Drugs and Suicides in the Armed Forces

It is an utter disgrace that while men and women are abroad fighting for their country, corporations back in the homeland are using the stresses of their endeavours as a means to make money – moreover, they are making money by peddling bogus solutions in the form of chemicals that wreck them physically and mentally.

Finally, in January this year that particular cat was out of the bag as it became known that more of our military are dying of suicide than of combat deaths.

Why? What is so different about the current war to bring about this strange and tragic phenomenon? Who or what is having more success killing our soldiers than the enemy? After all, something or someone who kills more of our soldiers than the enemy does, is a more dangerous enemy is it not?

The answer is simple: in this war our military are being pumped full of psychiatric drugs and we now have what Time Magazine referred to as “America’s Medicated Army.”

Now, it is a well documented fact that the chemical poisons known as antidepressants and antipsychotics, with which we are “medicating” our troops cause brain and nerve damage among many other adverse effects and that if you submit an individual to much of this abuse, you will wreck him. Among some of the adverse effects the individual victim is likely to experience can be loss of impulse control, slowed reactions and various perception problems. Such debilitation’s are all potentially fatal for a soldier or airman in a combat zone so the number of personnel killed as a consequence of being drugged by their own side may be higher than anyone knows.

Among the know side effects of such drugs are suicidal thoughts and impulses and it does not take a genius to realise then that if we are medicating our soldiers on an unprecedented scale with drugs known to cause suicidal impulses and they are killing themselves at a rate faster that the enemy can manage, then the drugs are behind it.

Behind the drugs are the psychiatrists who push them, the special psychiatric units now attached to the military that dish them out and encourage their use and the manufacturers who make them and reap vast profits from their consumption by hundreds of thousands of military personnel.

There are further profits made when personnel return to the homeland, for many psychiatric drugs are designed to be addictive (more money to be made from people who can’t stop taking them) and people who begin on psychiatric medications all too often become customers of the psycho-pharmacy for life.

We all knew that the arms manufacturers were profiting from the wars that send out sons and daughters to their deaths but now, in these dark times of corporate mayhem, the drug makers are at it too.

In Vietnam, the war effort was sabotaged by drugging our soldiers with street drugs, now the sabotage has been institutionalized and the saboteurs, the pedlars of mind-altering chemicals “respectable”. Although the scale of it may be unprecedented, this is not in fact the first time that psychiatry has coiled itself around the military. The involvement dates back dates back more than 90 years.

During World War I, for example, the biggest problem the German army faced was desertions from the front lines. So the German military elite, from their chateaux and bunkers safely far behind the lines, turned to psychiatrists who presented themselves as experts.

The psychiatrists came up with the “miracle cure” of the day: electro shock, the process of searing parts of the brain with electricity (try wiring your head up to the mains!). The theory was that if the shocks soldiers experienced due to the brutalities of the war made them run away, then another shock-electricity to the brain-could get them to willingly return to combat. Stupid as this sounds, the Germans bought it and it appears to have been successful, from the point of view of the German elite at least, in so far as many soldiers chose to face the front lines rather than be tortured again by having another 450 volts of current tear through their brain.

A shabby and cruel terror tactic carried out against their countrymen it might have been but it was good enough for the German military elite (who themselves did not have to submit to it) and the love affair between the psychiatry and the military elites of various nations had begun and has continued ever since.

Today, electroshock is a discredited barbarity but the public have not yet caught on to the damage done by drugs, although recently the truth has been emerging little by little – too slowly unfortunately to have saved many lives.

In 2006, The Philadelphia Enquirer reported that drug use was an increasing problem in Iraq and at the back of this lay the fact that the medics were generously handing out prescription medications and these were being abused.

Bruce E. Levine, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and author of Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic, pointed out in February 2009, “Americans heard about a dramatic rise in suicides among U.S. soldiers.” And, sure enough, army statistics confirmed 128 suicides (with 15 more deaths under investigation), while suicides for the Marines also increased, with 41 in 2008, up from 33 in 2007 and 25 in 2006.

According to Best Syndication News (April 17, 2009), suicides among soldiers serving in Iraq were reported to be twice that of other wars, while the number of soldiers who killed themselves during January 2009 exceeded the number of soldiers who were killed by the enemy in Afghanistan and Iraq combined during the same time period.

What has changed? Our soldiers are no less courageous than the soldiers who have fought for their country in earlier wars and the conditions are bad enough but surely not worse than the conditions faced by their fathers in Vietnam. Who or what is doing this and in so doing aiding the enemy in its goal of killing our soldiers?

What has changed is the wholesale use of prescribed drugs, especially antidepressants that are worse than street drugs and known to cause suicidal thoughts and feelings. This is a new phenomenon: such a thing did not happen during other wars and in my view we are looking at what amounts to a Fifth Column activity in its effects.

Don’t take my word for just how harmful these drugs are. As long ago as March 2004, an FDA Public Health Advisory about these antidepressants, warned: “Anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, akathisia [severe restlessness], hypomania [abnormal excitement, mild mania] and mania [psychosis characterized by exalted feelings, delusions of grandeur and overproduction of ideas], have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants…” It omits other known side effects of drugs: slow reaction times and distortions in perception, which of themselves place a soldier in a war zone at inordinate risk..

Dr. Levine (see above) pointed out: “While treatment for emotionally troubled soldiers increasingly consists of antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft, recent investigations show that these drugs are no more effective than placebos and can actually increase suicidality.”

However, the killing of our soldiers as a result of such medications may extend further than just suicides for they cause so many other physical complications. We have already looked at the possibility that such brain-damaging drugs could be getting soldiers killed by suppressing reaction time and other performance parameters but by way of another example, California neurologist, Dr. Fred A. Baughman, Jr. investigated a series of veterans’ deaths in 2008 and concluded they actually died from cardiac arrest induced by psychiatric drugs.

What had emerged was that all seemed “normal” when the deceased soldiers went to bed and all of them had been prescribed a cocktail of antipsychotics and tranquilizers. In January of the following year the New England Journal of Medicine seemed to back up Dr Baughman’s conclusions when it reported that antipsychotics double the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.

It was reported in June 2008 that 89% of veterans labeled with “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” (and the unreliability and lack of clear, consistent diagnostic criteria of psychiatric labeling and the lack of scientific foundation for these “mental illnesses” are extensively reported elsewhere) are given antidepressants and 34% given antipsychotics. “A third, then, are exposed to the additive potential to cause sudden death,” Baughman concluded

Meanwhile Dr Levine adds, “In order to prevent even more suicides, both the research and basic common sense instruct is that we need less psychiatric drugs and more political courage.”

He summed up the whole flawed and inhuman psychiatric approach in a nutshell: “For many mental health professionals, especially governmental ones, a ‘good treatment outcome’ consists of a troubled person adapting to a miserable, dehumanizing environment in a way that causes the least problems for the authorities…mental health professionals are far less likely to recommend a radical altering of an environment than they are to recommend a chemical-altering of the person suffering from it.”