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Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:16 PM

 

Time: America's Medicated Army (from 2008-Could SSRI's be causing military suicides?)

Last edited Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:33 AM - Edit history (1)

America's Medicated Army
By Mark Thompson Thursday, June 05, 2008

... For the first time in history, a sizable and growing number of U.S. combat troops are taking daily doses of antidepressants to calm nerves strained by repeated and lengthy tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The medicines are intended not only to help troops keep their cool but also to enable the already strapped Army to preserve its most precious resource: soldiers on the front lines.



"...At a Pentagon that keeps statistics on just about everything, there is no central clearinghouse for this kind of data, and the Army hasn't consistently asked about prescription-drug use, which makes it difficult to track. Given the traditional stigma associated with soldiers seeking mental help, the survey, released in March, probably underestimates antidepressant use.

"...At least 115 soldiers killed themselves last year, including 36 in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army said on May 29. That's the highest toll since it started keeping such records in 1980. Nearly 40% of Army suicide victims in 2006 and 2007 took psychotropic drugs overwhelmingly, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft. While the Army cites failed relationships as the primary cause, some outside experts sense a link between suicides and prescription-drug use though there is also no way of knowing how many suicide attempts the antidepressants may have prevented by improving a soldier's spirits. "The high percentage of U.S. soldiers attempting suicide after taking SSRIs should raise serious concerns," says Dr. Joseph Glenmullen...

"...It wasn't until November 2006 that the Pentagon set a uniform policy for all the services. But the curious thing about it was that it didn't mention the new antidepressants. Instead, it simply barred troops from taking older drugs, including "lithium, anticonvulsants and antipsychotics." The goal, a participant in crafting the policy said, was to give SSRIs a "green light" without saying so. Last July, a paper published by three military psychiatrists in Military Medicine, the independent journal of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, urged military doctors headed for Afghanistan and Iraq to "request a considerable quantity of the SSRI they are most comfortable prescribing" for the "treatment of new-onset depressive disorders" once in the war zones. The medications, the doctors concluded, help "to 'conserve the fighting strength,'" the motto of the Army Medical Corps...

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1812055-1,00.html


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Reply Time: America's Medicated Army (from 2008-Could SSRI's be causing military suicides?) (Original post)
green for victory Jan 2013 OP
reteachinwi Jan 2013 #1
hfojvt Jan 2013 #2
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #3
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #4
loyalsister Jan 2013 #5
Warpy Jan 2013 #6
ReRe Jan 2013 #7

Response to green for victory (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:10 AM

1. I don't believe it

 

"...At a Pentagon that keeps statistics on just about everything, there is no central clearinghouse for this kind of data, and the Army hasn't consistently asked about prescription-drug use, which makes it difficult to track. Given the traditional stigma associated with soldiers seeking mental help, the survey, released in March, probably underestimates antidepressant use. "

Experimenting on soldiers has a long and ugly tradition.

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Response to green for victory (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:15 AM

2. sarahpalin repuke inhibitors?

am I reading that right?

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Response to green for victory (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:15 AM

3. suicides have always been high among those who have see combat

If people experience negative side affects they should seek medical attention and probably shouldn't be taking that medicine. But there are thousands of people including soldiers who have been helped by anti-depressants. I've had certain medications that I have taken and have helped me and have not had negative side affects and then there are other medications I have had negative side affects and have stopped taking. Every body is different and responds differently to different medication.

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Response to green for victory (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:36 AM

4. Yes, absolutely, although I'm sure the big pharmacy rolls will be ou in force on this one.

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Response to green for victory (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:36 AM

5. It's fair to acknowledging the rare documented incidents

But noncompliance is a part of the problem and then there's the TBI's. It's popular to simplify horrible things, but tunnel vision doesn't contribute much to addressing the problem.

http://www.sprc.org/sites/sprc.org/files/library/TBI_Suicide.pdf

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Response to green for victory (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 01:56 AM

6. Probably not, but trying to go off them cold turkey certainly could.

SSRIs are bad news when people stop taking them suddenly.

If they run out of them stateside and aren't being given new scrips and tapering instructions because they're no longer in a war zone and "don't need them now," it could drive many of them to both homicide and suicide.

That's what needs to be reviewed, along with the instruction these guys are getting about these incredibly powerful drugs.

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Response to green for victory (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:01 AM

7. It wouldn't surprise me in the least...

.... First, if you go overseas into battle, they give you umpteen vaccinations before you fly out. Probably many of them do save your life in theater, but who knows what they are injecting them with? Do they give them a list of the vaccinations? I doubt it. Then, they get over there and are stricken with PTSD while in battle! So they give them drugs. It was the same way in VietNam. I dated a guy who told me they gave him whatever he wanted (via illicit drugs) if he would fly his little loach Helicopter over the DMZ to spy. I have to hit the hay, but am marking this to come back to tomorrow.

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