Medicating the military

Military Times reports:

At least one in six service members is on some form of psychiatric drug.

And many troops are taking more than one kind, mixing several pills in daily “cocktails” — for example, an antidepressant with an antipsychotic to prevent nightmares, plus an anti-epileptic to reduce headaches — despite minimal clinical research testing such combinations.

The drugs come with serious side effects: They can impair motor skills, reduce reaction times and generally make a war fighter less effective. Some double the risk for suicide, prompting doctors — and Congress — to question whether these drugs are connected to the rising rate of military suicides.

“It’s really a large-scale experiment. We are experimenting with changing people’s cognition and behavior,” said Dr. Grace Jackson, a former Navy psychiatrist.

A Military Times investigation of electronic records obtained from the Defense Logistics Agency shows DLA spent $1.1 billion on common psychiatric and pain medications from 2001 to 2009. It also shows that use of psychiatric medications has increased dramatically — about 76 percent overall, with some drug types more than doubling — since the start of the current wars.

(h/t to Kelley Vlahos.)

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One thought on “Medicating the military

  1. Norman Morley

    Why, I ask, is this such a surprise to the Military? It seems that ever since Gen, George Patton slapped some soldier calling him a coward, The Officer corps have been in denial when it come to the enlisted troops having any sort of mental problems. It takes the DoD years to admit any side effects of Warfare, akin to pulling a tooth from a live Cape Buffalo. Why should it take a “Rocket Scientist” to understand, that when troops are put into a combat situation where it’s either kill, or be killed, along with being blown up to die or become much less that they were physically beforehand? Add to this the fact that these very same troops are rotated back to combat after their deployment ends? The R & R after returning home shortened, along with retraining, often without proper or broken equipment, the stress & strain of duty. It’s no wonder that our Military is broken. I would be willing to wager that if it wasn’t for the censorship of the M.S.M. by the Government & blackout of news from the Military, that the country would be horrified to hear of the atrocities being committed by both active & inactive members of the Military. It hasn’t helped that Congress “talks the talk” but “fails to even try to walk the walk”. Until the “People” of this U.S.A. stand up, shout that we have had enough, change the whole lot from the top down, in other words, a clean sweep, as the saying goes, this insanity will continue. Wonder why the Docs haven’t connected the dots yet? How many of the troops once having served over in the war[s] have come home, divorced because of violence, are on meds, along with the others not married, are there now here in the U.S.? The fact that they come from all walks of life, if they didn’t take their meds, what danger are they to the population? Perhaps that’s what those in the Pentagon & Congress are hoping for, then the population will surely be reduced quite a bit. This might read like a horror story, but with the present conditions the Country finds itself, it’s not out of the realm of possibility of happening. We are already experiencing home grown terrorist acts taking place, because of certain elements fanning acts of revenge, under the cover of it being patriotic. How much blood has to be shed before everyone wakes up?

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