Drugging our Troops

The Creation of Psychopharmaceutical’s Multi-Billion Dollar Market

CCHR International announces the third in a four-part series by award-winning investigative journalist Kelly Patricia O’Meara exploring the epidemic of suicides and sudden deaths in the military and the skyrocketing use of psychiatric drugs being prescribed to soldiers and veterans.

In the third installment, O’Meara examines the history of the psychiatric-military alliance and how psychiatry has created a multi-billion dollar market for military psychiatrists and big pharma.

As has been well documented in the first two parts of this investigative series, the military is at a mental health crossroad. Soldiers are dying by suicide and other sudden unexplained deaths at record—even epidemic—levels; an epidemic that seems to have been spawned by nearly $2 billion the Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) have spent on antipsychotics and anti-anxiety drugs, despite international drug regulatory warnings of mania, psychosis, suicide and death. Even according to DoD’s own policy, “Guidance for Deployment-Limiting Psychiatric Conditions and Medications,” antipsychotics like Seroquel are disqualifiers for deployment.

Given that under the advice of mental health professionals suicides and other unexplained deaths still are increasing, why does Command continue to listen to what, for all practical purposes, appears to have miserably failed? Despite the fact that since 2009, mental health staffing has doubled in Afghanistan and a mental health survey of deployed troops found that stress levels among Service members in Afghanistan nearly tripled between 2005 and 2010.

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