A national psychiatrists body has rejected claims that drugs for mental ailments can provoke violent behaviour – after it had been cited as a cause for the unrest at the Mahara prison on Monday.
“We would like to state that this publicity is most unfortunate and without any rational basis,” the Sri Lanka College of Psychiatrists said in a statement on Thursday.
Police had said that inmates at the Mahara Prison had consumed nearly 21,000 tablets used for mental disorders, as a substitute for heroin, in the lead-up to the unrest that killed 11.
“None of these drugs are responsible for violent or aggressive behaviour and in fact many of these drugs promote calmness,” the college of psychiatrists insisted.
It also noted that individuals of mental disorders are more often victims of violence than perpetrators.