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Military Meds & Madness (August 31 2010)

image American troops are taking their own lives in the largest numbers since records began to be kept in 1980.

In 2008, there were 128 confirmed suicides by serving army personnel and 41 by serving marines. Another 15 army deaths are still being investigated. The toll is another of the terrible consequences that have flowed from Washington’s neo-colonial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The army suicide rate, usually significantly lower than the general population, has surpassed it, with the highest rates on record.

Army Secretary Pete Geren told the Associated Press that “we cannot tell you” why the number of military suicides was rising.”

Certainly, some of it is stress. And… some of it is the drugs they’re taking—- in two ways.

First, the drugs clearly are not working. Since 1980, when records of suicides began, there has been explosion of new psychiatric drugs coming in use, and they’re are no-less popular in the US Military. But with so many ‘breakthrough’ drugs, why is the rate of suicide going up rather than down?

One example is the suicide of Specialist Larry Applegate. While fighting with his wife, shots were fired, then Applegate barricaded himself inside his Colorado Springs home and put a bullet in his head. In another often-cited case, a much-respected marine pilot hanged himself a month before he was to RETURN to Iraq.

Second, the psychiatric drug cocktails are killing soldiers - what the Army calls accidental deaths caused by “combined lethal drug toxicity”. On this, see the Associated Press article here, and see my summary here.

 

 

 

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