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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:58 AM
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Self-Medicating Medics

(Part two of a five-part series)

Read Part One: War Vets Fighting Addiction

Self-Medicating Medics
ABC News | Kate McCarthy and Robert Lewis | November 27, 2007

When Spc. Matthew McKane listens to questions, he tilts his head to one side. When he answers, his speech is plain and matter-of-fact. A boyish grin occasionally creeps across his doughy cheeks and plays at the edges of his mouth, like a kid who got caught sneaking a cookie.

If only it were that simple. As a medic in Iraq, the 22-year-old McKane saw the ravages of war firsthand and found he couldn't deal with it. McKane said he turned to self-medication by using drugs to numb the senses, and he was not alone. Now McKane fears he will soon be discharged from the Army because of his drug use. Another medic, Spc. Jeffrey Smith, has already been kicked out for drug use and other misconduct charges and says he is dealing with his psychological trauma without medical or veterans' benefits. And yet another Army medic, Sgt. James Worster, is dead from a drug overdose in Iraq.

Listen to an interview with ABCs' Brian Ross on vet drug addiction.

Their stories are not unique. Many soldiers turn to drugs as a way to cope with psychological trauma from the war, according to advocates, health professionals and combat veterans. "I guess the stress just overpowers your decision making. You just a little bit to get away from reality," McKane said. "You make stupid decisions."

Iraq's ER

McKane is from a small town between Buffalo, N.Y. and Erie, Pa. He said he enlisted in the Army right after high school to do something for his country and help pay for college.

The military took him to Georgia, Texas, Korea and then Arkansas. Bored in Arkansas, McKane volunteered to go to Iraq. He arrived in Baghdad in June 2006 and a day later was working in the emergency room.

Rest of article at:,15240,157042,00.html...
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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:22 AM
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1. and the neo cons actually hand out uppers and downers to pilots

and others that do long missions

a few yrs. ago this info was here at DU
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