There are literally millions of people worldwide who take all sorts of powerful painkillers. They are far from being harmless, as some of them create addiction that is hard to get rid of and they might have various side effects, given the fact that they affect the central nervous system. Sometimes we might be aware of the consequences of pain relievers abuse, sometimes not.
Researchers have recently found a side effect that might seem inconceivable to some users. People taking certain types of medication are more inclined to commit homicide than those who steer clear of them .
Certain medications that include antidepressants or painkillers have been associated with an increased risk of violence that could lead to murder.
The research was conducted by a team of psychiatrists who analyzed the data of more than 950 people convicted of homicide in Finland. Their ages varied from 13 to 88. Afterwards, they compared each individual who committed a murder with ten people who had not committed such crimes but were exactly the same gender and age.
The results revealed that people who took benzodiazpines (which are very powerful tranquilizers) or various painkillers like anti-inflammatories or opioid medicine had a significantly increased risk of committing homicide.
They also checked their police records to see if they were intoxicated with alcohol or on drugs when they committed homicide.
More exactly, the people who regularly took tranquilizers had a 45 percent higher risk of committing homicide and those who regularly took antidepressants a 31 percent higher chance.
Moreover, people who constantly took pain relievers were more inclined to commit suicide, while those on antidepressants were linked to famous crimes such as school shootings in both Finland and the United States, but were less likely to commit suicidal acts.
“I think that these chemical substances affect the impulse control of the person. The only surprising result was that painkillers also increase the risk.” explained lead author Dr. Jari Tiihonen who is also a professor of psychiatry at Institutet in Stockhold, Sweden.
The tranquilizer mentioned above is usually used to treat insomnia, anxiety or panic disorders. The other drugs listed relieve pain and usually mess with the person’s central nervous system, which makes them quite dangerous. All of them can create addiction.
However, even if the findings are very surprising, people should not seek causality between this medication and homicidal acts, as this is merely an association. There have been other studies in the past that proved powerful drugs can affect people’s emotions.
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