The Deadliest Enemy
is the one you never suspect
“The use of psychotropic drugs, especially combined use of antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs, is strongly associated with an increased risk of SCD [Sudden Cardiac Death].” —European Heart Journal
“Prior to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the use of prescribed antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs was never part of military policy.
“In a June 2010 report, the latest available on the subject, the Defense Department’s Pharmacoeconomic Center noted that 213,972, or 20 percent of the 1.1 million active-duty troops surveyed, were taking some form of psychotropic drug.
“Since that report was released, those figures have greatly increased and are now considerably beyond the 20 percent level for psychiatric medications prescribed to active-duty soldiers. These are precisely the sort of drugs cited in an overwhelming majority of veteran suicides.
“These substances significantly impair motor skills and reaction times, and cause confusion, disorientation and forgetfulness—critical damage to a skill set vital to soldiers in combat.
“Other numbers are even more staggering, showing that the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs poured more than $4.5 billion into purchases of antidepressants, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety drugs in the decade after 9/11. The mass prescribing of these dangerous drugs continues in high gear once the soldier, sailor, Marine or airman comes under the authority of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“In return for the billions of dollars spent on these substances, suicides and cases of sudden cardiac arrest have soared.”
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