Doctors Alarmed by Military’s Use of Mind Drugs on Troops

Sunday, January 23, 2011
Medical professionals have expressed serious concerns about the U.S. military’s dispensing of antipsychotic drugs to combat soldiers and other personnel.
The U.S. Central Command allows, under its drug formulary, for troops struggling from sleep deprivation to receive a 6-month supply of Seroquel, which was first developed to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, mania and depression. At least two U.S. Marines have died in their sleep after taking large amounts of the medication.
Dr. Grace Jackson, a former Navy psychiatrist, left the service “out of conscience, because I did not want to be a pill pusher,” she told Nextgov. Jackson believes psychotropic drugs are “destroying the force.” She is especially concerned about the anticonvulsive drug Depakote, which military doctors prescribe for mood control. Depakote can cause “cognitive toxicity,” impaired ability to think and make decisions.
Another expert, Dr. Peter Breggin, told the House Veterans Affairs Committee last year that combat soldiers should not be given psychotic drugs, because they can cause loss of judgment and self-control and lead to increased violence and suicidal impulses.
According to a June 2010 report by the Defense Department's Pharmacoeconomic Center at Fort Sam Houston, 20% of active-duty troops were taking prescribed psychotropic drugs, including antidepressants, antipsychotics and sedative hypnotics.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky


Jilly4Liberty 12 years ago
yeah jeanise-- heroin relieved my suffering for over a year- until it almost killed me and i had to get help for my problems-- which didn't by the way, include taking something to mask my anxieties. the solution to mental anxieties should be cognitive therapy, spiritual maintenance, and the development of healthy coping skills. not a handful of pills. pills are a last resort for people who can't recover from their mental problems through mental self improvement. messing with your brain chemistry with pills that behave differently in every individual is extremely dangerous.
Will 12 years ago
So what Jeanise is saying is that when someone is having emotional problems with life, the best thing they can do is to get drugged out of their mind. (or as she says, "relieve their pain") Heaven forbid that someone might try to fix the problem instead of covering it up with meds. (in case you're too dim to realize it I am being sarcastic)
Jeanise 12 years ago
If they signed up to serve in the military, they already had "impaired ability to think and make decisions". All kidding aside, I have no respect for any medical professional who comes up with this stuff about leaving the service "out of conscious" because the these medications actually RELIEVE SUFFERING!!! If a person is coming to a psychiatrist for help, they are already suffering and they already have impaired thinking and judgment and it is very painful and they want help! These drugs relieve their pain and they can actually think more clearly and display better judgment with the use of these drugs. I also noticed this psychiatrist did not mention anything about their suffering - only her beliefs about drugs. She only wants society to think well of her for refusing to be a "pill pusher" and cares nothing about people who are suffering.

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