Vegas Gunman Was Prescribed Drugs That Can Lead To Violent Behavior

Tyler Durden's picture

As police continue to hunt for a credible motive to explain why 64-year-old millionaire, real-estate investor Stephen Paddock sprayed a crowd of country music fans with bullets – a suicide mission that police say was the result of meticulous planning – the Las Vegas Review Journal reports that Paddock was recently prescribed anti-anxiety medication that studies have shown can lead to violent, impulsive behavior.

The suggests that the characterization of events offered by Paddock’s brother that the gunman, who killed 59 people and wounded more than 500 more Sunday in night in the worst mass shooting in modern US history, "simply snapped" may be accurate.

According to records from the Nevada Prescription Monitoring Program obtained by the paper on Tuesday, Paddock was prescribed 50 10-milligram diazepam tablets on June 21 by Henderson, Nevada physician Dr. Steven Winkler. Diazepam – better known by its brand name, Valium – is a sedative and muscle relaxer in the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, which studies have shown can cause aggressive behavior in some patients. Chronic use has also been linked to psychotic episodes.

Paddock purchased the drug without insurance at a Walgreens store in Reno on the same day it was prescribed. He was supposed to take one pill a day. "If somebody has an underlying aggression problem and you sedate them with that drug, they can become aggressive,” said Dr. Mel Pohl, chief medical officer of the Las Vegas Recovery Center. “It can disinhibit an underlying emotional state. … It is much like what happens when you give alcohol to some people … they become aggressive instead of going to sleep.”

The effects of the drug are amplified by alcohol, Pohl said.

That said, Valium is a widely and commonly prescribed medication in the US – as are its chemical cousins Xanax and Klonopin. But its familiarity has evidently obscured this potentially sinister side-effect. A 2015 study of 960 Finnish adults and teens convicted of homicide showed that their odds of killing increased by 45% when they were on benzodiazepines.

To be sure, the drug is more likely to trigger impulsive aggressive behavior than something like Sunday’s premeditated attack, according to Dr. Michael First, a clinical psychiatry professor at Columbia University.

“What this man in Las Vegas did was very planned,” he noted, referring to reports that Paddock sneaked an arsenal of weapons into the Mandalay Bay and placed cameras inside and outside his room before launching his attack.

Winkler had previously prescribed Paddock 50 10-milligram tablets in 2016, advising him to take two pills a day. Questions about the role that psychiatric medication plays in mass shootings have been percolating for decades, though no definitive link has ever been found, the LVRJ pointed out. There’s also the danger that, by publicizing unscientific linkages in the media, that patients who require the drug to manage moderate to severe anxiety might be unfairly stigmatized for using it.

Determining why the medication was prescribed may ultimately prove more helpful to investigators as they try to piece together Paddock’s motive, First said.

“That may have more to do with why he did what he did.”

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KJWqonfo7's picture

There it is!!!

ISIS link coming in 3. 2. 1....

NoDebt's picture

Several board members nailed this one from the start.


Perimetr's picture

Guns don't kill people

Drugs kill people

wait . . . .

gatorengineer's picture

I will take C - Left wing nut job.... utilized to make an anti-gun push..... wait and watch.

clymer's picture

Wasn't the benzo's

I am not even convinced this douche acted alone.

Way, way too much simply not adding up on this one

stacking12321's picture

This psychopath did kill many people, but not nearly as many as other psychopaths such as bush, obama, and trump, who have not been apprehended and are still on the loose.

Manthong's picture


“other psychopaths such as bush, obama, and trump”

…as CD implied.

An Act of Pure Evil


But 10 mg twice a day of Diazepam is industrial dosage and indicative of a serious  problem.

Combine it with even a little alcohol and one can indeed lose touch.

He might have had other sources, other drugs… the street or “doctor shopping”.

Toxicology will tell.

Hmm.. 10 mg? That might be a typo.

1 mg twice a day would be closer to the norm.

Joe Davola's picture

Just to echo NoDebt's comment, always worth reading the comments here - several posters were speculating about this yesterday.

But if it wasn't vitamin V that did it, there was this tidbit in one of the other stories:

he worked as letter carrier

Delayed Postal Syndrome.

bluez's picture

Valium does not cause aggressive behavior. Almost all kinds of antidepressants often cause this. 10 milligrams of Valium is the strongest dose, and it is usually given for anxiety. The real question should be about the anxiety. Clearly he was suicidal, and the most common cause of that is depression. He probably had been given antidepressants previously, and they had kindled psychotic aggressive compulsions that did not subside. Hence he had been given the Valium to control those impulses, but it wasn't enough.

Pendolino's picture

"Valium does not cause aggressive behavior"

"Like alcohol, benzodiazepines can occasionally cause apparently paradoxical stimulation with increased aggression, anger, violence and antisocial behaviour. Benzodiazepines have been linked with 'baby-battering', 'wife beating' and 'grandma bashing'. Less dramatically, increases in irritability and argumentativeness are often remarked on by patients on long-term benzodiazepines and by their families. These effects are thought to result from disinhibition of usually controlled behaviour." Professor C Heather Ashton, DM, FRCP, Benzodiazepines: The Still Unfinished Story, November 2000.

"Benzodiazepines sometimes produce apparently paradoxical stimulant effects. Patients may commit uncharacteristic anti-social acts such as shoplifting or sexual offences, or become aggressive with outbursts of rage and violence. Some researchers have suggested that chronic use may contribute to 'baby-battering', 'wife-beating' or 'grandma-bashing'." Professor C Heather Ashton, DM, FRCP, Anything for a quiet life? New Scientist, May 6, 1989.

But you're probably right and they're wrong.

greenskeeper carl's picture

This could very well be used to disarm people, especially combat vets. He was on a drug, and snapped, therefore if you are on or have been on any of this list of drugs, you are banned from owning a gun. Millions of combat vets take some kind of anti depressant or anti anxiety drug to deal with PTSD. Pissed off combat vets are a group .gov deep state would like to see disarmed. If they can't get the whole country, with this they could get the most dangerous, to them, group. Just a thought.

waspwench's picture

This is already being used to disarm people, and especially people with a military background.

If you think you might ever want to own a gun NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give any doctor any reason to think that you might have any mental or personality problems.

It will be in your records.   All health records are now on-line.   All health records can be accessed by the gubmint.

Paul E. Math's picture

Sorry, but this is moronic.  What's more important to you: your mental health or owning a gun?  To help you answer, recall that the most important thing you have in life is your health.

ceilidh_trail's picture

1 mg would more likely be xanax. 10 mg for valium would not be abnormal. I have to say that i have seen people have ideosyncratic reactions to benzos. They NEVER displayed behavior like this guy apparently did. The ones I dealt with usually had high agitation and disorganized thought to the point where they could not do this even if they wanted to.  While there is a whole spectrum of how persons can react to any drug, I think that this was not a reaction to diazepam. 

Déjà view's picture

Former mailman...went 'POSTAL'...

Handful of Dust's picture

He planned this for weeks, maybe months. I've seen several people on Valium and they are not mentally or physically coordinated enuff to do this complex, sophisticated attack.

Not drugs.

They are not telling us the reason why a Muslim convert would do this.

Maybe his Indonesian Muslim gf can help find the truth?

Maybe isis can help explain their method of triggering these killers?

BennyBoy's picture


"Maybe isis can help explain their method of triggering these killers?"

Maybe the CIA can help explain their method of triggering these killers?

Fixed it.

lil dirtball's picture

They aren't even creative:

Paddock: A meadow, croft or field; an inclosure [sic] in a park.

Las Vegas Park - with the cattle panels - just like he purportedly shot into.

Déjà view's picture

DHS checking his computers will not find a ZH handle...

cat-foodcafe's picture

At this point, I don't even believe the shooters name was Paddock, or anything else we have been lectured about.  And the Indonesian GF being wheeled thru the airport in a "they" just drag someone out of a nursing home for questioning ?

I am also now thinking the photos of Paddock and GF are of other persons or similar-looking people, so the real people with the names we have been given can hide.  Or be quietly buried way out in the desert.

I am choking on the stench of B.S.

WillyGroper's picture

his brother already debunked the religious issue...wasn't skilled with guns either.


BennyBoy's picture


Having no skills, I was hitting a target (not the bullseye) withing seconds of my first bullet. 

When the target is several hundred feet by several hundred feet a blind man could hit it.

californiagirl's picture

Someone that builds up a cache of almost 50 guns over 20 years, 33 of them in last year,  has probably been to the shooting range at least a few times. Perhaps he didn't tell his brother. And how does someone not get on the ATF's radar screen when they buy 33 guns in one year and are not involved in a gun-related business?  

Friedrich not Salma's picture

ATF? Oh right, those fine folks I first heard of in Waco, TX. You sort of imply that you think they would manage to do something positive about 33 guns in a year. That's a downvote.

WillyGroper's picture

33 is your wink.

it's a FF, period.

IvannaHumpalot's picture

yes just like the 1966 texas tower shooter planned his attack. He had a tumour pressing on his amygdala. He left a note too: said he didn't understand why he felt compelled to do these things and asked them to do an autopsy on his brain. That's when they found it.

LyLo's picture


I had no idea about this.  Absolutely fascinating.  Kudos to the dude for the excellent self diagnosis.

Endgame Napoleon's picture

How many mass shootings occurred and at what rate of acceleration between 1966 and 2017? Something is causing the change. People would rather blame it on something like this than a breakdown in general morality. It seems like the statistic of 5% of the world's population and 25% of its prisioners lends a clue, particularly since this stat arose in an era when social mores have changed drastically, with fewer two-parent homes and moms that work, rather than raising their own children.

Déjà view's picture

24 year old EXPERT marksman Charles Whitman would have taken out 100+ in this situation having todays tech advancements...

• Gary Busey starred in a movie about Charles Whitman...
• D.I. mentioned Whitman in movie Full Metal Jacket...

Perhaps Hollywood cashes in makes a Paddock movie...

DeadFred's picture

TV shows, books and real events plant the idea in their heads. Pressures incubate the concepts and without healthy social contact to act as a weed killer those ideas sprout into real actions. I've seen some of my relatives (the friends you were forced to choose) walking down this path and tried to help them find a better route. It wasn't easy to do. Once you start thinking of Jeffrey Dahmer as a role model it's a bit hard to return to the pack.

Of course you could explain the same set of facts by saying someone broke the lock on the gates of hell and the demons are escaping. Either way the increase in frequency for bizarre acts like this is alarming.

BennyBoy's picture


In 1966 Policemen Martinez and McCoy didn't wait for back up, swat teams or donut shops to close.

They went up the stairs and shot the motherfucker so nobody else would get shot.

In Vegas cops knew the floor with in 8 minutes. But it took them 72 minutes later to bust down the door.

Was there a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door?


lil dirtball's picture

> Maybe

Maybe it's all just so much bullshit and will never make sense because they want people spendig their time in the quagmire of details that don't fit together coherently?

divingengineer's picture

Antianxiety medication that makes you freak out and kill people? That doesn’t sound like very good medicine for anxiety. Only Big Pharma could come up with a jewel like that.

Karl von Bahnhof's picture

This is buuulsheeeet .... people usually sleep after valium and benzodiazepines.

BennyBoy's picture


You need to read the product insert.

Psychiatric and Paradoxical Reactions: stimulation, restlessness, acute hyperexcited states, anxiety, agitation, aggressiveness, irritability, rage, hallucinations, psychoses, delusions, increased muscle spasticity, insomnia, sleep disturbances, and nightmares. Inappropriate behavior and other adverse behavioral effects have been reported when using benzodiazepines.

Some withdrawl symptoms: In severe cases, the following symptoms may occur: derealization, depersonalization, hyperacusis, numbness and tingling of the extremities, hypersensitivity to light, noise and physical contact, hallucinations or epileptic seizures.

Patriot Eke's picture

I'd go one step forward.  Drugs don't kill people.  Doctors, who prescribe this shit, kill people.  They prescribe it on purpose too.  My wife had a pending lawsuit.  The doctor who owned the place she was suing put her on a two drug combination that when Googled had a top hit of suicide being the number one side effect.  Coincidence? I don't fucking think so.  Why, honestly, hasn't someone filed a lawsuit against drug companies?  Don't sue the gun manufacturers.  Sue the doctors and big pharma.

Killtruck's picture

Precisely, Watson. Good luck suing Big Pharma though. All of those Congress critters with stock options aren't interested in seeing their cash cow disappear. 


Example A: Ever heard of a vaccine court? 

Huh-Wuh's picture

I'd go one step forward.  Drugs don't kill people.  Doctors, who prescribe this shit, kill people. “


You are correct. Walking into a doctor’s office and doing business with “The System” is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US.

giovanni_f's picture

"What this man did was very planned". Professor Dr. Michael First.

This man deserves the Sherlock Holmes Award 2017.

BennyBoy's picture


His motive had to be romance problems, money problems or prescription drugs. What other prescription drugs was he on?

Drug companies are now threatening to pull all ads from MSM to bury this story.

Dont you love the "free" press?!

Kina's picture

The biggest mind fuck ever is coming off of valium.

I've seen people go bat shit nuts coming off of valium.

Highly addictive drug.

Fucks up your brain badly.  My mom was on it for years when my sister died.

She eventually became delusional, they had to take her off it, and that was a massive problem.

Valium should be banned.

BennyBoy's picture


Paddock also had allergies to certain chemicals, perfumes.

Add in valium response with a paradoxical stimulation with increased aggression, anger, violence and antisocial behaviour. and whatever else he was on or coming off and murder/suicide is routine.

divingengineer's picture

You are fucking with the chemistry of your brain when you take that shit.
Take it long enough and you change the physiology of your brain- permanently.

lincolnsteffens's picture

So true divigengengineer.

Over the past two years I slowly reduced anti-depressant meds to zero. It was not easy but I succeeded even though I experienced after a year increasing depression. After finally ending all antidepressants though I was greatly fatigued and sleeping more.It wasn't until a few months after no drugs that depression returned with a vengeance with a new symptom of severe irrational fear and anxiety. It was so bad that after three months of a mental nightmare I had to resume the meds plus xanax for a month. In consultation with a doctor I was told that in his experience no one was able to successfully wean themselves off without severe reactions.

The evidence of physical changes in the brain show that when one part of the brain is injured or does not properly receive chemical and electrical stimulation it shrinks. If you interfere with the function of the brain causing the chemicals needed to produce pleasurable feelings, that part of the brain may only produce limited activity when the drugs used to mitigate depression and distress are removed. Thus, the original reasons for seeking relief are made worse by changing brain function leaving you worse off without the drugs than you originally started with.

There are other ways to induce improvements in brain function problems but they involve intensive brain stimulation programs that are time consuming and more expensive than pill popping. This is the same old drug usage to cover up the symptoms without curing the disease.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I was prescribed medication for depression and I refused to take it. I wanted to solve my problem not patch it. Finally one psychologist told me the truth. I know what you are asking and I'm sorry to tell you you can't afford the psychiatric therapy to overcome your childhood trauma. It would take a year of serious work and cost upwards of 100k. Your only choice is pills. Something just snapped in me. I got up and told her to go fuck herself and walked out.

I was fortunate. I found a cognitive psychologist who I could afford group therapy once a week. I had extensive homework which I did religiously. After 6 months I was definitely better. After a year during my performance review my supervisor was simply dumbfounded. She had never had an employee undergo such a transformation and wanted to ask our hospital to subsidize anyone else who wished to do what I did. It cost me $3000. Interestingly my brother chose the $100k therapy and recovered as well.

I asked my therapist why this worked for me when others didn't have as much success. She told me it was my sheer determination and duress. There is a point in therapy when you are asked to dive into the horror of your past when you are ready. She likened it to going into the desert to fight a large Hydra from Hell. She gave me a sword but it was up to me to engage the battle. She said most will retreat and not risk it all because they will fall back to familiarity of their known lives as being safe. Like Shawshank Redemption. Some find safety in a prison while others will walk through several football fields of shit to get to freedom.

I am so glad I never took pills.


SubjectivObject's picture

have drug prescription

hand over gun

it's the law ... now

Jeffersonian Liberal's picture

This is part of their plan, to link any issue -- any issue including nicotine "disorder" which is how many EHR programs classify even mild smoking -- to a reason to deny people their 2nd Amendment rights.

There is a reason the US government is paying big bucks to physicians and practices through the Meaningful Use program to capture the info they determine is important and in a data format that allows the government to share that data across multiple databases.

And the reason is not to find out how many 'guardians' little Sarah has.