The Military’s Billion-Dollar Pill Problem

A recent article in Men’s Journal magazine by Paul John Scott presents a vivid human interest story about the damage that psychiatric drugs are doing in the U.S. Military.

“At a time when soldiers kill themselves in record numbers – 18 veterans per day – the armed forces spend a fortune on a drug known to increase the chance of suicide.”

The article goes on to say —

“American soldiers (active soldiers as well as retired) have never been more medicated than they are now: In 2010, more than 213,000 service members (roughly 20 percent of active-duty military) were taking medications the military considered “high risk” – from epilepsy drugs to psychiatric pills like Seroquel. But what’s more incredible is that Seroquel and other antipsychotics are expensive (as much as $10 a dose) and not proven to be effective in treating the very conditions for which the military and VA most often prescribe them: insomnia and PTSD. But that didn’t prevent their use by the military from increasing tenfold between 2002 and 2009.”

and

“…80 percent of soldiers with PTSD are given psychotropic drugs, many of which can raise the risk of suicide.”

and

“While the military is doling out all kinds of psychiatric drugs, none is more troubling than the atypical antipsychotics – blockbuster drugs with names like Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Geodon, and Abilify. According to 2010 Department of Defense records, about 11,000 active-duty troops were on Seroquel. Since 2001, the VA has spent more than $1.5 billion and the Department of Defense more than $88 million on two atypicals alone, Seroquel and Risperdal.”

Please thank the article’s author by leaving him a message here.

Read more about drugging in the military here.

You can have a voice in this waste and abuse. Here are places you can express your outrage:

Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000
dpcintrn@osd.pentagon.mil

Department of Defense
Office of Inspector General
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-1500
hotline@dodig.mil

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
9999 Joint Staff Pentagon
Washington, DC 20318-9999
jointstaffig@js.pentagon.mil

Secretary of the Army
101 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310-0101
usarmy.pentagon.hqda-oaa.mbx.oaa-communications-poc@mail.mil

Secretary of the Navy
1000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-1000
ray.mabus@navy.mil

Secretary of the Air Force
1670 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1670
http://www.af.mil/main/contactus.asp

Commandant of the Marine Corps
Headquarters USMC
2 Navy Annex (CMC)
Washington, DC 20380-1775
marine.mail.fct@usmc.mil

Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Inspector General Hotline (53E)
P.O. BOX 50410
WASHINGTON, DC 20091-0410
vaoighotline@va.gov

One thought on “The Military’s Billion-Dollar Pill Problem

  1. PTSD treatment for Veterans found ineffective.

    Eli Lilly made $65 billion on the Zyprexa franchise.Lilly was fined $1.4 billion for Zyprexa fraud!
    The atypical antipsychotics (Zyprexa,Risperdal,Seroquel) are like a ‘synthetic’ Thorazine,only they cost ten times more than the old fashioned typical antipsychotics.
    These newer generation drugs still pack their list of side effects like diabetes for the user.All these drugs work as so called ‘major tranquilizers’.This can be a contradiction with PTSD suffers as we are hyper vigilant and feel uncomfortable with a drug that puts you to sleep and makes you sluggish.
    That’s why drugs like Zyprexa don’t work for PTSD survivors like myself.

    -Daniel Haszard FMI zyprexa-victims(dot)com
    *Tell the truth don’t be afraid*

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