SSRI Stories Note: The Physicians Desk Reference states that antidepressants can cause a craving for alcohol and can cause alcohol abuse. Also, the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and the alcohol simultaneously, thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and the antidepressant in the human body
SSRI Stories Additional Note: Withdrawal can often be more dangerous than continuing on a medication. It is important to withdraw extremely slowly from these antidepressants, usually over a period of a year or more, under the supervision of a qualified specialist. Withdrawal is sometimes more severe than the original symptoms or problems.
Judge gives siege man a chance to avoid jail
A 28-year-old man who held two children hostage while armed with a nine-inch knife during a siege at his Forest of Dean home has walked free from court.
Iain Warren threatened to kill police if they made any attempt to enter the house in Cannop, Gloucestershire.
Warren had two children aged three and five with him during the siege, which a senior police negotiator later said had "the greatest potential for a violent ending" that he had ever dealt with.
Gloucester crown court was told it was thanks to the negotiator, Superintendent Steve Radcliffe, and Warren's brother-in-law that the incident was brought to a happy end.
Warren pleaded guilty to affray and cruelty to a child on December 13 last year.
Judge William Hart heard at the time of the incident Warren was suffering from depression and drinking heavily.
After being told Warren had made "huge strides" towards recovery and getting his life back on track in the last five months, Judge Hart decided to give him a chance to show he can continue to improve.
He deferred sentence on Warren for six months with a strict set of conditions and told him that if he failed to abide by them he could expect a three- year jail term.
Prosecutor Tim Hills said Warren had started to suffer depression about a year before the incident. He had been prescribed medication but at the time of the offences he had stopped taking it and was drinking heavily.
On December 13 at about midnight he had an argument with his wife and pushed her out of the house, Mr Hills said. She called the police because Warren had shut himself inside with the two children, a girl of three and a boy of five.
Two officers arrived and saw Warren holding the knife. When they asked him to open the door he told the officers if they came in he would stab and kill them.
Firearms officers were then sent to the scene and Warren was seen standing by an upstairs window holding the little girl in his right arm and a knife in his left hand.
Officers talked to him for about 40 minutes and then Supt Radcliffe arrived.
Mr Hills said: "It is thanks to his powers of communication and persuasion that first of all the little boy was released and came out in his nightclothes.
"A short while later the defendant came to the front door with the girl but without the knife. The girl was allowed to go and Warren was arrested.
"He agreed during interview that he had a drink problem. He said he was sorry and he could not explain why he did it."
Joe Maloney, defending, said Warren had spent 124 days in custody after his arrest but had then been freed on a tagged curfew. Since then he had made huge strides towards dealing with his emotional and psychological problems and his drinking.