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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Reports Expose DoD, VA as Clueless When it Comes to Measuring Success of Suicide Prevention, PTSD Programs

COLUMN: Self-inflicted Wounds

By Rick Rogers

Front & Center, July 17, 2012

With numbing regularity the Defense Department rolls out report on heartbreakingly high rates of troop suicides.


Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Military and Veteran Populations: Initial Assessment, report from Institute of Medicine


Lately the numbers grow worse just when you think they should be turning better. The military counted 154 suicides in the first 155 days of the year.

News from the Department of Veterans Affairs is no better. Eighteen veterans a day kill themselves. Yes, you read that correctly, 18 veterans kill themselves each and every day. That is one every 80 minutes, almost 6,600 a year.

Veterans and service members make up 9 percent of the population, yet account for nearly 25 percent of the country’s suicides.

After these reports are published, panels of military leaders with more stars on their collars than twinkle in the night sky assemble before Congress.

And as predictably as Saturday morning cartoons, these leaders gnash their teeth over the carnage that despite their Herculean efforts goes unchecked.

If only they knew the reason. If only…

Read the rest of this story:

http://defensetracker.com/web/?p=2514

DoD Suicide Prevention Failing, Thousands of Mental Health Cases Mishandled; Panetta Blames Bureaucracy

PANETTA: ‘Huge Gaps’ in Military’s Review of Mental Health Cases

by Farah Mohamed
McClatchy Newspapers, June 13, 2012

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told a Senate panel on Wednesday that he is unsatisfied with the Pentagon’s current approach to combating military suicides and that the Defense Department will review its procedures for handling mental health cases.

“I share all of your frustrations,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Senator Patty Murray during a hearing June 13, 2012. “We’re doing everything we can to try to build a better system,” Panetta claimed when pressed by Murray to answer for the recent mishandling of thousands of mental health cases and skyrocketing suicides. “The bureaucratic nature of large departments prevents it from being agile enough to respond and do what needs to be done,” Panetta said. (DoD)


Under questioning by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Panetta said that there are “still huge gaps” in the way a mental health diagnosis is determined.

“We’re doing everything we can to try to build a better system,” Panetta said at a Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing.

“But there are still huge gaps in terms of the differences in terms of how they approach these cases and how they diagnose the cases and how they deal with them – and frankly, that’s a whole area we have to do much better on.”

Murray’s questioning came one week after the Pentagon announced that 154 active duty military suicides have occurred this year, meaning that more soldiers have died from suicide this year than in combat.

The issue is of particular concern to Murray, who also chairs the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, because of a series of misdiagnoses that occurred at the Madigan Army Medical Center in her home state.

More than 100 soldiers originally diagnosed at the center have had their diagnoses for post-traumatic stress disorder reversed. Most said they originally were told they didn’t have PTSD.

Diagnosis of a condition such as PTSD is important to soldiers and veterans because of the major impact it has on the disability benefits they can receive over their lifetimes.

Some patients in Madigan have complained that their diagnoses were lessened or altered in an effort to save money and meet Army cutbacks, Murray said. Others, according to Murray, were accused of exaggerating their conditions and subsequently denied proper medical care.

“You can’t imagine what it’s like to talk to a soldier who was told he had PTSD,” said Murray. “His family was working with him, and then when he went to the disability evaluation system, he was told he was a liar or malingerer. He was taken out of it and he went out in the civilian world not being treated. That’s a horrendous offense.”

Read the rest of this story:

http://www.kansascity.com/2012/06/13/3657122/panetta-huge-gaps-in-militarys.html

View questioning by Patty Murray and Senate testimony by Leon Panetta: