The recent Fort Hood shooting once again brings to the surface the heavy fallout from the use of symptom based psychiatric drugs, versus source based alternative therapy, in treating our wounded veterans ~ whereas the dramatic increase in Military suicides directly coincides with the dramatic increase in dangerous psychotropic drugs:
No one really talks about the psychic damage that combat veterans feel when they take someone’s life, regardless of the military situation ~ but the effect is real and usually manifests itself as shame based guilt whereas the innate deep need to love and accept love is quite often permanently disabled.
No amount of psychiatric drugs can ease that psychic burden and even Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army’s No. 2 officer, who has long been an advocate for soldiers suffering from the invisible wounds of war (such as PTSD and TBI) ~ also advocates the need for other alternative approaches ~ ” I want to understand what drugs we should use to treat these symptoms, if we should use any drugs at all. I want to look into alternative pain management. We are finding there are other ways to handle pain that are more effective and allow a person to feel a lot better than throwing a bagful of drugs at them.” See Veterans Today Article
America learned within hours of the April 2nd shooting at Ft. Hood that four people were dead (including the shooter) and 16 had been wounded in the attack. The shooter, 34-year old Army Specialist, Ivan Lopez, served in Iraq for four months in 2011 and according to The New York Times, Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, said Lopez had been “examined by a psychiatrist within the last month, but showed no signs that he might commit a violent act.” Secretary McHugh further explained to the Senate Armed Services Committee that Lopez “had been prescribed AMBIEN, a sleep aid, and other medication to treat anxiety and depression.”
That’s what Psychiatrists primarily do ~ prescribe medicine or drugs and here are the known destructive side effects of Ambien, the drug of choice for Ivan Lopez. Here’s an example of some of the disturbing side effects of AMBIEN ~ the number #1 prescription sleep aid ~ according to the FDA, the Ambien user may experience: Hallucinations, Aggressiveness, Depression, Suicidal thoughts, Memory loss and extreme anxiery and we have many examples of this behavior including Lopez.
Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) says that rather than continually send heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, it is time for lawmakers to investigate the connection between prescription psychiatric drugs and violence, including suicide.
Here’s an excerpt from their excellent recent wake up call to law makers ~
” The military long has been aware of the increasing number of military suicides and last August released the findings of the Department of Defense (DOD) 2013 Study title “Risk Factors Associated With Suicide in Current and Former US Military Personnel.” Although the study was based on a questions posed to current and former military personnel, nowhere in the study do the words “drugs” or “medication” appear. The DOD study did conclude in part that, “the most important finding was that mental health problems, including manic-depressive disorder, depression, and alcohol-related problems, were significantly associated with an increase in the risk of suicide.” Yet, the study questionnaire did not ask respondents to provide information about psychiatric drugs they had been prescribed.
While psychiatric drug information did not make it onto the questionnaire, CCHR explains that there is ample data to support an investigation into the increasing number of psychotropic drugs prescribed to military personnel and the part the drugs may play in the recurring violence.”
Here are some important findings from the report ~
- # Since 2002, the suicide rate in the U.S. military has almost doubled.
- # From 2009 to 2012, more U.S. Soldiers died by suicide than from traffic accidents, heart disease, cancer and homicide.
- # In 2012, there were 349 suicides among active duty military personnel – more than were killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- # Veterans are killing themselves at a rate of 22 a day – one every 65 minutes.
- # The U.S. Department of Defense now spends $2 billion a year on mental health alone.
- # The Veterans Administration’s mental health budget has soared from less than $3 billion in 2007 to nearly $7 billion in 2014.
- # From 2005 to 2011, the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration increased their prescriptions of psychiatric drugs by nearly seven times. That’s more than thirty times faster than the civilian rate.
- # One in six American service members is on at least one psychiatric drug.
- # Thirty-seven percent of recent war veterans are being diagnosed with PTSD and 80 percent are of those are prescribed a psychiatric drug.
Colonel Bart Billings ~ clinical psychologist with a 34 year military career in both active and reserves ~ speaks out regarding the growing evidence of psychiatric drugs, over medication and violence as well as the VA’s refusal to deal with the situation. 8 minute video ~
About the Author: Allen L Roland is a Freelance Alternative Press Online columnist. He is also a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his web site at AllenRoland.com. He also guest hosts a Truthtalk, a national radio show that airs monthly. He is available for comments, interviews, speaking engagements and private consultations via email at [email protected].
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Posted by Allen L Roland, PhD on April 11, 2014, With 1797 Reads Filed under Health, Military. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.