AFTER WAR: Battling Suicide, Depression, Injuries and Illness Without Dangerous Drugs from VA/DoD

Pill Pushers at VA/DoD Meet Their Match With Ancient Healing Methods

by TMSR (www.themilitarysuicidereport.wordpress.com)
Dec. 29, 2014

Thousands of service members and veterans continue to die each year resulting from toxic-drug overdose on prescription pills vigorously pushed by VA/DoD doctors.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the VA, in excess of 100,000 veterans have died from suicide since 9/11.

That devastating figure does not include deaths disguised as “accidental overdoses” from powerful opioids, and other dangerous drugs so commonly prescribed to those injured during military service and struggling with chronic pain.

When toxic-drug overdose and vehicle crashes while drugged up on prescription medications are factored in, the number of deaths likely doubles, perhaps even triples. To date, VA/DoD refuses to release the true number of deaths resulting from these “accidental” deaths caused by the drugs they prescribe.

The link below contains an amazing and informative lecture introducing the topic of ancient medicine and traditional healing methods that date back thousands of generations. This therapy is commonly known as “TCM'” Traditional Chinese Medicine, or “CAM” therapy, Complementary Alternative Medicine.

Watch the lecture here:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9EkwukyMV9o

TCM and CAM offer a much safer alternative to the dangerous drug cocktails now wildly popular among VA/DoD doctors as the quickest, easiest, and most profitable way in treating sick and injured veterans after military service. The most dangerous drug combo frequently prescribed today by these doctors consists of the following “standard issue” cocktail:

SSRIs (Zoloft) to treat depression
benzodiazepines (Klonapin) to treat anxiety
Zolpidem (Ambien) and Eszopicione (Lunesta) to treat insomnia
Tetracyclic (Trazadone) to treat insomnia/depression
Antipsychotics (Resperdal & Seroquel) to treat PTSD
Opioids (OxyContin & Morphine) to treat chronic pain

Most of these prescription drugs already carry FDA’s most serious warning of side effects, known as the “BLACK BOX” warning, often alerting the patient of possible suicidal ideation when taking them.

What makes these drugs far deadlier than the suicidal behavior side effect is that veterans suffering from the typical serious injuries seen in the military today — PTSD, depression, mTBI, burns, and orthopedic (amputations) — have been shown in VA/DoD surveys to self-report as frequent binge drinkers at rates exceeding 50 percent. That figure is far higher in those having participated in combat abroad.

Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks in a row. Using alcohol while taking these prescribed drugs is extremely toxic, especially during binge drinking sessions, where many veterans or service members say they will easily drink a case of beer or a liter of whiskey in one sitting.

The lecturer, Beverly Burns MS LAc, specializes in acupuncture, but reveals through her experiences practicing various forms of TCM and CAM therapy just how safe and effective these ancient medical practices are in treating any illness or injury … even cancer.

Many techniques involved with TCM and CAM are natural, and cost little to nothing for the patient. Medicinal herbs and physical therapies such as breathing exercises or Tai Chi are frequently prescribed in TCM and CAM. Patients participating in TCM or CAM treatment programs can easily grow their own herbs, harvest them in nature for free, or practice the exercises at home on their own, or in a community group.

VA/DoD has resisted adding such treatment protocols to their medical programs due to the financial component; it is often free, and requires little follow-up care once the patient learns the prescribed therapies. The agencies and pharmaceutical companies that supply the drugs would lose billions in profits from prescribing and selling their dangerous drugs to VA/DoD for the service members and veterans.

Many veterans elect suicide over treatment at VA/DoD facilities due to the long wait times or poor access to specialized medicine. The VA’s shameful scandals through the years has proven how inefficient and untrustworthy VA/DoD providers have been. At least 40 veterans under the care of VA doctors in Phoenix Arizona died waiting months or even years for care.

TCM and CAM therapies are widely available outside VA/DoD facilities and affordable for most veterans. Although practitioners of TCM and CAM are sometimes scarce in rural areas, the ancient healing technique is rapidly growing in America and other Westernized medical communities.

The healing methods have survived thousands of generations and are making a comeback in societies that have long frowned upon these treatment philosophies and methods.

Veterans and service members have reported very positive healing results from attaining on their own TCM and CAM, even as VA/DoD have proven reluctant to embrace fully TCM and CAM at their medical treatment facilities.

Veterans are increasingly turning to TCM and CAM resources readily available outside of VA/DoD, with excellent results in the majority of patients.

Perhaps someday, TCM and CAM will become the treatment of choice at VA/DoD medical facilities, but that seems highly unlikely given the culture of scandal and misconduct within the VA/DoD.

(This article may be reprinted for editorial purposes without permission with the following mandatory byline: “by TMSR (www.themilitarysuicidereport.wordpress.com)”.

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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

More Than 300 Soldier Deaths Due to Drug Toxicity Since 2006, Many Linked to PTSD Medications Army Reports

Army Warns Doctors Against Using Certain Drugs in PTSD Treatment

by Bob Brewin
NextGov, April 25, 2012

This is the 16th story in an ongoing series.

The Army Surgeon General’s office is backing away from its long-standing endorsement of prescribing troops multiple highly addictive psychotropic drugs for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and early this month warned regional medical commanders against using tranquilizers such as Xanax and Valium to treat PTSD.

PFC Timothy R. Alderman, Fort Carson soldier did 250 combat missions and had 16 confirmed kills during 2006 tour in Ramadi, Iraq. He also pulled the body of his platoon sergeant from the aftermath of an IED blast. Alderman died Oct. 20, 2008 from overdose after Army doctors prescribed him a dangerous cocktail of drugs for PTSD symptoms.


An April 10 policy memo that the Army Medical Command released regarding the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD said a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, which include Xanax and Valium, could intensify rather than reduce combat stress symptoms and lead to addiction.

The memo, signed by Herbert Coley, civilian chief of staff of the Army Medical Command, also cautioned service clinicians against prescribing second-generation antipsychotic drugs, such as Seroquel and Risperidone, to combat PTSD.

The drugs originally were developed to treat severe mental conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The memo questioned the efficacy of this drug class in PTSD treatment and cautioned against their use due to potential long-term health effects, which include heart disorders, muscle spasms and weight gain.

Throughout more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the military services have relied heavily on prescription drugs to help troops deal with their mental health problems during and after deployment. In a June 2010 report, the Defense Department’s Pharmacoeconomic Center said 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.

The Army, in a July 2010 report on suicide prevention, said one-third of all active-duty military suicides involved prescription drugs.

Read the rest of this story:

http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20120425_6330.php?oref=topstory

Read more stories from this series on mental health problems facing Afghanistan and Iraq veterans:

http://www.nextgov.com/defense/broken-warriors/55403/