Stephen Paddock Psychological Health: Shooter Prescribed Anti-Anxiety Meds Months Before Carnage


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The marquee at Wynn Las Vegas displays a message of gratitude in response to Sunday night’s mass shooting at a music festival on October 3, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Stephen Paddock, the 64-year-old man who killed 58 people and wounded hundreds in Las Vegas Sunday night was prescribed anti-anxiety medication in June, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The newspaper stated that “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 brand name for diazepam is Valium, which runs the risk of causing aggressive behavior, according to, who cited examples of the drug and similar classes of medications in connection with aggression for those who were reportedly taking it. Diazepam is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. According to, benzodiazepines, prescribed for anxiety, seizures and sleeping problems, are described as the following:

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Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs primarily used for treating anxiety, but they also are effective in treating several other conditions. The exact mechanism of action of benzodiazepines is not known, but they appear to work by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain, chemicals that nerves release in order to communicate with other nearby nerves. One of these neurotransmitters is gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that suppresses the activity of nerves. Scientists believe that excessive activity of nerves may be the cause of anxiety and other psychological disorders, and benzodiazepines reduce the activity of nerves in the brain and spinal cord by enhancing the effects of GABA. cited the following examples and professional knowledge of benzodiazepines:

1980 – A woman stabbed her husband to death after taking prescribed doses of diazepam (Valium). After hearing expert medical evidence from Professor Michael Rawlins, that diazepam induces aggressive outbursts, the jury acquitted the defendant completely. Professor Michael Rawlins said that he believed the tragedy [murder] was probably precipitated by the excessive amount (30mg) of diazepam which the defendant had consumed in the preceding twelve-hour period before her husband’s death.” The Law Society Gazette, 22 July, 1987.

According to Dukes, [M. N. G. Dukes (1980), a physician with considerable regulatory experience] all the benzodiazepiness used for the control of anxiety were also implicated in causing violence: If one – to begin at an arbitrary point – looks to the literature for evidence that the benzodiazepines can unleash aggression then one will find it. More than a dozen papers in the literature speak of irritability, defiance, hostility, aggression, rage or a progressive development of hates and dislikes in certain patients treated with benzodiazepine tranquilizers; all those products which are widespread have been incriminated at one time or another…Unlike the experienced alcohol user, the trusting benzodizepine user has little reason to anticipate losing control. Expecting to be helped, and not harmed, by the drug, the patient is less able to understand or manage potentially overwhelming feelings of anger or violence, or other untoward emotional responses…The benzodiazepines can produce a wide variety of abnormal mental responses and hazardous behavioral abnormalities, including rebound anxiety and insomnia, psychosis, paranoia, violence, antisocial acts, depression, and suicide.” Peter R. Breggin, MD, Brain-Disabling Effects of Benzodiazepines.

According to a 1984 study, ‘Extreme anger and hostile behavior emerged from eight of the first 80 patients we treated with alprazolam [Xanax]. The responses consisted of physical assaults by two patients, behavior potentially dangerous to others by two more, and verbal outbursts by the remaining four.” A woman who had no history of violence before taking Xanax ‘erupted with screams on the fourth day of alprazolam treatment, and held a steak knive to her mother’s throat for a few minutes.

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1995 – New South Wales, Australia Restriction of clonazepam (a benzodiazepine) prescription was implemented by the Corrections Health Service of New South Wales due to it causing emotionally reactive and aggressive behaviour with self-harm and suicide attempts in inmates

The circumstances of why Paddock was prescribed diazepam are not known at this time.

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