SSRIs: Soldiers: One of Six Prescribed SSRIs – Iraq/Afghanistan

Paragraphs six and seven read: On February 24, 2010, the House Committee on
Veteran Affairs convened to explore the increasing number of military
related suicides. However, the hearing was not well publicized by the
mainstream media.

“The nature of roadside bombs creates psychological terror. Our troops who
witness violence and destruction of innocent lives are routinely
prescribed antidepressants to blunt their emotions.

One in six military members is prescribed psychiatric drugs such as
Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil or Prozac even though the FDA warns that antidepressants
increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in some. Time magazine
reports that the Pentagon keeps statistics on just about everything but does
not maintain a central clearinghouse for antidepressant prescription data,
making exact numbers ‘difficult to track’.”

http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2010-04-15/blog/a-more-perfect-union/emblem-tim
e-to-rethink-the-cost-of-wars/comment-page-1#comment-31110

Emblem: Time to rethink the cost of wars
By Tracy Emblem, Guest Contributor

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tracy Emblem is an attorney and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress,
California’s 50th District.
The National Priorities Project estimates that it cost the U.S. taxpayers
$1.05 trillion dollars to fund the Iraq and Afghanistan wars through the
end of Fiscal Year 2010. In March, the administration appeared again on
Capital Hill to ask for another $33 billion to support the “surge” in
Afghanistan.

Why have we so readily forgotten that Americans were told there were “
weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq as the reason for our military invasion
when this turned out to be false. Like Iraq, there is absolutely no guarantee
our troops will be withdrawn by 2012. From the Russian-Afghanistan
experience, we should readily expect it will take much longer than the six years
we previously spent in Iraq.

Recently 356 members of Congress — 189 Democrats and 167 Republicans —
voted to keep the wars funded without any debate. Why?

The Iraq and Afghanistan “occupations” have caused hundreds of thousands
of civilian casualties from insurgents and military engagement, while
thousands of women and children have been displaced. Repeated military
deployments have also wrecked havoc on our own soldiers and families. Nearly 300,000
U.S. troops have been deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq for a third or
fourth time.

We can no longer afford to blindly accept that these “wars” are “just”
or “necessary” when U.S. soldiers and families are suffering the effects of
prolonged war.

Related Links: More by Tracy | A More Perfect Union | Politics

On February 24, 2010, the House Committee on Veteran Affairs convened to
explore the increasing number of military related suicides. However, the
hearing was not well publicized by the mainstream media.

The nature of roadside bombs creates psychological terror. Our troops who
witness violence and destruction of innocent lives are routinely prescribed
antidepressants to blunt their emotions.
One in six military members is prescribed psychiatric drugs such as
Zoloft, Lexapro, Paxil or Prozac even though the FDA warns that antidepressants
increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in some. Time magazine
reports that the Pentagon keeps statistics on just about everything but does
not maintain a central clearinghouse for antidepressant prescription data,
making exact numbers “difficult to track.”

Antidepressants are not the only type of drugs routinely prescribed to our
troops. According to the Pentagon Health Affairs Office, almost 3.8
million pain relief prescriptions were prescribed for service members last year —
four times the amount prescribed in 2001. The military also prescribes “
stay awake” amphetamine drugs; the side effect increases paranoia and
homicidal behavior in our soldiers and causes breakdown in morale.

Unfortunately, when our soldiers return home and try to assimilate in
civilian life many remain the casualty of post traumatic stress, drug
addiction, physical pain or disability ­- and they return to the prospect of
high unemployment, divorce, homelessness, prison or suicide ­- the hidden
costs of wars. The costly “wars” have drained our troops and families
emotionally and depleted our economy as well as left a destructive toll on the
Iraq and Afghanistan people.

Americans should not sit silently by while our nation is led into
protracted warfare without debate. We must critically ask whether it is in our
nation’s interest to bring our troops home and start the healing process.

Tracy Emblem is an attorney and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress,
California’s 50th District. Contact her at Politics(a)SDNN.com with “to
Tracy Emblem” in the subject line.

Tags: federal deficit, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Military costs, National
Priorities Project, Soldiers

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 15th, 2010 at 6:42 am and is
filed under A More Perfect Union . You can follow any responses to this entry
through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response.
Pinging is currently not allowed.

637 total views, no views today