubts. According to its report, GPs have put an extra three million people on statins in the UK over the past ten years – and have received extra funding for meeting these targets.

There has, though, been a 40 per cent reduction in the number of heart attack deaths. But while statin prescriptions may have played a role, there have been no studies that prove this link.

Studies have shown a connection between reduction in deaths and the now-routine practice of undergoing emergency angioplasty as soon as someone suffers a heart attack – unblocking the artery with a stent or balloon through keyhole surgery.

Big Pharma is largely responsible for this. How often can it be said? Never often enough.

You might have to give up your job because you can’t walk anymore or because your memory is failing you, yet Big Pharma have managed to convince your GP, also culpable for not thinking critically, that you can never give up your statin! Low cholesterol levels are king!

Think about the logic behind that. You cannot function as a normal human being but as long as you have low cholesterol levels, hey, you’re right as rain.

Statins, as I’ve said before, are another case where the cure is worse than the disease.

Fortunately — and this might come as news to Britons reading this post, as it did to me — the British Medical Journal is currently running a campaign called Too Much Medicine to combat over-prescribing of unnecessary drugs. Finally. Let’s hope it is a success.

In the meantime, it was heartening to read Dr Malhotra state that the health benefits of lower cholesterol levels have been exaggerated.

A number of Americans have been following low-fat diets for decades, some since the 1950s. It is interesting that today we have so many elderly suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Some physicians maintain that we need a regular intake of animal fat in order for our brains and bodies — including the nervous system — to function properly. As we consume less animal fat, more of us are losing our memories. Could this be a coincidence?

Conventional thinkers in the medical field counter that by saying we’re all just living longer and that a diminished memory is a sad eventuality. Yet, I remember my paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather who both lived to a ripe old age — in great mental health — on food they ate when they were children. This included plenty of meat, animal fat, eggs and butter. All of those are on the verboten list today. Should they be? One wonders.

Dr David Diamond’s hour-long lecture is useful testimony which debunks the taboo surrounding meat and animal fat. He actually lost weight on such a diet.

It wasn’t that long ago when scientists discovered that bacteria can cause certain ulcers. It is also thought, although it is not yet proven, that oral bacteria may cause heart disease in older people. If so, regular flossing could be more effective than statins.

The point is — we just don’t know. And neither do doctors, especially general practitioners who spend at best 10 minutes in a patient consultation.

Therefore, we should be approaching prescription drugs with the same scrutiny that we would when purchasing a new house or a new car. Why don’t we?

Over the past two decades, the numbers of prescriptions for SSRIs — selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors — have increased for children and teenagers.

These drugs are said to mitigate behavioural difficulties. Yet, the United States appears to have more bizarre incidents involving young people every year. All sorts of shocking things that never happened to 50+s seem to have become commonplace with some under the age of 40. The rest of us wonder why society is spiralling out of control.

Is it poor guidance at home?

Or is something else at work here? What if it were the drugs?

This post discusses the role of SSRIs in behavioural disorders, including unheard-of drug and alcohol abuse in adolescents. I was particularly interested to find a mention of self-mutilation — cutting — which has become increasingly frequent since the 1990s. Cutters — mostly girls — might well be taking SSRIs, as will be explained below.

What follows are six testimonies from a page called ‘Index to SSRI stories’. It includes 25 years’ worth of news stories about the effects of SSRIs on young people. This is a great resource for parents and teachers, featuring a collection of news stories involving murder, mass shootings and suicides — all of which are SSRI-linked.

Every once in a while, however, a few success stories appear. Excerpts follow, with more information at each link. Emphases mine throughout:

Former cutter describes her new life (Wales, 2008):

Mar 2 2008 by Catherine Evans, Wales On Sunday

STANDING alone in the dark on a deserted hill, 18-year-old student Bethan [pron. ‘Beth Ann’] Jones pulled back her sleeve and ran a pocket knife across her arm.

As the blood flowed, she felt her worries ebb away. But the scars remained.

On the outside, Bethan appeared to be a popular, happy teenager and conscientious student.

But for years Bethan hid a secret shame – she was self-harming.

As the rest of the nation celebrated St David’s Day yesterday, the former English and religion student at Bath University spoke to Wales on Sunday about her painful past and her plans to set up the first self-harm support centre in Wales.

“Not many people know that March 1 – as well as being St David’s Day – is Self Injury Awareness Day,” said Bethan, who works at the DVLA in Swansea.

“I’m working on a new registered website to offer help and support to others who self-harm. I run the Scar Tissue website – which helps more than 450 people to prevent self injury. But what I really want is to set up the first self-injury support centre in Wales.”

Now 26 and living in Cwmdare in the south Wales valleys, Bethan still doesn’t fully understand why she started to cut herself.

“When I cut myself for the first time it scared me half to death. I honestly don’t know why I did it. I had a penknife that I carried around to clean my horse’s hooves and I used that to cut myself. I got an adrenalin rush from it and soon I was cutting myself every day,” she said …

It was her own failed suicide attempt that forced her to get help.

I overdosed on anti-depressants and that’s when my family found out about it and I finally tried to get help,” said Bethan.

SSRIs linked to craving for alcohol and illicit drugs (Canada, 2010) (emphases in the original in this story):

By SAM PAZZANO, Courts Bureau [Toronto Sun]

Last Updated: June 28, 2010 12:37pm

An Oakville teen using an anti-depressant drug died after hanging herself while “affected by depression, cocaine and ethanol,” a coroner’s jury ruled Monday.

Sara Carlin, an 18-year-old scholar and outstanding athlete committed suicide on May 6, 2007, at her Oakville home, 14 months after she had began taking the anti-depressant drug Paxil, which is a type of drug known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). She had also been using cocaine and drinking heavily.

Carlin’s parents, Neil and Rhonda were visibly pleased after the jury released its verdict and also made several recommendations aimed at preventing similar suicides …

SSRI Stories note:  The Physicians Desk Reference lists “Alcohol Craving”  as an infrequent, but not rare, side-effect for Paxil.  Also, SSRIs may cause a craving for illegal drugs such as cocaine by inducing mania or mood swings in those taking such antidepressants. According to earlier newspaper accounts, this young girl began drinking alcohol and using cocaine after starting on the Paxil.

Diagnosis of major depression at age of six to SSRI-induced ‘terrifying anxiety’ and cutting (United States, 2003 or later):

Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee and the Pediatric Subcommittee
of the Anti-Infective Drugs Advisory Committee
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857-0001

Dear Committee and Subcommittee Members:

I am here today to tell you about my experiences while taking selective seratonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants as a child and teenager in the late eighties and early nineties.

I was first diagnosed with major depression in 1983 at the age of six, and started on the older form of tricyclic antidepressants. In 1988, when I was twelve years old, my doctor started me on Prozac, touting it as a miracle drug that would finally cure my stubborn feelings of depression stemming from early childhood trauma.

Once on Prozac, the relatively mild depression I felt mixed with a new and terrifying anxiety that I had never experienced previously. When I reported this anxiety to my doctor, he simply upped my dose of Prozac. I immediately began to experience insomnia, for which I was given a mild sedative to help me sleep at night. I felt a horrific inner restlessness, a feeling of wanting to jump out of my skin, that I now know is called akasthisia.

For about two years, my dosage of Prozac was continually being raised in hopes that it would finally start to work. From the beginning, I began to suffer from brief but regular periods of racing thoughts that I could not control. All this anxiety and restlessness was simply attributed to my worsening “illness.” I began to have intense thoughts of cutting myself, killing myself. It occurred to me that I should act on my thoughts of self-mutilation, and began to slice my wrists and forearms with razors. This too, was chalked up to my advancing mental illness, and I began a long downward spiral of hospitalizations, which fed the feelings of depression and anxiety. In 1991, at age sixteen, while taking Zoloft, I made my first bona fide suicide attempt, swallowing an entire bottle of painkillers. I cannot even recall the reason for doing so. I became completely unable to control feelings of terror and rage that seemed to come out of nowhere, surpassing any teen angst or depression that I had ever heard of.

In 1993, at the age of eighteen, I decided to take matters into my own hands as a legal adult, and to get off the antidepressants for good. Since stopping SSRI medications over a decade ago, I have never again self- mutilated, had suicidal thoughts, or entered the hospital. The suicidality simply vanished! For me, this is clear proof that the drugs must have played some kind of role in my suicidality and self-mutilation. In the past decade, not only am I not suicidal, but I have managed to travel the world, get an M.A. degree in political science from Georgetown University, and become an active participant in my society …

It is now incumbent upon the FDA to take seriously the British decision December 2003 banning all SSRIs (except Prozac) for under-18s. There is a growing and consistent body of research available that suggests a causal relationship between SSRIs and self-mutilation and suicidality in some children–and in some adults as well. The FDA must take action now regarding this grave issue of public health. The FDA needs to determine not only the issue of adverse events, but also that of efficacy. Do SSRIs really work better than the drugs they were designed to replace? Do the benefits of these antidepressants outweigh the risks for children, and adults, for that matter? Are medical professionals and the public adequately informed of the very serious risks that are increasingly associated with these drugs? In light of these risks, at the very least, isn’t it time for the FDA to require that these medications be labeled with clear warnings that can save lives? Yes, such warnings may negatively affect the sales of these drugs, which may not sit well with the pharmaceutical industry that makes them. But the FDA was created as an independent regulatory agency to serve the interests of the American public–not the pharmaceutical industry. I am here today with the high hopes that the FDA will take the necessary steps to prevent what happened to me and countless other American children from continuing to occur. Our children are not any less precious than British children–and they are in need of our protection.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Leah Harris
Board Member
National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA)

Exercise an alternative to SSRIs for depressed and suicidal children (United Kingdom, 2008):

THREE school merit awards are among the prized possessions of Berkeley Vale teenager Keiren Allen.

They rank slightly ahead of two school swimming carnival ribbons Keiren won earlier this year and they proudly hang in his parent’s living room.

Keiren’s merit awards contain teacher’s comments such as “impressive application” and “excellent ideas and contribution in class”.

A year ago Keiren, 13, couldn’t even complete a lap of a pool and teacher commendations were nothing more than a dream …

A turnaround came last year when Keiren, a dyslexic with major learning difficulties, was enrolled in an exercise-based therapy program run by the Dore Centre in Britain.

It stimulates the brain’s cerebellum so that the thinking part, the cerebral cortex, does not have to work so hard.

Keiren was assessed by the Dore Centre and put on a 14-month exercise program.

Mrs Allen said the results were dramatic …

By the time he was 11 he felt suicidal and after being diagnosed with depression by a doctor we looked for something that didn’t involve medication and that’s when we hit on this program.

“He’s now getting As and Bs at school and he’s so motivated.”

Boy leading normal life after custody and cessation of SSRIs (United States, 2000s):

For years, 16-year-old Michael Holland has been in and out of state custody. His parents blaming his troubles on the anti-depressants and psychotropic drugs he was being told to take.

He was very suicidal. He was much threat to society. He was a danger to us, anybody that’s out there,” Mother Lori Holland said …

[Texas] State health officials say they’re already studying prescription drug abuse in the Medicaid program. So far they’ve found anti-depressants, stimulants and anti-psychotics may have been given inappropriately 10 to more than 50 percent of the time

For Michael Holland, the biggest changes came when he was taken off mind-altering medications.

Michael’s a junior in high school, he plays on the baseball team. Still has his ups and downs. But he’s doing better than I ever thought he would do,” father Wesley Holland said.

Girl stops cutting and aggressive behaviour after discontinuing SSRIs (United States, 2004):

MS. WEBB:  I am here because three years ago my daughter was suffering some symptoms that  the doctor felt represented depression and started her on samples of Paxil.  I trusted this decision as a mother and based on my medical background as a registered nurse.

Unfortunately, she did have an obvious worsening of symptoms.  Were we aware that the antidepressant could be the cause of this?  No, we were not.  I am here because I agree that the FDA needs to require further studies to be done to see if it is true that certain antidepressants increase the risk of suicidality …

We could not believe the changes we saw in our daughter in the very short time she had started on the antidepressants.  It was unbelievable–the rage, anger, the hostility she exhibited that night.  She ended the night by cutting her wrist.  Now I am learning that the changes we saw in our daughter, more likely than not, were the side effects of the antidepressant she was taking at the time.

Yes, we did report a worsening of symptoms shortly after she started the Paxil.  The doctors only changed her to another antidepressant, Zoloft. She then continued to worsen and they continued to increase the dosage until she began to further harm herself with self-mutilation, cutting, overdose, numerous thingsWe were fortunate to get her help in the right environment with counselors who spent many hours with the children.  She was taken off of the strong antidepressants and, within a short time none of the staff could believe she had done while she had been on Paxil and Zoloft.  She continued there, getting counseling, and returned as the child we knew before she took these antidepressants.

Why did we not know about these adverse side effects that are now being reported in   children?  Was it possible the drug companies may have been aware of these adverse side effects?  If we had known, I believe it is possible that maybe my daughter and our family would not have had to go through the agony and heartache we went through

Tomorrow: The Jack LaLanne story — from wild boy to success via diet

Yesterday’s post concerned Paxil and Karl ‘Market Ticker’ Denninger’s call for the inclusion of a discussion of psychtropic drugs as part of the gun control debate going on in the United States.

A number of Denninger’s readers contributed useful commentary and links in the comments to his original post. Winstonsmith2009 found an article by a doctor listing — from an email he received — the effect that these prescription drugs have on mass shootings.

It was shocking to read the list in full. I would encourage my readers to explore it in depth. For starters, here are a few excerpts (emphases mine):

Dr. Jai Maharaj
Jan 10 (20 hours ago)

Forwarded post from from Stephen Knapp:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS A MAJOR CAUSE OF MURDEROUS RAMPAGES

Anyone can do the research through various videos on
Youtube about the harm that psychotropic drugs can do to
people, especially the youth who are given these drugs on
an increasing basis for an increasing number of so-called
diagnostic reasons. Practically speaking, every kid that
has gone on a killing spree has been found to be on any
of these psychotropic drugs, such as Prozac, Zoloft,
Paxil, and others. Yet they blame guns as the reason for
such incidents. It is the drug companies that are making
all kinds of profit by marketing madness, though the
Youtube documentaries on this topic has shown that the
FDA and the drug companies know the adverse effects that
these drugs can cause. Yet, the sale of such drugs
provide huge profits to these companies that they will
not take them off the market. So what is the real plan
here? Take away the guns, but spread the drugs for more
profit, at the expense of the mental stability of those
who take them? This seems to be the case.

Also check:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYA6r92_C….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OB-AzVBj….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26e5PqrCe….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4vD4QC0k….

Also, here is a partial list of those teens that were on
drugs when they went on their murderous rampage.

Not sure about the facts here, I received this from a
friend.

– John

Eric Harris age 17 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan
Klebold aged 18 (Col[u]mbine school shooting in Littleton,
Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded
23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold’s medical
records have never been made available to the public.

Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg…/day of
Prozac (three times the average starting dose for
adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather’s
girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake,
Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.

Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High
School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have
hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school
and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the
event.

Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while
taking Prozac.

Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his
grandparents while taking Zoloft.

Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his
parents while they slept then went to school and opened
fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after
beginning Prozac treatment.

Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then
killed two students, wounding six others.

A young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went
psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also
killing one sibling and almost murdering another.

Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson,
aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students,
one teacher, and wounding 10 others.

Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a
school shooting in Pennsylvania

Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in
El Cajon, California

Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil
he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.

Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when
she [hanged] herself from a hook in her closet. Kara’s
parents said “…. the damn doctor wouldn’t take her off
it and I asked him to when we went in on the second
visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of
reaction to Paxil…”

Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he
committed suicide in 2002. (Gareth’s father could not accept his son’s death and killed himself.)

Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she [hanged]
herself in her family’s detached garage.

Woody ____, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th
week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death his
physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had
seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been
depressed, nor did he have any history of any mental
illness symptoms.

Missing from list…3 of 4 known to have taken these same
meds….

What drugs was Jared Lee Loughner on, age 21…… killed
6 people and injuring 14 others in Tuscon, Az[?]

What drugs was James Eagan Holmes on, age 24….. killed
12 people and injuring 59 others in Aurora, Colorado[?]

What drugs was Jacob Tyler Roberts on, age 22, killed 2
injured 1, Clackamas Or[?]

What drugs was Adam Peter Lanza on, age 20, killed 26 and
wounded 2 in Newtown Ct[?]

Roberts is the only one that I haven’t heard about being
on drugs of some kind

It would seem as if these drugs are sometimes making a bad situation worse — ending in someone’s death.

It’s not a question of guns gone wild but prescription drugs which may cause unexpected results not only in young people but also in some adults.

Tomorrow: More prescription-related mass killings

As most of us know, gun control has been one of the topics of the Obama administration since last year’s number of high-profile mass shootings, the most recent of which occurred at Sandy Hook near Newtown, Connecticut, in December.

For years, I have wondered how it is that the United States has so many incidents like this. Fortunately, Karl ‘Market Ticker’ Denninger opened the debate on guns to include the effect of prescription drugs on influencing or creating such situations.

For those who are unfamiliar with Denninger, he is far from being a gun-slinging conservative. However, he does support the Constitution and self-reliance. That said, he might be an ex-Democrat, based on some of his posts. He isn’t a big fan of the GOP, either.

Whatever his politics, he has wisely included Big Pharma in his discussions about the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. In ‘ENOUGH! (Guns, Active Shooters And Pharma)’, he writes (excerpts follow, emphases in the original):

I’m done being nice.

And I’m doubly-done with the damned leftists in this country performing the moral equivalent of ritual human sacrifice of children to advance their gun-control agenda.

That’s what I charge they’re doing. 

And I’m going to back it up with mathematics, using just one of the common psychotropic medications used commonly today — Paxil.

This is from the prescribing information for Paxil:

Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk:

There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18-24) with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24

And it doesn’t end there:

Screening Patients for Bipolar Disorder

A major depressive episode may be the initial presentation of bipolar disorder. It is generally believed (though not established in controlled trials) that treating such an episode with an antidepressant alone may increase the likelihood of precipitation of a mixed/manic episode in patients at risk for bipolar disorder.

Now let’s be frank: Mixed manic states are mental states during which all sorts of really ugly things happen, including panic attacks, agitation, impulsiveness, paranoia and rage — all at extreme levels.

In other words, if you miss someone being bipolar and give them this drug you may precipitate a full-on Hulk-style “rage monster” sort of attack! …

Denninger goes into statistics concerning Paxil’s risks then states:

So let’s assume we’re not talking about bi-polar people — that is, let’s make the assumption that we properly screen for each person and perfectly identify all bi-polar people before we prescribe.

What is the expected number of people who will undergo some sort of manic episode, which includes the subset that will turn into rage-monsters and shoot up schools, movie theaters and other public places?

Answer: About 0.7% more that can be charged to the drug (the risk if you do nothing is 0.3%.)

Other similar drugs have similar risk profiles; Paxil is not particularly-remarkable in this regard. 

I note, and you should note, that 0.7% is a pretty low risk!  That is, 993 people out of 1000 can get a perfectly good outcome from the drug (or at least no harm) but that other 7 in 1000 have an outcome ranging from bad to catastrophically-bad …

The last figures I have are that in 2005 27 million people in the United States, or close to 1 in 10 of all persons, are on some sort of antidepressant carrying these risks.

So if 0.7% of 27 million people have a manic episode caused by these drugs — that is, under perfect conditions where we catch every single bipolar individual first and never prescribe to any of them we will have 189,000 persons in a year who have a manic reaction to these drugs.

That’s horrifying.

But what’s worse is that if we assume 99% effective surveillance by the medical profession — that is, 99% of the time the doctor intercepts the person with the manic episode and modifies or terminates their use of the drug before something bad happens….

WE CREATE AND THEN FAIL TO DETECT, WITH NEARLY PERFECT PERFORMANCE (that we will never achieve) 1,890 RAGE MONSTERS EVERY YEAR WHO ARE MENTALLY CAPABLE OF COMMITTING A MASS HOMICIDE.

We’re surprised that there are a few of these a year, when we create more than 5 of them each and every day with near-perfect performance — and likely several times that many given the real-world monitoring that can actually be achieved?

We create these Zombies.

We prescribe the drugs to them.

We do this knowing that the risk exists and that at least one subset of that risk is materially higher for those under the age of 25 who are consuming these drugs. 

In point of fact, most of the rage monsters who have committed these crimes are under the age of 25 and either using or having recently terminated the use of these drugs …

Utterly nobody is bringing this element to the table in debate, but we must, as the rise of these incidents is directly correlated to the gross increase in the number of people, including most-especially young people, taking these drugs.  The number of users doubled from 1996 – 2005.

If you want to address a problem you must look at the data and follow it where it leads.

Where it leads is into a horrifying mess of prescription psychotropic drug use among our youth and the rare but catastrophic side effects they sometimes produce …

It’s true that most of the crazy people in the world aren’t violent, and that being crazy, standing alone, is perfectly legal.  It’s also true that nearly all of the people who take these drugs won’t become violent — that’s a side effect that only bites a tiny percentage of the people who take the drug.

But the risk of turning people into rage monsters and suicidal maniacs appears to be mostly confined to those under the age of 24 according to the drug companies own information and this information is strongly correlated with the actual real-world data on these incidents.

We must have a discussion about this as a society.  We might decide that out of the 27 million or more Americans taking these drugs that enough get benefit that we are willing to accept the occasional school or movie theater shooting gallery as the price of prescribing these drugs to those under the age of 24.

If so then we need to be honest about the trade-off we have made as a society and shut the hell up instead of dancing in the blood of dead children to score political points and destroy The Constitution.

But if not, and you can count my vote among the “No” votes in this regard, then we must ban these substances from those under the age of 24 until we understand what’s different among that age group that alters the risk unless and except those persons are under continual professional supervision such as inpatient hospitalization.

Yeah, I understand this will cut into the profits of the big drug companies and thus is “unacceptable” to many political folks, not to mention that the media won’t even talk about the subject due to the advertising they run on their networks on a daily basis for this drug or that …

And that is why the media are ignoring prescription drugs and focussing solely on guns in the debate. For those who have not been to the US within the past decade, Big Pharma comprises much of the advertising. Certain adverts, particularly for erectile dysfunction remedies, run several times within the space of an hour or two on certain television stations.

However, it is not only antidepressants which are concerned. Last week, I also posted on two types of sleeping tablets: Eszoplicone and Zolpidem, which produce unexpected results similar to those of antidepressants.  (Incidentally, an antidepressant — Nortriptyline — is used in some prisons as a smoking cessation drug. It includes a number of serious side effects which could affect patients suffering both mental and physical maladies (e.g. schizophrenia, diabetes).)

Ignoring these drug effects whilst debating firearms is putting the Constitution in danger. As Denninger concludes:

Mr. Biden, Mr. Obama and the rest on both the left and right who are refusing to go where the data leads are all practicing the moral equivalent of ritual child sacrifice, fueling the pyre under the bodies of our kids with the Bill of Rights.

Stand up America and say in a loud voice: ENOUGH!

Writing to one’s Congressmen and Senators might not produce anything fruitful. However, we can also educate our left-leaning friends and family members, most of whom refuse to acknowledge this dismal truth.

Tomorrow: Antidepressants implicated in mass shootings

The past two posts have explored the possible adverse effects of two drugs, Eszoplicone (a sleeping tablet) and Nortriptyline (an antidepressant sometimes prescribed for smoking cessation).

Both of these — as are countless others — strong medications which need to be administered and taken with care.

A third medication, the subject of today’s post, is Zolpidem which caught my attention when I read this comment from one of Karl ‘Market Ticker’ Denninger’s posts on gun control and psychotropic drugs.

The man discusses Halcion, a popular sleeping aid available on prescription. Although its active ingredient is Triazolam, a benzodiazepine, it got me looking for a few other sleeping tablet descriptions.  It’s odd how different active ingredients can produce similar results.

Erbo, Denninger’s commenter, says (emphases in the original):

My ex-wife told me a story about a bad experience she had before we met. She had (and continues to have) really bad insomnia. A doctor prescribed Halcion. While she was on this medicine, she beat the crap out of her then-husband, and afterwards, had no memory of having done so. The only way she knew about it was that her husband, bruised and with a bloody nose, told her what had happened. (Also note: She was decidedly older than 24 at the time of this incident.)

I’m staying away from any and all psychotropic drugs, thank you. (And that includes marijuana, Colorado law notwithstanding.)

The reference to ‘older than 24’ at the time refers to the popular idea in pharma and medical circles that any adverse effects are much less severe in adults over that age.

If you or your loved ones are contemplating psychotropic drugs, please ensure that you or they ask the doctor all possible questions about side effects. Reading the advisory with the tablets or an online search is also indispensable. The symptoms can be physical as well as psychological.

Having read the following, as with Eszoplicone, I do wonder whether a mug of Horlicks wouldn’t be a better remedy for insomnia.

The following excerpted information on Zolpidem comes from Drugs.com (emphases mine):

Zolpidem may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking zolpidem and Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking zolpidem: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, such as: depression, anxiety, aggression, agitation, confusion, unusual thoughts, hallucinations, memory problems, changes in personality, risk-taking behavior, decreased inhibitions, no fear of danger, or thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself.

Stop using zolpidem and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effects:

  • chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeat, feeling short of breath;
  • trouble breathing or swallowing; or
  • feeling like you might pass out …

General

In general, zolpidem is well-tolerated and causes little or no residual daytime effects in most young adult volunteers. Additionally, zolpidem does not significantly alter sleep architecture at recommended doses …

Nervous system

Chronic use in high doses and subsequent withdrawal may induce grand mal seizures. Cases of falls have been reported in elderly patients.

Nervous system side effects most frequently have included visual disturbances, ataxia, and dizziness. Headache, drugged feeling, confusion, anterograde amnesia, excessive sedation, lightheadedness, delirium, nightmares, hallucinations, nervousness, and agitation have also been reported.

Other

Other side effects including tolerance to the pharmacologic effects of zolpidem have been reported rarely. Withdrawal symptoms after either abrupt cessation or fast tapering may occur. Withdrawal symptoms may include agitation, restlessness, anxiety, depression, insomnia, tremor, nausea, abdominal discomfort, and sweating.

Other side effects associated with the oral spray have included dry mouth.

A case of sleep driving has also been reported.

Psychiatric

Psychiatric side effects including cases of psychotic reactions have been reported in association with zolpidem therapy ...

There is more information at the link.

After reading this, I’d rather be sleepless than run the risk of causing harm to myself or others — especially if I couldn’t remember the incident afterward.

Prescription drugs are far from foolproof and a variety of reactions are possible. Always be aware of what you are taking and what the side effects are.

More on prescription drugs and gun control next week.

Over the years, I’ve come across several women who ask their doctor to prescribe them sleeping tablets.

None of them was happy with the result. Admittedly, my number in question is infinitesimal to those whom Big Pharma have studied and on whom they tested their medication.

Nonetheless, wouldn’t you have thought I’d have found a majority of friends and ex-colleagues who were happy with the results?

None of these ladies ever said how rested or relaxed they were. Most said they’d felt they’d been hit with a sledgehammer the night before or couldn’t wake up or had problems driving into work because they were so … sleepy.

Today’s side effect listing is for eszoplicone, which is the active ingredient in one prescription sleeping tablet, Lunesta. N.B.: Not all of the following apply specifically to Lunesta, although they do to eszoplicone.

Emphases mine in the excerpts below:

Lunesta is a sedative, also called a hypnotic. It affects chemicals in your brain that may become unbalanced and cause sleep problems (insomnia) …

Lunesta may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking Lunesta and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Lunesta will make you fall asleep. Never take this medication during your normal waking hours, unless you have at least 8 hours to dedicate to sleeping.

Some people using this medicine have engaged in activity such as driving, eating, or making phone calls and later having no memory of the activity. If this happens to you, stop taking Lunesta and talk with your doctor about another treatment for your sleep disorder.

Lunesta can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. You may still feel sleepy the morning after taking the medication. Until you know how this medication will affect you during waking hours, be careful if you drive, operate machinery, pilot an airplane, or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Do not drink alcohol while you are taking this medication. It can increase some of the side effects of Lunesta, including drowsiness. Lunesta may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Lunesta should never be shared with another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

You may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking this medication after taking it over several days in a row. Do not stop taking Lunesta suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

Now onto the eszoplicone side effects page, not all of which pertain to Lunesta:

Applies to eszopiclone: oral tablet

Eszopiclone may cause a severe allergic reaction. Stop taking eszopiclone (the active ingredient contained in Lunesta) and Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction while taking eszopiclone: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using eszopiclone and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • aggression, agitation, changes in behavior;
  • thoughts of hurting yourself; or
  • hallucinations (hearing or seeing things).

Less serious side effects of eszopiclone may include:

  • day-time drowsiness, dizziness, “hangover” feeling;
  • problems with memory or concentration;
  • anxiety, depression, nervous feeling;
  • headache;
  • nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, constipation;
  • dry mouth;
  • unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth; or
  • mild skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect …

Agitation, apathy, emotional lability, hostility, hypertonia, hypesthesia, incoordination, insomnia, memory impairment, neurosis, nystagmus, paresthesia, decreased reflexes, abnormal thinking (mainly difficulty concentrating), and vertigo have been reported infrequently. Abnormal gait, euphoria, hyperesthesia, hypokinesia, neuritis, neuropathy, stupor and tremor have been reported rarely.

My advice? Buy tablets over the counter (mind over matter). Better yet, get plenty of water during the day (hydration helps to aid sleep) and, if necessary, have a small amount of carbohydrate (e.g. biscuit) with a cup of warm milk or similar bedtime drink (e.g. Horlicks).

I’m no doctor, but anything that’s going to raise the emotions, distort your functions or put you into a stupor during the day cannot be safe for you or other people. Take this medication at your own risk.

Furthermore, sleeping tablets will not resolve underlying issues, be they relationships or financial matters.

Nortriptyline is an antidepressant which is being trialled in prisons in order to reduce the number of inmates who smoke tobacco.

It appears that Nortriptyline was not originally intended as a smoking cessation drug, although studies are being conducted for that indication (purpose).

From my fellow blogger, Belinda at Freedom-2-Choose Scotland (emphases mine):

Who is surprised? What struck me about this story was that the drug in question, Nortryptiline, ‘is not FDA-approved for smoking cessation but often is used for that purpose’. That it does not work for smoking cessation is not terribly surprising, as no interventions seem to have a long term success rate of more than about 5 per cent.

We know that the prison population is given drugs for smoking cessation that are not approved for this purpose. Are the prisoners informed that the drugs they are on are not licensed for this purpose?

Following the link to the Nortriptyline warnings, which Belinda included in her post, we find this drug does much that ordinary cigarettes do not — what a great substitute (sarcasm alert):

Nortriptyline is in a group of drugs called tricyclic antidepressants. It affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced.

Nortriptyline is used to treat symptoms of depression.

Nortriptyline may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Do not use nortriptyline if you have recently had a heart attack, or if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days.

You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant such as nortriptyline, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself …

Before taking nortriptyline, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • heart disease;
  • a history of heart attack, stroke, or seizures;
  • bipolar disorder (manic-depression);
  • schizophrenia or other mental illness;
  • diabetes (nortriptyline may raise or lower blood sugar);
  • overactive thyroid;
  • glaucoma; or
  • problems with urination.

This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether nortriptyline passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medication.

Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old without the advice of a doctor …

Do not stop using nortriptyline without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely. Stopping this medication suddenly could cause you to have unpleasant side effects. It may take a few weeks of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve during treatment with nortriptyline …

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of nortriptyline can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, confusion, agitation, hallucinations, blurred vision, vomiting, muscle stiffness, feeling hot or cold, fainting, seizure (convulsions), or coma.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can cause dangerous side effects when taken together with nortriptyline.

Avoid using other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold medicine, pain medication, muscle relaxers, medicine for seizures, or other antidepressants)

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with nortriptyline. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor before increasing or decreasing the amount of grapefruit products in your diet.

Nortriptyline can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid exposure to sunlight

Wow, all that for smoking cessation in prison? I’d hope that prison governors would punt on greater health with a pack of 20 cigarettes for their inmates instead.

I’d categorize Nortriptyline with Champix/Chantix and Zyban, both of which have many of the same side effects.

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