Firefighter Becomes Violent: Mixed Cymbalta With Alcohol, a Dangerous Combo
Paragraphs 7 through 9 read: "Musselman has no criminal record in Indiana."
"He told the board Wednesday that he unwittingly mixed too much alcohol with an antidepressant he had been taking to relieve pains from a motorcycle accident nine months prior. He didn't want to take narcotics that would affect his performance as a firefighter, he said, so his physician had prescribed Cimbalta, [antidepressant Cymbalta]which works in part as a pain reliever."
"Musselman said he doesn't recall much of the incident. He said he didn't know the alcohol and medication together would cause him to become aggressive."
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.
Oct. 27--Bloomington firefighter Jeff Musselman was suspended Wednesday for his arrest more than five months ago after a Cincinnati Reds game.
In a public meeting this morning at City Hall, the Board of Public Safety suspended Musselman for 30 calendar days without pay. That's roughly 10 work shifts at the fire department, said Chief Roger Kerr, who recommended the discipline.
The four board members had the option to accept Kerr's recommendation for the 30-day suspension, or to increase or decrease the punishment.
Kerr said Musselman, an officer for 11 years, is an asset to the team, but that the fire department needs to make a point that his behavior in May was a serious violation of the department's rules.
"Once this is done," Kerr said, "we'll move on and we won't be here again."
Musselman was arrested May 8 after he became belligerent at a bar in Cincinnati. He was booked on preliminary charges of aggravated robbery, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest, but those charges were reduced later to obstructing official business and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.
Musselman has no criminal record in Indiana.
He told the board Wednesday that he unwittingly mixed too much alcohol with an antidepressant he had been taking to relieve pains from a motorcycle accident nine months prior. He didn't want to take narcotics that would affect his performance as a firefighter, he said, so his physician had prescribed Cimbalta, which works in part as a pain reliever.
Musselman said he doesn't recall much of the incident. He said he didn't know the alcohol and medication together would cause him to become aggressive.
Musselman, a Cubs fan, said he strayed from his group and became mouthy with police at a bar, then tried to pull an officer's gun from its holster while he was being arrested, resulting in the aggravated robbery charge, which was later dropped.
"It's been a rough five and a half months," Musselman said Wednesday, holding back tears. "If I leave here with a 30-day suspension, that's not bad."
Musselman's fellow Bloomington firefighters filled two back rows of the Council Chambers this morning.
Captain Scott McKnight said after the decision that the May incident was a fluke mistake for Musselman, who was named as one of two Firefighters of the Year in 2007 and was cited that same year for saving a woman's life after her car plunged into a retention pond.
"I've seen him half burnt up in fires, covered in patients' blood, without a single thought about his own personal safety," McKnight said. "He's the calmest, nicest person you've ever met. This was completely out of character for him."
Professional Fire Fighters Union of Indiana district president Robert Loviscek represented Musselman at the meeting. He said 30 days seemed "a little bit much," but Musselman said he was comfortable with the chief's recommendation. one