drug

Psychiatric drug use skyrockets in U.S. military

Monday, July 26, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: psychiatric drugs, military, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
CDC issues flu vaccine apology: this year's vaccine doesn't work!
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
Why flu shots are the greatest medical fraud in history
600 strains of an aerosolized thought control vaccine already tested on humans; deployed via air, food and water
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
Flu vaccine kills 13 in Italy; death toll rises
The 21 curious questions we're never allowed to ask about vaccines
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Whooping cough outbreak at Massachusetts high school affected only vaccinated students

Delicious
(NaturalNews) Use of prescription psychotropics has skyrocketed among U.S. military personnel in recent years, according to an investigation by Military Times.

At least 17 percent of active-duty military personnel are currently taking an antidepressant, including as many as 6 percent of all deployed troops. In contrast, the rate of antidepressant use in the wider U.S. public is only 10 percent.

Overall, one in six military service members takes at least one type of psychiatric drug. The numbers are probably higher than estimated, since troops are also known to share and trade prescription drugs with each other, even while in combat zones.

Data obtained from the Defense Logistics Agency show that overall use of psychiatric drugs increased by 76 percent between 2001 and 2009. More specifically, use of anti-seizure drugs increased 70 percent, use of sedatives and anxiety drugs increased 170 percent, and antipsychotic use increased 200 percent.

Spending on anticonvulsants increased from $16 million to $35 million per year, spending on anxiety drugs and sedatives increased from $6 million to $17 million, and spending on antipsychotics increased from $4 million to $16 million.

Although antidepressants are among the drugs most commonly taken by military personnel, their use increased only 40 percent between 2001 and 2009. Spending actually dropped by 16 percent, likely reflecting the new availability of less-expensive generic drugs.

According to a 2009 study by the Veterans Affairs Administration, approximately 60 percent of psychiatric drug use by military personnel is for "off-label" uses not approved by the FDA. Thus, antipsychotic drugs intended for the treatment of schizophrenia are now being widely prescribed for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms such as anger, headaches, nervousness and nightmares.

"Patients may be exposed to drugs that have problematic side effects without deriving any benefit," said Robert Rosenheck of Yale University. "We just don't know. There haven't been very many studies."

Further compounding concern over side effects, many troops regularly mix two or more drugs together into untested cocktails. The effects of multiple drugs acting in unison have rarely been tested. When both drugs act on the same organ -- in this case, the brain -- the chance of unforeseen interactions is even greater.

"In the case of poly-drug use -- the 'cocktail' -- where you are combining an antidepressant, an anticonvulsant, an antipsychotic, and maybe a stimulant to keep this guy awake -- that has never been tested," Breggin said.

Among the side effects that some health professionals worry about are impaired motor skills, reduced reaction time, increased suicide risk, irritability, aggressiveness and hostility.

"Imagine causing that in men and women who are heavily armed and under a great deal of stress," psychiatrist Peter Breggin said.

Some observers have suggested that the 150 percent increase in suicides in the Army since 2001 and the 50 percent increase in the Marines may be caused in part by the 76 percent increase in the use of psychiatric drugs.

The widespread use of psychotropics, including off-label use and cocktails, is "really a large-scale experiment," said former Navy psychiatrist Grace Jackson. "We are experimenting with changing people's cognition and behavior."

It is difficult to determine the exact causes of increase psychotropic use in the military. Some analysts have pointed to the increased stress of multiple ongoing wars and longer deployments since 2001.

Others, such as Frank Ochberg of Michigan State University, note the faster growth rate of mood-dulling drugs such as antipsychotics and anticonvulsants, and suggest that these drugs are being prescribed to troops readjusting to civilian life.

"The ultimate effect of both of these drugs is to take the heightened arousal -- the hypervigilance and all the emotions that served you once you were deployed -- and help to turn that back down," Ochberg said.

Sources for this story include: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2010/03/milita....

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.