Thursday, September 13, 2012

Military suicide studies must include drugs

Whenever I talk about treatment for PTSD, the topic usually turns to medications because for the majority of patients, this is too often all they get.

Medications are tricky to talk about. When a veteran tells me their medications are not working or make them feel worse, I tell them they need to talk to their doctor and let them know. That is the only way the doctor can decide what will work best for their own chemistry. Another factor is if they drink alcohol or take street drugs while on these medications, it will not allow them to work properly. That is about as far as I go on discussing medications because I am not a psychiatrist and far from an expert on drugs.

The next thing that has to be talked about is that medications for PTSD were not supposed to be the only answer in treating it. They need talk therapy with a psychologist that is an expert on trauma, or it will not do much good. They need to talk to people about their spiritual issues, or again, the treatment they receive will not do much good. They also need to take care of their bodies, learning how to calm themselves with being pro-active. Walking, Yoga, meditation and even their diet needs to be addressed. They have to treat the whole veteran to be able to heal the hole in the veteran.

The longer PTSD is not addressed, the longer medication will be required as part of the therapy. Vietnam veterans have accepted the fact they will be on medications the rest of their lives simply because of how long they suffered without help but the other thing they learned and offered hope to others is that it is never too late to live a better life.

Government Addresses Suicides Without Looking at Suicide-Linked Drugs
The Boom in Suicides
SEPTEMBER 12, 2012

It would be laughable if it weren’t tragic. This week Surgeon General Regina Benjamin introduced a plan to stem the nation’s growing suicide rate without addressing the nation’s growing use of suicide-linked drugs.

Antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil, antipsychotics like Seroquel and Zyprexa and anti-seizure drugs like Lyrica and Neurontin are all linked to suicide in published reports and in FDA warnings. (Almost 5,000 newspaper reports link antidepressants to suicide, homicide and bizarre behavior.) Asthma drugs like Singulair, antismoking drugs like Chantix, acne drugs like Accutane and the still-in-use malaria drug Lariam, are also linked to suicide.

The US’s suicide rate has risen to 38,000 a year, says USA Today, after falling in the 1990s. The rise correlates with the debut of direct-to-consumer drug advertising in the late 1990s, the approval of many drugs with suicide links and more people taking psychoactive drugs for lifestyle problems.

Dr. Benjamin announced that federal grants totaling $55 million will save 20,000 lives in the next five years through suicide hotlines, more mental health workers in the VA, better depression screening and Facebook tracking of suicidal messages. Nowhere, including in the suicide-racked military, does she suggest looking at the overmedication which has gone hand-in-hand with the deaths. And on which the government is spending a lot more than $55 million.

Suicide increased more than 150 percent in the Army and more than 50 percent in the Marine Corps between 2001 to 2009, reported Military Times displaying graphs of the suicide and prescription drug increases, in a print edition, that are similar enough to be laid over one another. One in six service members was on a psychoactive drug in 2010 and “many troops are taking more than one kind, mixing several pills in daily ‘cocktails’ for example, an antidepressant with an antipsychotic to prevent nightmares, plus an anti-epileptic to reduce headaches–despite minimal clinical research testing such combinations,” said Military Times.

Eighty-nine percent of troops with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are now given psychoactive drugs and between 2005 and 2009, half of all TRICARE (the military health plan) prescriptions for people between 18 and 34 were for antidepressants. During the same time period, epilepsy drugs like Topamax and Neurontin, increasingly given off-label for mental conditions, increased 56 percent, reports Military Times. In 2008, 578,000 epilepsy pills and 89,000 antipsychotics were prescribed to deploying troops. What?
read more here

No comments:

Post a Comment

If it is not helpful, do not be hurtful. Spam removed so do not try putting up free ad.