ANTIDEPRESSANT & PAIN MED: War Vet Kills Self In Front of VA Medical Center: OH

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy: If this young man was wanting to make a statement by taking his life I cannot think of a better place to make such a statement than in front of the VA Medical Center! Why? Because they have been one of the very worst at pushing these kinds of meds. They hand them out like candy and have for decades! I am sure he was frustrated with the treatment he was getting from the VA as they continue to push these drugs as the only “answer” when they DO NOT WORK and only make the initial problem worse!

Paragraph five reads:  “Scott Labensky, whose son lived with Huff, agreed. He said the veteran was injured by a ground blast while serving inIraq and received ongoing treatment for a back injury and depression.”

SSRI Stories Note:  The most common treatment for depression is an antidepressant, usually a newer antidepressant such as SSRIs or SNRIs.  The suicide rate among soldiers is now higher than the combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. The FDA Black Box warning for antidepressants and suicidality covers those aged 24 and under. The majority of the soldiers in Iraq/Afghan are 20 to 24 years of age.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/veteran-commits-suicide-infrontof-dayton-vacenter-656012.html

Did war vet kill self to make a statement?

Man had been in VA emergency room earlier in the morning.

By Lucas Sullivan and Margo Rutledge Kissell
Staff Writers Updated 11:23 PM Friday, April 16, 2010

DAYTON  Jesse Charles Huff walked up to the Veterans Affairs Department’s Medical Center on Friday morning wearing U.S. Army fatigues and battling pain from his Iraq war wounds and a recent bout with depression.

The 27-year-old Dayton man had entered the center’s emergency room about 1 a.m. Friday and requested some sort of treatment. But Huff did not get that treatment, police said, and about 5:45 a.m. he reappeared at the center’s entrance, put a military-style rifle to his head and twice pulled the trigger.

Huff fell near the foot of a Civil War statue, his blood covering portions ofthe front steps.

Police would not specify what treatment Huff sought and why he did not receive it. Medical Center spokeswoman Donna Simmons declined to answer questions about Huff’s treatment, citing privacy laws. But police believe Huff killed himself to make a statement.

Scott Labensky, whose son lived with Huff, agreed. He said the veteran was injured by a ground blast while serving in Iraq and received ongoing treatment for a back injury and depression.

“He never got adequate care from the VA he was trying to get,” Labensky said. “I believe he (killed himself) to bring attention to that fact. I saw him two days ago. He was really hurting.”

Simmons said Huff received care at the center since August 2008 and his care was being handled by a case manager.

The suicide rate among 18- to 29-year-old men who have left the military has gone up significantly, the government said in January.

The rate for those veterans rose 26 percent from 2005 to 2007, according to data released by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The military community also has struggled with an increase in suicides, with the Army seeing a record number last year. Last May, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base focused on suicide recognition and prevention after four apparent suicides involving base personnel within six months.

Huff arrived early Friday in a cream-colored van police found parked about 200 yards from a south entrance of the medical center. The van contained some U.S. Army clothing, a carton of Newport cigarettes and a prescription bottle of Oxycodone with Huff’s name on the side.

Oxycodone is often used to treat severe pain.

As a precaution, bomb squad technicians blew apart a backpack Huff carried before committing suicide.

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Senator Asks How Many Soldiers are On Antidepressants

Paragraph two reads:  “Citing the rising number of suicides among active-duty
soldiers in the U.S. Army,
a senator wrote to the
secretary of defense this week asking for the ‘estimated number and percentage
of troops since June 2005 who have been prescribed antidepressant

medications while serving in Iraq and
Afghanistan’.”

http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/11/12/senatoraskshowmany-troops-areonantidepressants/

  • November 12, 2009, 10:11 AM ET

Senator Asks How Many Troops Are on

Antidepressants

By Jacob Goldstein

For people in their late teens
and early 20s, taking an antidepressant may actually increase
the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors
, at least during initial
treatment. So it’s important that those patients are carefully
monitored.

Citing the rising number of
suicides
among active-duty soldiers in the U.S. Army, a senator wrote to the
secretary of defense this week asking for the “estimated number and percentage
of troops since June 2005 who have been prescribed antidepressant medications
while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The  letter is from
Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat. He said Congress must:

examine the extent to which DoD is prescribing antidepressants to its
service members, especially those deployed in-theatre, and the methods it is
employing to ensure that sufficient observation periods are conducted by
properly trained mental health providers. In short, my concern is how DoD is
managing the sheer volume and manner by which antidepressant drugs are being
administered to our service men and women overseas.

We called
and emailed the Department of Defense to ask for a reply, but they didn’t
immediately respond to our request. We’ll update this post when we hear
back.

Hat Tip: Pharmalot;
Photo: iStockphoto

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