Some really important concerns this Memorial Day weekend about the treatment our soldiers receive when they return from battle.
Use of prescription psychotropics has skyrocketed among U.S. military personnel in recent years, according to an investigation by Military Times. At least 17 percent of active-duty military personnel are currently taking an antidepressant, including as many as 6 percent of all deployed troops. In contrast, the rate of antidepressant use in the wider U.S. public is only 10 percent.
It has been a routine week in my clinical and forensic practice. I evaluated a malpractice case involving a woman on the West Coast whose family doctor from a decade earlier kept prescribing Prozac to her for ten years without ever seeing her again. When she ran into emotional difficulty, she called this doctor who simply raised the dose and added a new drug, still without seeing her for a decade.
Sgt. Eric Layne’s death was not pretty. A few months after being prescribed a drug cocktail with the antidepressant Paxil, the mood stabilizer Klonopin and AstraZeneca’s controversial antipsychotic drug Seroquel, the Iraq war veteran was “suffering from incontinence, severe depression [and] continuous headaches,” according to his widow, Janette Layne, at FDA hearings for new Seroquel approvals last year.