Sunday, March 21, 2010

Medicating the military

Use of psychiatric drugs has spiked; concerns surface about suicide, other dangers

By Andrew Tilghman and Brendan McGarry - Staff writers

Posted : Wednesday Mar 17, 2010 12:18:59 EDT

At least one in six service members is on some form of psychiatric drug.

And many troops are taking more than one kind, mixing several pills in daily “cocktails” — for example, an antidepressant with an antipsychotic to prevent nightmares, plus an anti-epileptic to reduce headaches — despite minimal clinical research testing such combinations.

The drugs come with serious side effects: They can impair motor skills, reduce reaction times and generally make a war fighter less effective. Some double the risk for suicide, prompting doctors — and Congress — to question whether these drugs are connected to the rising rate of military suicides.

Read the rest of the story by clicking here.
--submitted by Lois Vanderbur

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