Air Rage Antidepressant & Alcohol 2010-10-01 New Zealand Man Said to Have Had Reaction to Alcohol Mixed with A/D Med: Violent on Airplane


 First paragraph reads:  "A Kiwi jailed after going on a booze-fuelled rampage on a flight to Singapore says he flipped after alcohol reacted with his anti-depressant drugs."

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.

Air rage lands Kiwi in jail

By Bevan Hurley
5:30 AM Sunday Oct 3, 2010

Gavin Brooks. Photo / Supplied

A Kiwi jailed after going on a booze-fuelled rampage on a flight to Singapore says he flipped after alcohol reacted with his anti-depressant drugs.

Gavin Brooks, 38, from Mt Wellington, Auckland, had been en route to Beijing with a male partner when the violent air rage incident took place.

Brooks kicked his seat and abused flight attendants when he was refused alcohol on the Singapore Airlines flight. Then he lit a cigarette in the toilet.

When the plane landed at Changi Airport, Brooks blamed cabin crew for the incident, defied orders from a senior station inspector and tried to storm off.

He repeatedly swore and kicked one officer and swung his bag at the officers, a Singapore district court was told. He also challenged the senior station inspector to shoot him.

Brooks' wrists bled and he suffered cuts to his forehead while being arrested.

The Auckland man faced a maximum sentence of seven years' imprisonment and the cane for "causing hurt" and using criminal force and abusive language.

But he was sentenced to four weeks in jail, which he will serve at the tough Changi Prison.

Brooks, who runs a water jet blasting business from his Mt Wellington home, spent most of his life savings of $12,000 while waiting for his case to be heard in Singapore, his lawyer S. Radakrishnan said. He said his client had been on medication for depression.

In June, he wrote on his Facebook page: "I'm stressed, depressed, anxious and alone."

On his company website, he told customers that because of key staff absences, the company could not take on further business until the end of September.

Cheg Tong Tan, now back in Auckland and living at Brooks' home, said on Friday: "He has been having a tough time."

Singapore's Straits Times newspaper said Brooks flew to Singapore to catch a connecting flight to Beijing before boarding the Trans-Siberian Express.

The newspaper reported Brooks kicked the seat in front of him and was given a warning letter soon after the 12-hour flight left Auckland. He reportedly calmed down but was later found smoking in the toilet.

At the airport, Brooks blamed cabin crew for the incident and repeatedly swore and ignored the instructions of airport staff, the court was told. After being arrested, he kicked and scratched an officer as he struggled to break free.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said the ministry had provided him with consular assistance.

"We can advise his family of prison contact details. We can make periodic visits where we think it is appropriate."

Singapore Airlines spokesman Nicholas Ionides said cabin crew were trained to deal with difficult passengers. "In cases where passengers turn violent, our crew are also trained in appropriate ways to handle them."
By Bevan Hurley