Originally published March 13 2012
Afghanistan massacre by U.S. sergeant reveals epidemic of psychiatric drugging of soldiers
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) The recent massacre of 16 civilians in Afghanistan by a rampaging U.S. military sergeant has something in common with nearly every school shooting in the USA -- something the mainstream media typically refuses to report: These shooters frequently have a history of psychiatric drug "treatment" by psychiatrists.
Psychiatric drugs are now being routinely used across the U.S. military, where violent suicides have skyrocketed to levels never before seen in human history. 18 veterans commit suicide every day, says this NaturalNews article reprinted on CCHR: http://www.cchrint.org/2011/06/04/18-u-s-vet...
The story reports:
Prior to the Iraq war, American soldiers in combat zones did not take psychiatric medications, according to PBS Frontline documentary The Wounded Platoon, which aired in May 2010. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/woun...) But by the time of the 2007 surge more than 20,000 of our deployed troops were taking antidepressants and sleeping pills. These drugs allowed soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder to remain in combat when they otherwise could not. "What I use medications for is to treat very specific side effects," said Army psychiatrist Col. George Brandt. "I donít want somebody in a helpless mode in a combat environment. I want to make sure I donít have someone with suicidal thoughts where everyone is armed."
PTSD, TBI routinely treated with a cocktail of mind-altering drugsIn the military today, soldiers who suffer TBIs -- Traumatic Brain Injuries -- routinely receive treatment with mind-altering psychiatric drugs. As reported in WIRED (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/afgh...):
In an interview with ABC News on Monday, an unnamed source claimed that the sergeant suffered a TBI sometime in a past deployment, either by "hitting his head on the hatch of a vehicle or in a car accident." A subsequent story from Reuters reported that the TBI occurred as recently as 2010. The alleged shooter is said to have later undergone TBI-specific treatment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, before being cleared for duty and then redeployed. He also reportedly passed typical behavioral health assessments during his enlistment.
TBI's are known as the "signature wounds" of soldiers in the Middle East, reports WIRED, where an astonishing 200,000 soldiers have already been diagnosed with the condition. They are routinely treated with psychiatric drugs that have known side effects of promoting violence.
In 2010, WIRED reported (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/09/troo...):
An untold number of active-duty troops and recent veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming home with mental health conditions inflicted during service ó and their spouses and children are suffering too. Now, with solid data slowly emerging from the nearly decade-long wars, the severity of the crisis is starting to show.
The use of psychiatric medications among 18 to 34-year-olds (both troops and their spouses) soared by 42 percent between 2005 and 2009, Army Times is reporting.
Many of the drugs prescribed by military doctors, like Paxil and Zoloft, are also accompanied by warnings about an increased risk of suicide. The danger has already caught the militaryís eye, with Army Gen. Peter Ciarelli noting in a recent report that the Army ought to "conduct research to identify appropriate antidepressant medications that are beneficial to the treatment of depression and anxiety, but that will not increase risk for suicidal behavior."
Psychiatric drug use explodes across the militaryNavyTimes reports that psychiatric drug use is skyrocketing among military personnel, and that violent behavior (suicides) is a well-known side effect (http://www.navytimes.com/news/2010/09/milita...):
Prescriptions for stimulants, including amphetamines and drugs to treat attention-deficit disorders, more than doubled. And claims for anti-psychotics like Seroquel and Abilify nearly doubled from 2005 to 2009 among beneficiaries ages 18 to 34, the Tricare data show. Seroquel is often used to treat nightmares and sleeping problems related to post-traumatic stress disorder.
The rise -- and potential dangers -- of psychiatric drug use is a growing concern for many military officials and doctors.
"A lot of neurotransmitters" are involved when troops suffer from complex combinations of mild traumatic brain injury, PTSD, depression, anxiety and substance abuse issues, he said. Cocktails of psychiatric drugs can, in some cases, cause patients to get worse, doctors say.
Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli on July 29 issued a report about the Armyís spike in suicides, noting that some psychiatric drugs -- including Paxil and Zoloft, the only two approved for PTSD -- come with warnings about the potential for increased risk for suicide.
A shockingly large portion of U.S. military personnel are on multiple mind-altering prescriptions: Narcotics, antidepressants, antipsychotics and moreOne Defense Department report reveals that an astonishing 20 percent of U.S. troops are on psychiatric drugs, and that they are often handed as much as a 180-day supply of those pills before being deployed. From: http://psychiatricnews.wordpress.com/2011/01...
A June 2010 internal report from the Defense Departmentís Pharmacoeconomic Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio showed that 213,972, or 20 percent of the 1.1 million active-duty troops surveyed, were taking some form of psychotropic drug: antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedative hypnotics, or other controlled substances. Dr. Greg Smith, who runs the Los Angeles-based Comprehensive Pain Relief Group, said he was shocked by CENTCOMís drug policy for deployed troops. "If I was a commander I'd worry about what these troops would do," as a result of their medications, Smith said.
Even the New York Times has covered the epidemic of psychiatric drugs on U.S. troops. In an article entitled, "For Some Troops, Powerful Drug Cocktails Have Deadly Results" (February 12, 2011), the paper reports:
Airman Mena died instead in his Albuquerque apartment, on July 21, 2009, five months after leaving the Air Force on a medical discharge. A toxicologist found eight prescription medications in his blood, including three antidepressants, a sedative, a sleeping pill and two potent painkillers.
Yet his death was no suicide, the medical examiner concluded. What killed Airman Mena was not an overdose of any one drug, but the interaction of many. He was 23.
After a decade of treating thousands of wounded troops, the militaryís medical system is awash in prescription drugs -- and the results have sometimes been deadly.
The story goes on to warn about the risk of suicides (a violent act, obviously) caused by the interaction of multiple psychiatric drugs:
By some estimates, well over 300,000 troops have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan with P.T.S.D., depression, traumatic brain injury or some combination of those. The Pentagon has looked to pharmacology to treat those complex problems, following the lead of civilian medicine. As a result, psychiatric drugs have been used more widely across the military than in any previous war.
But those medications, along with narcotic painkillers, are being increasingly linked to a rising tide of other problems, among them drug dependency, suicide and fatal accidents -- sometimes from the interaction of the drugs themselves. An Army report on suicide released last year documented the problem, saying one-third of the force was on at least one prescription medication.
U.S. soldiers are prescribed a cocktail of mind-altering drugs• Antidepressants
• Narcotic painkillers
• Sleeping pills
One-third of the U.S. Army is now taking at least one medication, reports the New York Times, and many are on a toxic combination of pharmaceutical cocktails. This is especially true among those diagnosed and treated for PTSD, TBI or other forms of "mental illness."
But rather than offering them real treatment, the recipe for the U.S. military today is to "drug 'em and send 'em back to battle." So now we have active-duty troops operating in Afghanistan who are ticking time bombs of psychiatric medications.
When those time bombs go off, we get suicides, accidents and even the occasional massacre of innocent civilians.
Safer alternatives are availableThe U.S. military has begun to investigate battlefield acupuncture and is seeing outstanding results. Watch this extraordinary video showing battlefield acupuncture working for active duty military personnel in Afghanistan:
Even MSNBC has covered the story, reporting:
Now the Air Force, which runs the military's only acupuncture clinic, is training doctors to take acupuncture to the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan. A pilot program starting in March will prepare 44 Air Force, Navy and Army doctors to use acupuncture as part of emergency care in combat and in frontline hospitals, not just on bases back home.
They will learn "battlefield acupuncture," a method Niemtzow developed in 2001 that's derived from traditional ear acupuncture but uses the short needles to better fit under combat helmets so soldiers can continue their missions with the needles inserted to relieve pain. The needles are applied to five points on the outer ear. Niemtzow says most of his patients say their pain decreases within minutes.
Col. Arnyce Pock, medical director for the Air Force Medical Corps, said acupuncture comes without the side effects that are common after taking traditional painkillers. Acupuncture also quickly treats pain.
"It allows troops to reduce the number of narcotics they take for pain, and have a better assessment of any underlying brain injury they may have," Pock said. "When they're on narcotics, you can't do that because they're feeling the effects of the drugs."
The U.S. Department of Defense has even promoted the use of acupuncture as a safe, natural alternative to dangerous (deadly) narcotics and other drugs. As reported at Defense.gov:
"The Air Force Acupuncture Center is the first facility of its kind in DOD ever," Air Force Col. (Dr.) John Baxter said. "It is a full-time acupuncture facility, and not only is it here to treat patients, it's here to teach other providers and to do research." Baxter is director of the Pentagon Flight Medicine Clinic and a credentialed acupuncturist. Acupuncture is being used as a treatment everywhere in the Defense Department, "but the Air Force led the way with two formal training programs of 20 physicians each," Baxter said. "The Navy has one training program with 20 physicians and efforts are underway to have another tri-service training program."
What will happen if we keep drugging our soldiers? More violence, suicides and massacresAlternatives are available for many mental health problems experienced by U.S. troops, but mark my words: If the U.S. government continues to subject its troops to the deadly, dangerous medications pumped out by Big Pharma, we will see more violent massacres, more suicides, more deaths, and a wave of liver failure and kidney failure in veterans. The drugging of troops today creates a windfall of future profits for Big Pharma as the side effects of all these drugs fully kick in.
What these troops don't realize is while they think they're "serving their country" for a noble cause, in truth they are often inadvertently serving as Big Pharma's guinea pig profit centers, where every human body is yet another opportunity for profit as long as a lifetime of disease and drug dependence can be forced upon innocents. And in the wake of all those profits will only be found a long line of violence, murder and body bags.
Such is the scourge of psychiatric medications on the battlefield.
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