Alyssa Bustamante was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday. learn about her and 5 other killers who had prescription drug problems in this photo slideshow.
Bustamante, who was prescribed to take the antidepressant Prozac, is one of many people who have committed murders or other violent crimes after being prescribed, abusing, or going off of prescription drugs.
There is a whole body of work that serves to attempt to draw a connection between prescription drugs--especially those classified as SSRIs--and violence.
As Barry Farber wrote on Newsmax in July 2001, there are many violent crimes committed by people on antidepressants: Have the rest of you noticed how close to unanimously all the high school shooters, random killers, baby-drowners, first- and second-grade knife murderers, first-time committers of violence and unlikely suicides were on some kind of anti-depressant at the time of their dark deed? he wrote.
Despite this apparent connection between prescription drugs and violence, and breathless media reports to that effect, a 2002 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry drew the conclusion that no such connection actually exists, as only 2.4 percent of the violent incidents the study looked at were committed by people taking antidepressants.
The conflicting studies and reports serve to further muddy the issue of whether a connection can be made between prescription drugs and violence. But this photo slideshow still provides a number of examples of young people who may have in fact been pushed over the edge by the use of antidepressants and other prescription medications.