Ann Tracy writes:
At the September FDA hearings I met Raul Laguerre. This very kind soft spoken man from upstate NY had come to learn what he could, to share his family's tragedy, and to meet other parents in the same position. He sobbed as he told me he had brought his family to America to give them a better life and instead he felt this action destroyed his son's life.
Just 15 at the time, young Raul, Jr's experience rings a far too familiar bell - as he began to rapidly have adverse reactions Zoloft, the doctor increased his dose and added more medications. In the end Raul was taking THREE powerful serotonin reuptake inhibitors: Zoloft, Risperdal and Strattera. The problems the doctor was attempting to address with these drugs were depression, nightmares and symptoms of attention deficit disorder - as if a serotonin reuptake inhibitor would actually help any of those conditions! When we know from medical research that impairment or reuptake of serotonin metabolism produces: horrifying nightmares, depression, mental retardation and Alzheimer's, a serotonin reuptake inhibitor would clearly only worsen any of those conditions.
Raul and his family were shocked beyond belief when he was arrested for the sodomy of a neighbor in 2003.
This is a boy who was a model son, who had never been in any trouble at all before this. And he had no memory of committing this crime. The only recall he had of the incident was a nightmare or what he thought was a nightmare of something like this happening. As you will note in the article below Raul's lawyers contend that he wasn't responsible for his actions that night because he was acting out a dream while living in a state of hypersexual arousal caused by an adverse reaction to such an unbelievable combination of medication.
The truth is this boy is lucky to be alive since using just two of these drugs together would have been enough to produce a reaction called Serotonin Syndrome which could have killed him within a 24 hour period. In his case his brain suffered the most toxic effects before his body did causing such out of character, bizarre behavior instead of the multiple organ failure that takes your life with this much too high a level of serotonin known as Serotonin Syndrome.
To the amazement and delight of the defense, the prosecutor's own expert witness in this case agreed with the defense that the drugs had caused young Raul to do this. It is almost unheard of that an expert called by the other side would agree so completely with a defense expert. But even more amazing than that is the fact that the jury then found him guilty!
Of course there is already talk of an appeal. In the meantime we need as many letters as possible going into Judge De Rosa before the sentencing of young Raul Laguerre, Jr. Judges have got to understand what it is they are dealing with so often in cases like this! The more judges that begin to get an understanding of this the sooner this insanity will be stopped. Clearly this judge needs to see that more than anything this boy needs counceling, not more medication!
Letters should be sent to:
Judge De Rosa
c/o Raul Laguerre, Sr.
35 Bauer LN