Army Says 17% of Combat Troops in Afghanistan Were Taking Prescription Antidepressants or Sleeping Pills in 2007

Antidepressants Cause Suicide and Violence in Soldiers

by Dr. Peter Breggin
Huffington Post, June 20, 2009

Here are the starting facts:

Death by suicide is at record levels in the armed services. Simultaneously the use of antidepressant drugs is also at record levels, including brand names like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa and Lexapro.

According to the army, in 2007 17% of combat troops in Afghanistan were taking prescription antidepressants or sleeping pills. Inside sources have given me an even bleaker picture: During Vietnam, a mere 1% our troops were taking prescribed psychiatric drugs. By contrast, in the past year one-third of marines in combat zones were taking psychiatric drugs.

A June 2010 internal report from the Defense Department’s 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.


Are the pills helping? The army confirms that since 2002 the number of suicide attempts has increased six-fold. And more than 128 soldiers killed themselves last year.

One theory states that the increased prescription of drugs is a response to increased depression among the soldiers. In reality, the use of psychiatric drugs escalates when, and only when, drug companies and their minions target new markets.

In this case, the armed services have been pushing drugs as a cheap alternative to taking genuine care of the young men and women in our military. Instead of shortening tours of duty, instead of temporarily removing stressed-out soldiers from combat zones, and instead of providing counseling–the new army policy is to drug the troops.

There are many excellent therapeutic and educational programs for helping soldiers and veterans deal with war-related stresses. I recently addressed a national conference on stress in the military where I learned more about these approaches.

I talked with many military officers and healthcare providers who want human services to replace the increasing prescription of psychiatric drugs. Some observed that the drugs often change the personality of the soldiers, making them irritable, edgy, and angry.

They fear these drugs many unleash impulsive violence. Meanwhile, because many soldiers don’t want to take psychiatric medications, they avoid seeking any kind of help.

It’s worth re-emphasizing that used of antidepressants is based more on myth than on science.

Here are some proven facts totally at odds with medical propaganda:

First, there is no evidence that antidepressants prevent suicide and a great deal of evidence that they cause it.

Second, antidepressants almost never cure depression and instead they frequently worsen depression.

Third, antidepressants never cure biochemical imbalances. Instead, they always cause them. There are no known biochemical imbalances in the brains of depressed people until they start taking toxic psychiatric drugs and every person who takes one of these drugs end up with a significant biochemical disturbance in the brain. That’s how the drugs work–by disrupting normal biochemical processes in the brain.

Fourth, when all antidepressant studies are examined as a group, rather than cherry picked by the drug companies, antidepressants are no better than placebo.

Read the rest of this story:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-peter-breggin/antidepressants-cause-sui_b_218465.html

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