Andrew Tighman, writing in the Marine Corps Times, recently described the investigation of Fred A. Baughman Jr., M.D. into the deaths of military personnel taking multiple psychotropic medications. Baughman was alerted to a series of soldier deaths upon reading a May 2008 article in the Charleston [WV] Gazette titled “Vets Taking Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Drugs Die in Sleep.” Baughman, a retired neurologist known previously for his criticism of medication treatments of ADHD and other mental health disorders, suspected that the reported cases could be part of a much larger problem.
One in six service members is now taking at least one psychiatric drug, according to the Navy Times, with many soldiers taking “drug cocktail” combinations. Soldiers and military healthcare providers told the Military Times that psychiatric drugs are “being prescribed, consumed, shared and traded in combat zones.”