Military’s drug policy threatens troops’ health, doctors say

Posted: January 30, 2011 in Medicine, Politics
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

From the article:

Army leaders are increasingly concerned about the growing use and abuse of prescription drugs by soldiers, but a Nextgov investigation shows a U.S. Central Command policy that allows troops a 90- or 180-day supply of highly addictive psychotropic drugs before they deploy to combat contributes to the problem.

The CENTCOM Central Nervous System
Drug formulary includes drugs like Valium and Xanax, used to treat depression, as well as the antipsychotic Seroquel, originally developed to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, mania and depression.

Although CENTCOM policy does not permit the use of Seroquel to treat deploying troops with these conditions, it does allow its use as a sleep aid, and allows deployed troops to be provided with a 180-day supply, even though the drug has been implicated in the deaths of two Marines who died in their sleep after taking large doses of the drug.

The Army endorsed Seroquel as a sleep aid in the May 2010 report of its Pain Management Task Force, which, among other things, called for a reduction in the number of prescription drugs given to troops. An appendix to that report recommended taking Seroquel in either 25- or 50-milligram doses for sleep disorders.

A June 2010 internal report from the Defense Department’s Pharmacoeconomic Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio showed that 213,972, or 20 percent of the 1.1 million active-duty troops surveyed, were taking some form of psychotropic drug: antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedative hypnotics, or other controlled substances.

Dr. Grace Jackson, a former Navy psychiatrist, told Nextgov she resigned her commission in 2002 “out of conscience, because I did not want to be a pill pusher.” She believes psychotropic drugs have so many inherent dangers that “the CENTCOM CNS formulary is destroying the force,” she said.

Dr. Greg Smith, who runs the Los Angles-based Comprehensive Pain Relief Group, which treats chronic pain and prescription drug abuse through an integrative medical approach called the Nutrition, Emotional/Psychological, Social/Financial and Physical program, said he was shocked by CENTCOM’s drug policy for deployed troops. “If I was a commander I’d worry about what these troops would do,” as a result of their medications, Smith said.

Dr. Peter Breggin, an Ithaca, N.Y., psychiatrist who testified before a House Veterans Affairs Committee last September on the relationship between medication and veterans’ suicides, said flatly, “You should not send troops into combat on psychotropic drugs.”

I know, how about not sending troops on psychotropic drugs to a fucking war zone, how about you send them home where they can see their family’s and get proper treatments.

This is why your losing your standing in the world America.

Original site.

WOG out.


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