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The Medical Establishment’s Military Doping

April 10, 2012 by  

The Medical Establishment’s Military Doping
SPECIAL
About 110,000 active duty troops take daily prescription drugs for mental disorders and pain.

During the war in Vietnam, the use of illicit drugs like marijuana and heroin by U.S. military personnel deployed overseas was no secret, as young men were sent to a strange land where the substances were readily available in the midst of a brutal and traumatic conflict.

A new drug-related issue affects soldiers deployed to combat zones. This time, the “pusher” is not always a foreign drug dealer eager to capitalize on new customers, but rather doctors within the medical establishment back home.  As more and more American service members face longer deployments wherein they are faced with evermore brutal realities, the medical establishment has demonstrated no whims in mass doping.

According to a recent report by The Los Angeles Times, more than 110,000 active-duty Army troops were taking prescription cocktails on a daily basis with ingredients ranging from prescribed antidepressants, narcotics, sedatives, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety drugs and amphetamines. About 8 percent of active duty Army personnel are taking sedatives and 6 percent antidepressants — eight times more than in 2005.

“We have never medicated our troops to the extent we are doing now… And I don’t believe the current increase in suicides and homicides in the military are a coincidence,” said Bart Billings, a former military psychologist who hosts an annual conference on combat stress.

When service members break under psychological stress and commit suicide or go on shooting rampages, defense lawyers often argue the the soldiers have become the victim of major stress and improper medication.  The most recent case is that of Sgt. Robert Bales, the soldier accused of 17 counts of premeditated murder resulting from a nighttime shooting rampage in Afghanistan. Bale’s lawyer recently told The Associated Press that his client had been under treatment for severe anxiety and depression and dealt with pains from past physical injuries for which he also received medication.

Some critics of medicating U.S. service members to the extent that the Defense Department is allowing in order to hold on to manpower as wars perpetuate, say it is being done at high cost to the troops. Suicides compounded by about 80 percent among troops between 2004 and 2008, and a rise in addiction to narcotics is also a growing concern.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Sirian

    Ah yes, the lovely ‘Nam days have returned only this time it has been given a bright and shiny new name – one hell of a heavy price tag. There is very little that need be said about this problem when there is such a very simple answer to it. BRING OUR TROOPS HOME!! Enough is enough!! They’ve all paid a price above and beyond, without question! We too have paid a price, a very hefty price indeed, for what will undoubtedly end up as South Vietnam did directly after our withdrawal. Oh how the MID has profited quite well. BRING OUR TROOPS HOME AND TAKE CARE OF THEM!! There are way to many of we old ‘Nam Vets that know what it’s like to get screwed around with by the government and the V.A., don’t let the same happen to so many who may very well be our own sons and daughters. We’ve already cleaned out the cock roaches in both those countries. If they return after we’ve pulled our troops home, so be it! The time has truly arrived to clean out the other deeply rooted infestation of cock roaches that exists – Washington D.C.!! Clean out Washington and start anew. That is one electoral mission we can not afford to fail at. >:(

    • Ern

      Dont expect o to bring our troops home any time soon. He doesnt want them here defending their homes and families.

  • cawmun cents

    First of all….isnt Afghanistan the world leader in opium production?
    What do you expect?
    Secondly when you send youngsters fresh out of highschool to fight in a foreign nation,what kind of ideology will become part of their daily regimen?
    Anything to escape the pain,whether of rememberence or of physical remedy.
    I’m not certain,but I think opiates are one of the leading pain reducers.
    Now simply do the math.
    -CC.

    • Sirian

      Oh yes, “I think opiates are one of the leading pain reducers.” – very much so. Morphine is very effective! It slipped me into la la land during my heart attack and I could’ve cared less what happened. . . :)

    • Karolyn

      Yes, cc, opiates are the quintessential pain (both physical and mental) relievers.

  • noel

    OBAMANOS 2012!!!

  • Kim

    This is all new information for me to digest! Thanks for writing this. Truly makes one wonder more… beyond that. When you add up all the possible reactions to the body being effected by chemicals, which alters the mental, mood, attitudes…to physical reaction time. Really alters that spirit, mind and body connections. Yet, doesn’t this give the government another means of subtle entry, control, cheap economics to something that is such a risk area…leaves them so blamelessly. Not to mention another way to try out chemical testing. Interesting,…

  • Chester

    C C, I might beleive you if it weren’t for the FACT that there are a number of major steps between opium poppies and herion, or even usable opium. Also, not a word in this article about illegal or illicit drugs, just what is being prescribed on a daily basis by the military doctors who are under orders to “Keep them fighting!” All of these men and women volunteered to see to it you maintain the right to gripe about them and the people who send them off to war, instead of having been drafted or joined up to avoid being drafted. And, as much as I hate to say it, the draft would have saved a lot of these people from those repeated trips into combat zones, as there would have been a lot more bodies to throw at the problems over there.

    • Karolyn

      “…….bodies to throw”? Quite a callous way to talk of human beings, don’t you think? I assume you are in favor of our interference in other countries?

      • texastwin827

        Karolyn…his comment reflects upon how politicans think of our soldiers, not him. As for the draft being able to contribute more men…keep in mind, during the Vietnam War, the rich and politician’s kids were considered the “privileged sons” because their parents could afford to keep them in college, thereby giving them a deferrment. After the war became so unpopular, the Lottery system was devised where all men (regardless of who daddy was) born on dates, drawn, had to serve. Of course, even then, most of the privileged sons managed to secure non-combat military jobs…out of harm’s way.

        Once the Vietnam War was over, not wanting a repeat of the Lottery System which made some of their sons serve, we adopted the “All Volunteer Military”. Why do you think that was done? So the later generations of privileged sons wouldn’t have to fear serving in the wars that their father’s committed the US to.

        How many rich and politically connected son do you think are serving…in COMBAT, in today’s wars?

      • MARC

        All these points are valid, but as a Vet from a family of Vets I wish to point out that we have ‘not’ lawfully declared WAR since World War 2. These are all conflicts, U.N. police actions (ummmm, since when are the US Armed Forces mercenaries to the UN ??); and of course manufactured conflicts. Way back in 1967/ 68, not sure, a CIA professor…said go buy tons of the paperback “The War Business” and pass them out to everyone.
        Another excellent book is “On Power and Ideology.”

        War is for Profit. As Eisenhower warned – beware of the military-industrial – [CONgressional] establishment. I add to that : Banks (banksters). For global Chaos take 1 part CONgress, 3 parts Banks, 5 parts Defense Industries (mmm, Offense Industries), add blood of young troops and we now have the New World Order cake mix, ready to be used at any corner of the World.
        Damn people – we are all being conned ! No one fights for Freedom anymore unless you count rebels in countries trying to free themselves.
        As long as banks finance wars, defense industries provide the KILLING machines and of course make PROFIT, Generals and DoD secure lucrative Contracts, and they all bribe – oh, scuse me, Lobby Congress, this cycle of War for Profit will Never end.

        We need Patriots in office, and in the military, and we need to quit funding b-s conflicts/ wars that are none of our business.

    • cawmun cents

      Were you aware that their hashish is opiated over there?
      I have heard from a reliable source that eight out of ten men in Afghanistan smoke hashish.
      If that is true,(although the person I spoke with may have exaggerated)then it would be easily obtained would it not?
      Go figure.
      When I was in highschool,the best hash came from Afghanistan.
      Rush wrote about it in a song.
      If the hash is opiated(and trust me it is)then you wouldnt necessarily have to make the dope pharmaceutically would you?
      Just an observation from a former stoner.
      But hey Chester,maybe you have more experience at that sort of thing than I do?
      But what do I know?
      Apparently very little…..
      Cheers!
      -CC.

  • Ellen

    Years ago, our young people were able to deal with stress and disappointment. For over 30 years now, parents have tried to shelter kids from small disappointment, so they are unprepared to handle life’s bigger issues. For example, everybody wins games at parties. Everybody gets trophies in their sports. Then when things happen – and they always do – these people are emotionally unprepared. I’m not surprised at all to read that doctors just give them drugs to handle this; that’s what has become of our medical establishment. There is a drug for everything. I am surprised that they allow young people in our military to take these drugs, though. My friend’s son wants to join the military and they won’t let him join until he weans off his Adderall. My neighbor’s son was rejected by all branches because he takes an antidepressant. Why keep smart, physically fit kids out because of these drugs but let others use them once they are overseas?

    • Robert Smith

      From Ellen: “Years ago, our young people were able to deal with stress and disappointment. For over 30 years now, parents have tried to shelter kids from small disappointment, so they are unprepared to handle life’s bigger issues. ”

      Not so much. Your smear of a generation isn’t true.

      The REAL reason we are having so many mental problems with out military is the fact that it is a catered war. Used to be that the military took care of its own needs. Much of our military was filled with folks who cooked, took care of the trucks, and generally made it possible for those on the front lines to be there. Now the cooking, laundry, and much of the support is contracted out. MORE of our military is on the front lines.

      Also, it used to be that it was often weeks, months, sometimes years between military engagements. That changed through the 20th centuery. Now our guys are out there nearly every day. The pressure is far greater than ever on our young kids. Toss in multiple tours and it looks darn near iimpossible for kids to cope.

      I’m surprised we don’t have way more problems than we actually do.

      Rob

    • texastwin827

      Ellen, many of these young men are giving these drugs to counter Post Traumatic Stress and they are given them, so the military can continue to use them, in multiple deployments.

      As for the “Past 30 yrs”…it’s occurred in EVERY war…the WWI & WWII vets were said to have “shell shock” or “battle fatigue” which was actually the same thing as the PTS our military men have suffered from Vietnam War and all these Middle East wars. And please don’t try to say the men from those early wars were “coddled”.

  • 45caliber

    I’ve seen a lot of comments on drug use in Vietnam and how bad it really was.

    The battalion I was in there was considered as the worst in Vietnam for drug use (and one of the best for combat). They brought in a full colonel as chaplain for the battalion since he was an expert in this problem.

    However, we had about 5% of the company who used marijuana and none used heroin. In fact, only one in the battalion was known to use heroin. And ALL used it before they went to Vietnam in the first place.

    Yet to hear the stories, you’d think that 90% of the soldiers used it there! Not true! This is like most stories now … a MSM exaggeration.

    • Robert Smith

      45, do you mean to say that out of a couple of hundred guys in a company only 10 guys were on pot?

      A battalion is up to 1,000 guys and only ONE used heroin?????? Even in a small batallion of 300 it sure seems like a pretty small number.

      BTW, did you know that EVERY company, battalion, squad, and soldger in VietNam was the best. It was Johnson and Nixon (until he brought them home) who were screwed up.

      Rob

      • texastwin827

        Robert, my husband was a door gunner on a gunship with one of the best Air Assault units (191st AHC) in Vietnam and even he said the “drug of choice” was alcohol, not drugs. Yes there were some who used drugs but, according to him, the majority used pot, not heroin. That’s not to say there weren’t some, but when he was there (70-71) pot was what most kids had been exposed to, in the US, and few wanted to get hooked on heroin.

      • 45caliber

        Rob:

        Our battalion had about 600 men. We had one person I knew about on herion. Only one. As I stated about 5% of the soldiers were known to use marijuana. That was all. I know that all soldiers consider their own unit the best. So did I. However, it also had the best war record and developed the tactics used by most others there. It was the 173rd Airborne – a very small unit actually. I don’t know that our unit had the most drug problems but I do know we had a colonel as a chaplain for that reason.

        Actually, most soldiers there did NOT like others to use drugs, particularly in the field. You couldn’t depend upon them to help defend you. None were shot by our own people to my knowledge, but several were shipped elsewhere (like the heroin addict) to keep them from being shot.

    • Sirian

      45caliber,
      I know what you’re saying and both agree and fully understand. I simply think we need to get our guys out of that mess and let those sixth century idiots do what they will. As I said, bring our troops home and take care of them. But there is another avenue that Obummer and his cronies are aggressively pursuing to do. The exact opposite as far as taking care of them. Read this:
      http://www.horowitzfreedomcenter.org/2012/04/09/the-center-for-american-progress-war-on-veterans/

      • 45caliber

        Sirian:

        I think it is totally wrong to “rebuild” any of those countries. I don’t care what we did for Japan and, to a certain extent, Germany after WWII. They are not allies and never will be. They are tribes and have that type of belief. You cannot have good elections as long as the tribal members only vote for their own tribe’s representatives. And you cannot have any fair government when each government (like Saudi) is simply one tribe using its power as government to control the rest. My personal belief is that when we are attacked, we should respond by blasting everything, taking out anyone trying to fight against us, and making sure we get the leaders. Then we tell the survivors that next time they need to select people who are not wanting to attack us. If they do, we will come back and REALLY mess up the place!

        As far as your note: One of the first things Oblama tried to do when he became President was require the soldiers to buy their own insurance. He stated that if they were willing to fight, they should be willing to pay for their health care when they get hurt. Someone talked him out of it but I don’t believe that changed his mind about it. So I’m not surprised at this. The libs have never trusted or liked the military, even if their own sons and daughters were members. They want a military that will obey their orders to enslave everyone rather than one that might not only refuse but also act to stop them from ruling.

  • David in MA

    Enlist people who are already drug dependant, everybody gets what they want and everybody wins…how about that?

    • s c

      Start with people from Taxachusetts. How ’bout dat, bruh?

  • http://www.cleanhouseatnbc.org/ dlb

    This is the truth, I’ve seen as a Cadre member in a Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) and I am also proof of it. I was medically retired almost a year ago and am still on the meds.

  • Warrior

    all the armchair warriors have been heard from. guess when you sit safely in your homes, you can judge those of us who serve our country. Enlist, you lazy asswipes.

    • http://www.cleanhouseatnbc.org/ dlb

      Carefull Warrior. I may have been medically retired, but it was after almost 19 years of service in the Army. I have SERVED my country here in the US, as well as in Bosnia and Afghanistan. I agree most of the American population should serve at least two years in the military; then maybe our country wouldn’t be so bad off with people like Obummer occupying the White House.

  • Karl Stecher

    I am always puzzled when I se the term “medical establishment.” What do you mean, oh writer of this article? I am unaware of anything that could be called “medical establishment.” The AMA certainly is not, as it contains only 15% of practicing pysicians.
    Of course there are individual doctos. And they take care of individual patients…with depression, unresolved psychological issues, PTSD. I cannot speak for physicians who currently serve in the military, as I do not know what their orders are.
    But, again, what is it that you call the “medical establishment,” which you are smearing here?

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