Drug Combinations Have Fatal Effects on Troops

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.

Image via Wikipedia

This weekend, the New York Times reported a tragic problem with drugs many troops have when they return from service.

Over 300,000 troops have returned from Afghanistan or Iraq with depression, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or a combination of those afflictions. The Pentagon has largely treated these problems with prescription drugs. An Army report released last year stated that one-third of the force was on at least one prescription medication.

Use of psychiatric and narcotic drugs is being linked to a number of other problems, including accidents, drug dependency, and suicide. Accidents involving fatal mixtures of prescriptions are increasingly common. Over 100 soldiers died from mixing prescriptions between 2006 and 2009. All of these deaths were ruled accidents, not suicides.

The dangers of overmedicated troops has prompted the Department of Defense to better monitor and restrict prescription medications. The Army and Navy are also offering a broader spectrum of non-drug treatments such as acupuncture, therapy, and yoga. However, shortages of mental health professionals has hampered their efforts of providing adequate therapy.

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One response to “Drug Combinations Have Fatal Effects on Troops

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