Government Oversight Councils Contribute to Opioid Crisis

July 13th, 2017 | Breaking News

The Washington Post reported on July 6, 2017 that there’s a “glimmer of hope” for the devastating opioid crisis that has ravaged our Nation killing close to 180,000 people between 2000 and 2015.  According to the article Opioid Prescriptions Dropped for the First Time in the Modern Drug Crisis, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the number of opioid prescriptions written between 2012 and 2015 declined by 13.1%. But before breathing a sigh of relief that this crisis may be ending, there still are serious issues:

  1. The prescription rate for opioids is still three times the level it was in 1999 and 4 times what it is in some European countries.
  2. Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s acting director, said that even with this decline in opioid prescriptions, “enough opioids were ordered in 2015 to keep every American medicated around-the-clock for three weeks.”
  3. In 2015 there were more than 33,000 deaths from prescription opioids. 13,000 more people died from heroin overdoses.

If this is considered the first sign of any progress after almost two decades of hopelessness, it is troubling. The fact is questions surround the accuracy of stale statistics being utilized to highlight this “glimmer of hope.”  The wavering light of improvement touted in the article appears to be coming from data that is two years old.  Gary Mendell lost his son Brian to addiction in 2011 and started the anti-drug advocacy group, Shatterproof, to bring more attention to the opioid crisis.  Mendell expressed concern over the CDC’s methods of collecting and analyzing data in the United States, calling it “cumbersome and inefficient.”  AbleChild shares Mendell’s concerns.

According to Connecticut’s Public Health Department website, “Within the realm of public health, mortality statistics are often used as a cornerstone in formulating health plans and policies to prevent or reduce premature mortality and improve our quality of life.” So, what happened?  Why no real progress?

Today, behavioral health “oversight” councils exist in every state.  Federal legislation fuels the councils with mental health block grants that are dispersed to the billion-dollar behavioral health industry.  The outcome of being ruled by behavioral health councils equates to the more money given, the more the crisis grows.  The opioid crisis has been determined to be a behavioral health problem because psychiatry has determined that addiction is a mental illness.  What is odd about this determination is that there is no science to support that addiction is an abnormality of the brain.

Nevertheless, the Behavioral Health Oversight Partnership Council (BHOPC) ultimately reports through the executive branch. The committee members are mental health vendors that sell their products and services to the government to reach consumers. They make recommendations on how the block grant money is spent, actually write the legislation, and are never audited. Obviously this is a clear and present conflict of interest and is deadly for the consumer. Members are not elected and the policies they influence increase their financial bottom line.

The Connecticut BHP Oversight Council current opioid crisis plan is outlined in a vendor’s presentation entitled Project Echo a 3-pronged solution. Simply put, it’s an “Access, Drug, Drug” approach. Missing in all the glossy presentation marketing material is enforcing informed consent for patients on what these drugs really are, the possible side effects, and a lack of access to natural alternatives that don’t involve prescribing more drugs such as Soboxone and Naxolone.

The Council fails to educate the consumer on how and why to report an adverse drug event via MEDWATCH. After all, the FDA uses the MEDWATCH consumer reporting system to regulate the drug companies; one would think this is important for the consumers to have access to during this prescription drug crisis, but apparently not.  Yet, it is difficult to miss the executive branch bootlicking praise of yet another mental health vendor’s experience and knowledge in the field of addiction.

The BHPOC recently welcomed back Lori Szczygiel to re-assume the role of Chief Executive Officer for Beacon Health Options, a prominent behavioral health company. In the presentation distributed by the Council for Beacon, entitled Health Inequity in the Connecticut Medicaid Behavioral Health Services System: A Roadmap for Improvement.  It was shocking to see a clear marketing strategy to target certain racial and ethnic groups in the Beacon “three-pronged plan” with the roadmap rational jargon of “unmet” mental health “needs” of Blacks and Asians in particular. Considering that the “solutions” they are presenting mostly involve prescribing more drugs, it seems dangerous and discriminatory to be singling out any race or ethnicity as a target for treatment.

This would not be the first time a behavioral health provider would use the “bad gene pool approach” to capture more mental health clients for their addictive drug treatment programs. A psychiatrist in Texas made national news explaining to the legislators why children in foster care were given massive psychiatric drugs. The psychiatrist indicated the reason the children were given multiple drugs, off label, was because they were from a “bad gene pool.” AbleChild stood with the NAACP for that psychiatrist to step down. Clearly, this racial and ethnic “Beacon Theory” should be backed up with some science.

The lack of science and accurate data is appalling and must be called out as a major contributing factor in the overall opioid death toll.

 

Landmark Legislation: Consumer Protection MedWatch Phone Number Placed on Generic Prescription Drug Containers in Connecticut

July 15th, 2015 | Breaking News

For immediate release: July 15, 2015
Contact Sheila Matthews, Cofounder AbleChild (203) 253-0329
Westport, Connecticut

Landmark Legislation: Consumer Protection
MedWatch Phone Number Placed on Generic Prescription Drug Containers in Connecticut

AbleChild is pleased to announce the passage of Connecticut SB 28, a bill that makes it mandatory for all generic prescription drug containers to carry the 1-800 MedWatch telephone number. This is a first-in-the-nation legislative action to provide this important consumer information and a landmark win for consumers in Connecticut. In February of 2015, AbleChild proposed an amendment to SB 28, taking the unique opportunity to propose this very specific protection on behalf of the consumers.

MedWatch is a drug safety reporting system made available to consumers to allow direct reporting of Adverse Drug Events to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Information provided to MedWatch, by consumers, provides a unique tool to the FDA by giving the federal agency the ability to identify adverse reactions and monitor prescription drugs. The information collected about adverse reactions is used to determine if FDA action is needed on a specific drug.

According to the FDA, it receives information on less than 1% of the actual adverse drug reactions (ADRs) from the consumers. Prescription drugs are currently responsible for killing more people annually than illegal drugs, and according to Tom Friden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “It’s a big problem and getting worse.” Furthermore, according to the Medical Journal of Medicine, prescription drugs are responsible for 291 deaths every day.

Representative David Baram of Bloomfield, co-chairman of the General Law Committee, stated that, “The passage of legislation requiring the MedWatch information to be provided with prescription medications is a positive consumer bill.  I applaud Sheila Matthews for bringing this to our attention and helping us to pass this great consumer protection legislation.  Now consumers will have information on how they can report adverse prescription reactions so the manufacturers can review medication issues, and the FDA can re-evaluation safety concerns.  This is a major consumer protection that will help promote the safe use and manufacturing of medicines that many of us rely on to live productive lives.”

Senator Joe Markley, who also supported AbleChild’s efforts from the beginning said, “I’m delighted at the progress AbleChild has made in getting out the word on MedWatch, which will enhance the conversation on prescription drugs.  Reactions to these drugs differ dramatically, and it’s important that people who have a bad experience have a place to report what happened.  I hope we can do more to let people know about MedWatch, and to make them aware of the problems sometimes associated with certain prescription drugs.”

AbleChild’s amendment received bipartisan support and was unanimously passed on June 1, 2015. AbleChild would like to acknowledge and thank the cosponsors of this important consumer protection legislation, including Senator Joseph J. Crisco, 17th District, Representative Jonathan Steinberg, 136th District, Senator Joe Markley, 16th District, and the General Law Committee Chairman, Representative David A. Baram of the 15thDistrict.

AbleChild also would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the entire General Law Committee staff for their assistance in navigating the often, complicated legislative process.

Minnesota Reaches Out to AbleChild to Discuss New CT Law 1-800-MedWatch on “Prescription Drug Container Bill”

July 8th, 2015 | Press Releases

On Thursday July 9th, at 7 pm Eastern time, AbleChild will be a guest on TS Radio Show with Marti Oakley.

Marti Oakley is a talk show host with a focus on state and national legislation. This is not the first time media has reached out to AbleChild regarding liberty in mental health.

This broadcast will focus on the recently passed “Prescription Drug Container Bill” that incorporated an AbleChild amendment to include the 1-800-MedWatch consumer reporting phone number directly on the containers. AbleChild will also discuss the legislative impact of the aftermath of Sandy Hook.

Senate Bill 28 “The Prescription Drug Container Bill” unanimously passed both the Connecticut House of Representatives and Senate.

The AbleChild amendment makes it mandatory for all generic prescription drug containers to carry the 1-800-MedWatch telephone number on the container.

MedWatch is a drug safety reporting system made available to consumers to allow direct reporting of Adverse Drug Events to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This is a first-in-the-nation legislative action to provide this important consumer 1-800-MedWatch number directly on a prescription drug label, and a landmark win for consumers in Connecticut.

The books we are reading right now…

January 28th, 2015 | Blog

We are delighted to see books being added to the public library on the topic of how the pharmaceutical companies are marketing to consumers and the impact the products are having on our society.

OUR DAILY MEDS, by Melody Petersen

“An award-winning journalist’s groundbreaking report from the dark side of American medicine.”

“In the last thirty years, the big pharmaceutical companies have transformed themselves into marketing machines, selling dangerous medicines as if they were Coca-Cola or Cadillacs.”

Epilogue:  Mentions the FDA’s program known as MedWatch, page 325

Side Effects: Death, Confessions of a Pharma-Insider, by John Virapen

We liked the link provided to the Office of Medical & Scientific Justice, Inc. (www.OMSJ.org) on the inside page “Special Thanks”.  Very cool!
We also loved paged 89, “I Buy A Psychiatrist

The Truth About the Drug Companies, How they deceive us and what to do about it. by Marcia Angell, M.D.

Very good statistics, insider information, and we found page 147, Pretending Drug Companies Are Educators, to be very informative.

Big Pharma, Exposing the Global Healthcare Agenda, by Jacky Law
We are eager to read chapter 9, the people vs pharma, page 169 friends in high places.

We are excited to see writers taking on this critical public drug safety issue.  You might soon find some or all of these books on our educational resource page.  As always, AbleChild encourages you to support and learn about MedWatch.

 

Connecticut Consumers Need Some Avenue of Relief in Mental Health

January 4th, 2015 | Breaking News, Legislation Alerts

As is typical of “crisis management” by elected officials, the Connecticut legislature responded to the Sandy Hook tragedy without full knowledge of the facts of the incident with ill-advised mental health recommendations that do nothing to protect consumer rights.

In April of last year, the Task Force to Study the Provision of Behavioral Health Services for Young Adults, established pursuant to Public Act 13-3, put forth yet-to-be-approved mental health recommendations that, for all intents and purposes, would institute cradle to grave mental health diagnosing, yet provided no avenue for consumer input.

In other words, the public may be subjected to extremely intrusive mental health services, but will have no way to voice opposition to possible inaccuracies and wrongs committed by the service providers.

For example, the Task Force writes on page xi, number 45, that “…given the current understanding of mental illness to be a biological disease.” This is just wrong. The fact is there is no scientific/medical data to support this statement for any psychiatric diagnosis, including ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, or the alleged bi-polar disorder. Believing in, and having proof of, a psychiatric “disease” is two very different things.

However, regardless of the misinformation provided by the Task Force about what is and isn’t a mental “disease,” the recommendations, if instituted, do not provide consumers the ability to hold service providers responsible. What transpired between Nancy Lanza and the Yale Child Study Center actually is a good case in point.

Recall that Nancy Lanza sought treatment services for Adam Lanza at the Yale Child Study Center beginning in October 2006 – six years prior to the shooting incident. As part of the “treatment” provided, Adam was diagnosed by Yale as suffering from a “profound Autism Spectrum Disorder” and “obsessive compulsive disorder” and then was “treated” with the mind-altering antidepressant, Celexa.

Nancy Lanza “immediately” called the service provider at Yale Child Study Center, complaining about what she believed to be serious adverse reactions to the psychiatric drug. Specifically, Nancy Lanza advised Yale that Adam was “unable to raise his arm” and attributed this adverse reaction to the drug Adam had been prescribed.

Rather than take Lanza seriously and consider that the drug may be implicated in the adverse drug event, the Yale clinician “attempted to convince Nancy Lanza that the medication was not causing any purported symptoms which Adam might be experiencing” and labeled Lanza as “non-compliant.”

Was Nancy Lanza provided information about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch System? No. Had Lanza been provided this basic adverse drug reporting information, at a minimum, the FDA would have been given important information in the event of a future drug review.

Additionally, was Lanza advised by Yale Child Study Center that she could file a complaint with the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH)? The record makes no mention of providing any such information.

And, to add insult to injury, there is the case of Dr. Paul Fox, Adam Lanza’s longtime psychiatrist who, ironically, six months prior to the shooting incident at Sandy Hook, voluntarily surrendered his license to practice in New York and Connecticut and destroyed his patient records prior to fleeing the U.S. to live in New Zealand.

Despite destroying all of his patient medical records and, in the case of Adam Lanza, Fox destroyed those records almost two years too early, there is absolutely no recourse. A clear violation of Connecticut State law, but no action is prescribed to deal with such flagrant violations. No fines, no penalty, nothing.

Dr. Paul Fox and even the clinicians at Yale Child Study Center are proof that consumers need an avenue of relief. AbleChild believes that lawmakers have a responsibility to provide some level of protection to consumers, especially in light of the overwhelming number of mental health recommendations being considered.

Particularly important is the recommendation listed on page xi, number 44, where it is the intent to scale up “Assertive Treatment Programs that provide aggressive outpatient services, shy of forced medication…”

Clearly the intent of the Task Force recommendations is to severely ramp up mental health “treatment,” which almost always includes psychiatric medication. Nowhere in these recommendations are suggestions for legislative measures that will provide consumers some avenue of relief, alternative treatment options, or information about reporting adverse reactions to prescribed drugs.

Ablechild takes exception to the increased mental health recommendations on a number of levels, including the fact that, given the numerous problems surrounding the mental health “care” Adam Lanza received, the State obviously cannot enforce the laws already on the books. Increasing mental health services without consumer protections in place certainly cannot be called responsible legislative action.

Is Sandy Hook Father Asking the Wrong Questions?

August 14th, 2014 | Breaking News, Press Releases

In a recent article in the pressherald.com, father of Sandy Hook victim Avielle Richman, Dr. Jeremy Richman, is looking for answers, saying “we’re scientists. We ask ‘why’ for a living.” So one can only wonder why he’s failed to ask the questions that scream for answers.

As the father of one of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, Dr. Richman is on a broad, all encompassing mission to understand the workings of the brain of those who commit violent acts. Clearly this is a noble cause. But Ablechild cannot help but wonder what action Dr. Richman has taken to understand the murderous behavior of his child’s killer, Adam Lanza.

Specifically, it is well known that Ablechild sued the state of Connecticut in order to have Lanza’s medical/mental health records, autopsy and toxicology reports released for public review. Ablechild was denied this request as the state randomly concluded the non-profit was “not a stakeholder.” Ablechild believes that we all are stakeholders.

But it seems impossible that the state would deny a request by the family of one of the victims. Clearly the Richman’s would be considered “stakeholders.” Did Dr. Richman contact Ablechild to lend his support in these efforts? No. Has Dr. Richman ever requested that the state release this important information? Ablechild is unaware of any of the victim’s families requesting this information be made public.

It is no secret that Lanza had mental health issues. The problem, though, is that the State Police investigation of the shooting incident provides no information about Lanza’s mental health “treatment” after 2007 – five years prior to the shooting.

The public is aware that Lanza was “treated” at the Yale Child Study Center for OCD and was prescribed two antidepressants – Celexa and Lexapro – experiencing serious adverse reactions to both psychiatric drugs, as reported by his mother. But that was five years prior to the shooting.

What mental health “treatment” did Lanza receive after his “treatment” at Yale? It seems unrealistic that this grieving father would initiate this daunting brain campaign without having investigated every possible lead for answers about the man who killed his daughter.

After all if Lanza had been receiving mental health “treatment” prior to the shooting that consisted of psychiatric drugs, that information may be useful in understanding Lanza’s violent behavior. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed “Black box warnings” on all antidepressants as they may cause suicidal ideation and a host of other adverse reactions, including mania, psychosis and hallucinations.

Prior to the shooting was Lanza prescribed one or several psychiatric drugs to “treat” his OCD? Nobody knows. This information has not been made public. Has Dr. Richman made an effort to meet with Peter Lanza to glean information about Adam’s mental health “treatment?”

As a neuroscientist who has worked with pharmaceutical companies, Dr. Richman cannot ignore the fact that psychiatric drugs may actually cause violent behavior and, thus, information about Lanza’s mental health “treatment” may actually help understand his violent behavior. Failing to request specific, detailed information about Lanza’s mental health history seems odd.

Furthermore, has Dr. Richman, or any of the victim family members, requested information about the sealed, stamped envelope found in the Lanza home addressed “for the Young Students of Sandy Hook Elementary School?” Does Dr. Richman, or any of the victim families, know what was inside that envelope? Have the family members questioned the State Police about how the DNA of a convicted offender from New York was found on that envelope, while Adam and Nancy Lanza’s DNA was eliminated?   Do the family members wonder why, out of thousands of pieces of paper removed from the Lanza home, this particular envelope was fingerprinted and tested for DNA? What made this piece of evidence so important?

Additionally, has Dr. Richman, or any family members, questioned the State Police about the oddities of the ballistics report. For example, have any the family members raised questions about the weapon used to kill Nancy Lanza – the Savage Mark II rifle? Testing revealed the weapon has no fingerprints or DNA from Adam Lanza, but does have DNA for some unknown person.

Dr. Richman’s desire to understand the workings of the human brain of those who commit violent acts is a noble cause, but one cannot help wonder why Dr. Richman, and the other family members, appear to have no interest in the mental health records of the man who killed their loved ones or, for that matter, the ever increasing number of oddities in the official investigation of the shooting.

Ablechild believes these are basic questions that may help provide the answers that Dr. Richman is seeking and, also, make sense of the millions of dollars that were immediately appropriated by the State Legislature for increased mental health services.

 

 

Ablechild April 2014 Update

April 30th, 2014 | Blog, News Archive

“Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world, it is the only thing that ever has.”

 Dear Ablechild Members:

We’ve been busy and April proved to be a very rewarding month for Ablechild. We’re so pleased to have the opportunity to bring you up to speed on our efforts on your behalf.

We began the month with Ablechild, Co-founder, Sheila Matthews, attending the April 2nd Autism Awareness Day in Stamford, Ct., where Matthews was able to meet other like-minded people and gather support for Ablechild’s MedWatch System legislative language.

Matthews and New York Ablechild, Co-founder, Patricia Weathers, also attended the April 5th Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL) “Rally at the Capitol,” in Hartford.  Matthews and Weathers manned a table to distribute information about Ablechild’s efforts to elicit support for the MedWatch System legislative language.

Continuing our push to gain support for the MedWatch System, Ablechild was invited to be a guest on two radio shows in April.  First, on April 10th, in response to the horrific stabbing incident in Pennsylvania, Ablechild’s Matthews was interviewed by national radio host, Jonathan Emord of “Truth Trials” radio, where Matthews discussed the possibility of psychiatric drugs being involved in the violent act and the need for MedWatch education via the non-profit’s legislative efforts.

Matthews also was a guest on the Mike DeRosa radio show in Connecticut, WWUH 91.3 FM on April 14th.  DeRosa and Matthews discussed the recent spate of school violence and again Matthews brought the issue full-circle by discussing the need for MedWatch education within the state and discussed in depth Ablechild’s legislative efforts to make this happen.

Throughout the month Ablechild published several articles related to mental health/drugging issues, including an op-ed requested by the distinguished mental health website madinamerica.com, titled Legislator’s Rush to Implement Increased Mental Health Services Based on No Data from Shooting at Sandy Hook. Ablechild also published New York’s “unsafe” ActState Child Advocate Still Investigating Sandy Hook Shooterand Ablechild Warns of Clinical Trial “offers” to Low-Income Families.  We hope all our members will click on each of these links and read this important information.

In our continuing efforts to get MedWatch education language inserted into legislation, on April 25th, Ablechild met with State Senator Markley and Representative Steinberg.  Both lawmakers were very supportive of Ablechild’s efforts and have offered their assistance with the legislative language when the new legislative session begins. Ablechild will work with both lawmakers over the Summer months to insure that we hit the ground running for the next legislative session.

Finally, Ablechild is so pleased to report that our annual fundraising event, the Spring Fling Raffle, was a huge success. We were pleased that so many of our friends and members attended the event at Venture Photography in Greenwich on April 24th.  And, we were even more gratified when the winner of the gift basket, George Papadopoulous, graciously “paid it forward,” donating the $300.00 Salon KIKLO beauty services gift to an Ablechild member.

While April was very busy and rewarding, we anticipate that May will be equally challenging. As always, we appreciate our Members continued support, which allows us to do the work on your behalf for you and your families. We always welcome your feedback and look forward to knowing your thoughts on issues of importance.

The Ablechild Team

 

 

 

The Spring Raffle Basket generously donated by the following Retail Contributors

April 2nd, 2014 | Events and Photos

Spring Fling at Venture Photography Studio
Raffle Spring Basket

Value  $1,000

Winning Ticket will be pulled at VIP Party on April 24th at 8 pm.
The Winning Ticket Number will be posted on the Website
Winner will be contacted on April 25th
Individual Tickets $20, $100 for 4 Tickets and VIP Pass to Private Drawing Party

To Benefit Ablechild’s

MEDWATCH AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

Inside the Spring Basket

Detour 2.5 Classic Steel Frame Releigh Bike

Designed for the rider who is seeking the simplicity of a functional and comfortable way to get around town.  The versatile Detour 2.5 is finished with multi-use tires and Shimano 7-spd Mega Range and a riser bar and stem for supreme leisure riding Raleigh Comfort Saddle and Grips
Cycle Dynamics
971 Post Road East
Westport

Value $400

Horseback Riding for two in Millbrook, New York
Netherwood Acres

Value $300

Downunder of Westport, Connecticut
$100 towards a Kids Camp at Camp by the week for ages 6-16 years

BobbyQs Restaurant of Westport Connecticut
$100 Gift Certificate

Noelle’s Spa, Stamford, Connecticut
Value $60

A  Gift from West Elm of Westport Connecticut

A Gift from SEASONS TOO of Darien, Connecticut

A Gift from Blue Mercury of Westport, Connecticut

FOR TICKETS
info@venturegreenwich.com or call (203) 861-9100

New Information About Adam Lanza’s Mental Health Treatment Reveals Multiple Drugs

March 11th, 2014 | Breaking News

New information regarding Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, has recently been made public, adding to the already growing list of questions surrounding the Newtown shooting incident and Connecticut’s subsequent rush to increase mental health services.

With the March 10th release of The New Yorker article, “The Reckoning: The Father of the Sandy Hook killer searches for answers,” by Andrew Solomon, serious questions have been raised about the State Police investigation and the statements provided by personnel of the Yale Child Study Center, where reportedly Lanza was last treated.

The Reckoning author, Andrew Solomon, reports the following:

“Kathleen Koenig, a nurse specialist in psychiatry at Yale, gave some follow-up treatment. While seeing her, Adam tried Lexapro, which Fox had prescribed. Nancy reported, “on the third morning he complained of dizziness. By that afternoon he was disoriented, his speech was disjointed, he couldn’t even figure out how to open his cereal box. He was sweating profusely…it was actually dripping off his hands. He said he couldn’t think…He was practically vegetative.” Later the same day, she wrote, “He did nothing but sit in his dark room staring at nothing.”  Adam stopped taking Lexapro and never took psychotropics again, which worried Koenig. She wrote, “While Adam likes to believe that he’s completely logical, in fact, he’s not at all, and I’ve called him on it.” She said he had a biological disorder and needed medication. “I told him he’s living in a box right now, and the box will only get smaller over time if he doesn’t get some treatment.”

Remember that, until 2007, Lanza’s primary psychiatrist was Dr. Paul Fox who, in 2012, accused of having sexual relations with his patients, surrendered his license to practice medicine in New York and Connecticut, destroyed his records and moved to New Zealand.

Now Solomon is reporting that Dr. Fox had prescribed the antidepressant, Lexapro, and reportedly was working with the Yale Child Study Center’s Kathleen Koenig on Adam’s case.  Nancy Lanza apparently was very concerned about what appeared to be an adverse reaction to the mind-altering Lexapro and wrote copious notes about Adam’s behavior while on Lexapro.  More importantly, Solomon is reporting, apparently based on information gleaned from his extensive interviews with Peter Lanza, that Adam never took psychotropics again.

This important information does not jibe with the information Yale’s Kathleen Koenig provided to investigators and made public in the State’s Police Report of the shooting incident. Most importantly, the public only now, 15-months after the fact, is being made aware of a second psychiatric drug prescribed to Lanza and a second adverse reaction.

Five days after the shooting incident, investigators interviewed Kathleen Koenig. According to the police summary of Koenig’s interview the following was revealed.

“Koenig prescribed medication: Celexa – antidepressant/anti-anxiety.”

“Koenig recommended Adam Lanza participate in follow-up visits.”

“Koenig described Nancy Lanza’s response to her recommendations as “non-compliant.”

“Specifically, immediately after prescribing a small dose of Celexa to Adam Lanza, Koenig received a phone call from Nancy Lanza which reported her son was “unable to raise his arm.” Nancy Lanza was reporting her son was attributing this symptom to the medication. Nancy Lanza stated due to her son’s symptoms, he would be discontinuing use of the medication. Koenig attempted to convince Nancy Lanza that the medication was not causing any purported symptoms which Adam Lanza might be experiencing. However, Nancy Lanza was not receptive to Koenig’s reasoning. Nancy Lanza missed at least one scheduled appointment (unknown date) and failed to schedule subsequent appointments for Adam Lanza. Koenig did contact Dr. Paul Fox and agreed that his behavioral-based therapy would remain the primary course of treatment for Adam Lanza. She stated that Adam Lanza never returned for follow-up visits.”

According to the State Police Report, Koenig acknowledges that she had prescribed Adam Lanza the mind-altering drug, Celexa, and that Nancy Lanza had “immediately” reported what she believed to be serious adverse reactions to the drug. This is where it gets interesting.

If Lanza never returned to the Yale Child Study Center for follow-up visits and Koenig believed Nancy Lanza was “non-compliant,” when was the Lexapro prescribed?  Based on Solomon’s reporting it certainly appears that the Lexapro had been prescribed while Adam was being treated at Yale, yet the Lexapro incident apparently was not reported to investigators by Koenig.

Additionally, Koenig was advised on two occasions that Lanza had adverse reactions to psychiatric drugs prescribed to him – the Celexa and Lexapro. Why was information about the adverse reaction to Celexa provided to State investigators and not the adverse reaction to Lexapro?

On both occasions, when confronted with Nancy Lanza’s report of an adverse reaction to a drug, Koenig apparently pooh-poohed these concerns stating, “he had a biological disorder and needed medication,” and she “attempted to convince Nancy Lanza that the medication was not causing any purported symptoms which Adam Lanza might be experiencing.” Ultimately, it seems that Koenig labeled Nancy Lanza “non-compliant,” when in reality it appears this mother was acting responsibly.

One has to wonder how informed Koenig is when it comes to psychiatric drugs.  First, there is no medical/scientific evidence to support Koenig’s claim that any psychiatric disorder is “biological.”  Secondly, the information provided by Nancy Lanza about the adverse reaction to the Celexa actually is one of the serious side effects of the drug – “stiff, rigid muscles.” Adam had complained that he could not lift his arm. And Nancy Lanza also told Koenig that Adam was “sweating profusely.” This also is an adverse side effect of Lexapro.

Unfortunately, Solomon did not provide information in his article about the date the Lexapro was prescribed.  However, because Solomon wrote that “Adam stopped taking Lexapro and never took psychotropics again, which worried Koenig,” we can assume that it was during the time that Adam was receiving treatment at the Yale Child Study Center.

Based on the fact that Adam did not “participate in follow-up visits” to the Yale Child Study Center after the Celexa incident, then the above information seems inaccurate. According to Koenig’s statement to police, Celexa was the only drug that Adam received and that was the end of the relationship with the Yale Child Study Center.

Beyond the fact that the data provided by Solomon about Koenig’s statements appears to be contradicting the State Police Report, what also becomes abundantly clear is that Koenig appears to be completely unwilling to accept, as real, Nancy Lanza’s reports about the medication.  Koenig does not recommend discontinuation, nor does she recommend that the adverse reactions be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch drug reporting system.

More bizarre, though, given that the Yale Child Study Center appears to be pivotal in Lanza’s mental health care, is that Dr. Ezra Griffith (a psychiatrist) of Yale University was chosen by Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy to sit on the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, which is tasked with making recommendations about mental health care in the state. Furthermore, the Yale Child Study Center testified before the Advisory Commission.  Is this not a serious conflict of interest?

Nevertheless, the point is, of course, that there is a problem with the information about Adam Lanza’s mental health care.  Specifically, when did Adam Lanza stop taking psychiatric medication? In fact, what medications had Lanza been prescribed throughout his life?  Why has no information about Lanza’s mental health for the last five years of his life been made public? Did Nancy Lanza uncharacteristically decide to stop providing mental health treatment for Adam after his negative experience at the Yale Child Study Center?

No one knows. And that is why all of Lanza’s mental health records need to be made public. Until that time, more information about Lanza’s mental health treatment and prescribed drugs will surely leak out. In the meantime, though, important mental health decisions, affecting the entire country, will be made by lawmakers.

As often is the case when it comes to these tragic school shootings, lawmakers irresponsibly act first then, maybe, consider the facts later.  What Ablechild is learning, though, is that the “facts” of this incident keep changing, making it all the more important for the public to demand absolute transparency of all information regarding Lanza’s mental health records.

It is no secret that almost immediately Lanza’s mental health treatment was questioned.  Specifically what mental health disorder(s) did he suffer from and what “treatment” and medications had been prescribed over the course of his life.

Given that most of the psychiatric drugs available at that time had not been approved for children and that they also carried serious FDA “black box” warnings for serious behavioral adverse reactions, these questions are not unimportant.

In fact, without this information no governing body can responsibly claim the need for “increased mental health services” based on the shooting incident at Newtown.  Without knowing Lanza’s mental health history, lawmakers are subjecting the public to unnecessary and costly mental health services with zero information to support the action.

 

 

 

 

 

“ON THE AIR” Ablechild kicks off in CT then goes National for MEDWATCH AWARENESS

On February 14, 2014, Ablechild was interviewed on WGCH 1490 AM, Greenwich, Connecticut. Ablechild left immediately after that interview to the Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut to educate lawmakers on the MEDWATCH “adverse drug” reporting system.  Ablechild distributed to every State Representative and Senator a copy of the “MEDWATCH” form  along with suggested language to incorporate into law “the ensured access” for the consumer on their right to report “adverse drug events” to the FDA.  Take a listen, below:

Tony Savino
News Director
WGCH 1490-AM
71 Lewis St.
Greenwich, CT. 06830


After our effort in Connecticut, Ablechild reached out Nationally.  We did our first exclusive interview on the National radio show, Republic Broadcasting System with Deanna Spingola, where Ablechild discusses the Sandy Hook, Newtown Investigation, our legislative efforts, and fielded questions from callers throughout the United States, as well as a call from Canada!  Take a listen:

Ablechild Guest on Republic Broadcasting Network with Deanna Spingola

Page 1 of 212
Website Design by Chroma Sites