Are Soldiers Suicides Caused by Prescription Drugs?—At Fort Brag 4,994 troops on antidepressants/664 on antipsychotics
The suicide rate among troops is astonishing. In 2009 there were 160 active duty suicides, 239 suicides within the total Army including the Reserves, 146 active duty deaths from drug overdoses and high risk behavior and 1,713 suicide attempts, says the Army’s suicide report, released in July. Not only are more troops dying from their own hand than combat says the Army report, titled Health Promotion, Risk Reduction, Suicide Prevention, 36 percent of the suicides were troops who were never deployed. Also astonishing is the psychoactive drug rate among active duty-aged troops, 18 to 34, which is up 85 percent since 2003 according to the military health plan, Tricare. Since 2001, 73,103 prescriptions for Zoloft have been dispensed, 38,199 for Prozac, 17,830 for Paxil and 12,047 for Cymbalta says Tricare 2009 data, which includes family prescriptions. All of the drugs carry a suicide warning label.