Vegas Shooter Was Prescribed Anti-Anxiety Meds

Meds can trigger psychotic episodes, but could they result in such a meticulously planned crime?

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Stephen Paddock, the man responsible for the most deadly mass shooting in the history of the country, was prescribed anti-anxiety medication a few months before his horrific shooting spree that resulted in 59 people dead and over 500 injured. The drug, diazepam, can lead to psychotic episodes and aggressive behavior; however, one expert suggests that an adverse reaction to the drug alone would not explain Paddock’s “very planned” actions.

“Records from the Nevada Prescription Monitoring Program obtained Tuesday show Paddock was prescribed 50 10-milligram diazepam tablets by Henderson physician Dr. Steven Winkler on June 21,” the Review-Journal reports. “Paddock purchased the drug — its brand name is Valium — without insurance at a Walgreens store in Reno on the same day it was prescribed. He was supposed to take one pill a day.”

Records show that Winkler had prescribed diazepam to Paddock last year, though the prescription was for two tablets a day rather than one.

While diazepam is used to treat anxiety, it can also trigger dangerous side effects, including increased anxiety, hallucination, and aggressive behavior. Also among the list of side effects are decreased inhibitions, unusual risk-taking behavior, suicidal thoughts, hostility, confusion, and depression.

The Review-Journal spoke with the chief medical officer at the Las Vegas Recovery Center, Dr. Mel Pohl, who said that the drug Paddock was prescribed can sometimes heighten a preexisting problem, like “underlying aggression.”

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