Prescription drug cocktails have lead to at least 32 accidental overdoses among Marines and soldiers since 2007, bringing military medical practices for treating physical and psychiatric problems under scrutiny. Most of the troops had been prescribed “drug cocktails,” combinations of drugs including painkillers, sleeping pills, antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs, interviews and records show. In all cases, suicide was ruled out.
Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin sent a letter Tuesday to Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressing concern about how antidepressant drugs are being administered troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cardin was concerned that there may be a connection between the use of those medications and the suicide rate among troops.
As for the psychiatrists, they are a different kettle of fish completely. Any trained psychiatrist is aware that terror is as much torture as physical harm, and any psychiatrist who knows the history of his discipline also knows that terror has been used against the insane as a cock-and-bull “cure” since at least the Middle Ages. I suspect the design of torture techniques used at Guantanamo (techniques known or still unknown to us) came from psychiatrists, and if that’s true, it’s the psychiatrists who should bear the full brunt of public condemnation.