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US Military and Psychiatry

 

The US military are being exposed to psychiatric drugs like never before.  Combat personnel are being sent into active war zones while being prescribed potent cocktails of psychiatric drugs.  Even as biological psychiatry has increased its influence and drug treatments among active military the suicide rates for US military have skyrocketed.  Following are some key commentaries and resources to increase our understanding of this crisis.

 

 Peter R. Breggin MD testifies before the Veterans' Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 24, 2010.  Dr. Breggin's written testimony to Congress was published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal with references to the studies cited in his spoken testimony.  Further details on Dr. Breggin's testimony before Congress are available here.

 

"Inability to track prescriptions adds to Marine drug abuse problem, IG finds" by Bob Brewin, 4/11/2012 Nextgov.com. Fifteenth story in an ongoing series: Broken Warriors: Examining the invisible wounds of war.  See all of Bob Brewin's  Broken Warrior series here.

"There needs to be a complete overhaul from the top down of military psychiatry to stop the current policy of pouring drugs into our soldiers as if they were a combination of experimental guinea pig and marketing bonanza for the drug companies" Peter R. Breggin, MD 

 

A fog of drugs and war: More than 110,000 active duty Army troops last year took antidepressants, sedatives and other prescription medications. Some see a link to aberrant behavior. Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times April 7, 2012

"Prior to the Iraq war, soldiers could not go into combat on psychiatric drugs, period. Not very long ago, going back maybe 10 or 12 years, you couldn't even go into the armed services if you used any of these drugs, in particular stimulants," said Peter Breggin, a New York psychiatrist who has written widely about psychiatric drugs and violence.

 

"Why Are We Drugging Our Soldiers?" by Richard Friedman, NY Times, April 21, 2012. "the number of Ritalin and Adderall prescriptions written for active-duty service members increased by nearly 1,000 percent in five years, to 32,000 from 3,000."

 

Military—OTSG/MEDCOM Policy Memo 12-035  10 April 2012  “Policy Guidance on the Assessment and Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)”