Psychiatric Drugs and War: A Suicide Mission

October 13, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
The mental health watchdog Citizens Commission on Human Rights announces the first in a four-part series by award-winning investigative journalist Kelly Patricia O'Meara exploring the epidemic of suicides in the military and the correlation to dramatic increases in psychiatric drug prescriptions to treat the emotional scars of battle. The first installment looks at the statistical data, military suicides and unexplained deaths among the troops tied to prescription drugs.

"Imagine for a moment that a soldier is ordered to proceed through a clearly identified mine field, having received assurance from his commanding officer that it's okay to proceed because the odds are not everyone is blown to bits. Most would consider this nothing short of a suicide mission.

The strained and war-weary men and women serving in the military today, on or off the battlefield, are faced with the equivalent of such a scenario when it comes to treating their emotional scars. Anxiety, sleeplessness, nightmares, stress and depression is affecting the troops serving in America's longest war no less than those who've served in previous wars.

One glaring difference, though, lies in the "treatment" soldiers are receiving. Based on data released by those responsible for the health and well-being of the troops, it seems that pharmacology has replaced compassion. The days of talk therapy, a kind of willingness to stand in the warrior's boots by listening to his experiences, has been replaced by the quick pop-a-pill fix.

But these pharmacological potions may be producing unintended consequences, and evidence is piling up that the ever-increasing use of dangerous psychiatric medications may be fueling the funeral pyre of military suicides and other unexplained deaths."

In the first installment of a four-part series, O'Meara examines the statistics relating to psychiatric drug use and military suicides, including:

  • The 150% increase in military suicides from 2001 to 2009 and the 76 percent increase in psychiatric drug prescriptions over the same time period.
  • The Department of Defense admission that nearly one-third of suicides in the military occurred among those who had never seen combat duty.
  • The mass prescribing of the Seroquel to troops, a powerful antipsychotic drug approved by the FDA for "Schizophrenia" and "bipolar disorder" and how in just the last year, the military wrote more than fifty-four thousand Seroquel prescriptions off-label for "disorders" not even approved by the FDA.
  • The FDA's Medication Guide for Seroquel which lists "Risk of Suicidal Thoughts or Actions," as one of Seroquel's "serious side effects."

  • O'Meara also interviews retired Army Colonel Dr. Bart Billings, Ph.D., a former military psychologist, founder and director of the military-wide Human Assistance Rapid Response Team (HARRT) program, who is convinced suicides among the troops are a direct result of psychiatric drug prescriptions.

    Kelly Patricia O'Meara is a book author and former award winning investigative reporter for the Washington Times, Insight Magazine, penning dozens of articles exposing the dangers of psychiatric drugs including her ground-breaking 1999 Insight Magazine cover story, Guns & Doses, exposing the link between psychiatric drugs and school shootings. She is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Psyched Out: How Psychiatry Sells Mental Illness and Pushes Pills that Kill. Prior to working as an investigative journalist, O'Meara spent sixteen years on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer to four Members of Congress. She holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Maryland.

    Click here to read the full article.

    About Citizens Commission on Human Rights: CCHR is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health watchdog. Its mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. CCHR has helped to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices.

    By Kelly Patricia O'Meara, for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights