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Originally published April 4 2014

Fort Hood shooter on Ambien, antidepressants and a 'cocktail' of mind-altering meds

by J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) Earlier Natural News reported that the Army specialist who shot and killed three and wounded more than a dozen people at Fort Hood April 2 before taking his own life was taking the powerful delirium drug Ambien.

That was certainly true enough, as we documented, but later reports indicated that the shooter, Spc. Ivan Lopez, was actually on several mind- and mood-altering medications.

As reported by Britain's Telegraph:

A U.S. soldier who shot dead three comrades and wounded 16 others before killing himself was on a cocktail of prescription drugs and had managed to smuggle a semi-automatic handgun on to one of America's largest military bases.

Did no one see warning signs - that is, the SSRI drug?

At the time of the shooting, Lopez was in the process of being examined for post-traumatic stress disorder, though he had only been deployed to Iraq for four months and had not seen any combat or been involved in any combat actions, according to Pentagon officials and general-staff officers familiar with his case.

Still, despite his non-combat experience, his claims of injury most likely were a call for help that dangerous mind-altering medications ultimately only exacerbated - though just last month Lopez had been cleared by mental health personnel at Fort Hood following examinations with the finding that he was no threat to himself or to others.

A reporter from asked specifically about the names and types of drugs Lopez had been prescribed. The Army's reponse, given by Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley: "He was on medications, that's correct."

"The obvious link between psychiatric drugs and violent outbursts is a common theme that crops up in almost every mass shooting incident, yet the media is routinely loathe to make the connection," reported.

Earlier, The Associated Press reported:

The gunman, who served in Iraq for four months in 2011, had sought help for depression, anxiety and other problems. Before the attack, Lopez had been undergoing an assessment to determine whether he had post-traumatic stress disorder....

The married suspect had arrived at Fort Hood in February from another base in Texas. He was taking medication, and there were reports that he had complained after returning from Iraq about suffering a traumatic brain injury....

Is this to be the military's answer to its rising incidents of psychological problems in uniform - medication? Because if so, someone needs to throw a red flag - the Defense Department's got a suicide problem, and throwing more medication at the problem is liable to make it worse.

According to National Journal and other reports, 22 veterans a day, on average, are committing suicide; since the beginning of the year, more than 2,000 have done so, based on Veterans Administration figures.

It's gotten out of hand

Quite clearly, the military is facing what advocates call a "suicide epidemic." As reported by NJ:

To help address the growing problem, Democratic Sen. John Walsh of Montana introduced legislation last week that includes provisions to force the Pentagon to reexamine troops who were discharged for PTSD-related behaviors - which can include nightmares, flashbacks, changes in personality, sleeping disorders, and suicidal thoughts.

The bill also expands veterans' eligibility to enroll in VA health care from five to 15 years after leaving the military. The current system doesn't take into account the fact that some veterans have a delayed reaction to trauma after they leave the service, according to veterans' advocates.

But will that be enough? The military already has a number of suicide awareness and prevention programs. What is not addressed in any of them is the military's penchant for putting its mentally disturbed members on SSRI-type medications that can push them over the edge.

What is also unclear is the numbers of veterans who have killed themselves this year were placed on one or more of these mood-altering drugs. Nobody seems ready, willing or able to find those statistics.


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