Wednesday, March 24, 2010

U.S. Military Suicides

Did I read correctly that more U.S. servicemen and women die by their own hand than by enemy action? What is going on here? Why isn't the American populace expressing its incredulity? Why isn't there more information relating to possible solutions emanating from the Department of Defense?

I recall seeing a photo of a wounded veteran suffering from PTSD. On a table in front of him stood his medications: over a dozen different sized containers each containing a different prescription medication for his illness. No one had taken the time to study the possible side effects of these drugs let alone the resulting interactions of the medications. It's hard to believe but, on the average,U.S. military personnel suffering from this illness are being prescribed close to ten different medications.

Could one side effect of mixing these prescriptions be suicidal tendencies?

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2 Comments:

At April 24, 2010 at 5:44 PM , Blogger Katya Cohen said...

I think suicidal tendencies are more a side effect of coming back home and having to exist on your own without a structure to support you. War, I am sure is hell; but when in it, one has a purpose, one has a rhythm and one has one's senses on overdrive at all times- it is sometimes hard to find ones purpose in everyday life without war. At least this is one small oversimplified part of the reason I think the suicide rate is so high among returning service people....

 
At March 8, 2012 at 12:15 PM , Anonymous Dan said...

It's certainly easier to give drugs than deal with the actual issues.

It would be interesting to study the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and the U.S. Military. This article is a few years old:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30748260/ns/health-health_care/t/us-military-heavily-armed-medicated/

Excerpt:
In deploying an all-volunteer army to fight two ongoing wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has increasingly relied on prescription drugs to keep its warriors on the front lines. In recent years, the number of military prescriptions for antidepressants, sleeping pills, and painkillers has risen as soldiers come home with battered bodies and troubled minds. And many of those service members are then sent back to war theaters in distant lands with bottles of medication to fortify them.

According to data from a U. S. Army mental-health survey released last year, about 12 percent of soldiers in Iraq and 15 percent of those in Afghanistan reported taking antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or sleeping pills. Prescriptions for painkillers have also skyrocketed. Data from the Department of Defense last fall showed that as of September 2007, prescriptions for narcotics for active-duty troops had risen to almost 50,000 a month, compared with about 33,000 a month in October 2003, not long after the Iraq war began.

End of Excerpt

Guess it's only a matter of time for the expose to come out...

 

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