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Drugs and Death

2012: More soldiers died by suicide than in combat, at the rate of one each day. Suicides by veterans hit 22 per day.

2005–2011: Military prescriptions for mind-altering drugs known to induce suicidal and violent behavior increased 696%.

2004–2012: The FDA received 14,773 reports of psychiatric drugs causing homicidal ideation and homicide, mania and aggression.

Lawmakers Focus on Overdrugging

Psychopharmaceutical drugging is a key factor in the high rate of suicidesSen-Sanders-calls-VA-reps-on-outpoints among military veterans, experts told United States Senators in November 2014.

Responding to the testimony of a panel of experts, in addition to written testimony submitted by Citizens Commission on Human Rights, members of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee focused on the issue of overdrugging more than in any past hearings.

Chaired by Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont, the committee heard from Susan Selke, mother of Marine Clay Hunt who took his own life at age 28 in 2011 after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Complaining of feeling depressed, VA doctors put him on a cocktail of psychotropic drugs and then piled on more prescriptions each time he reported adverse effects, Selke said.

CCHR-Comm-Linda-LagemannCCHR representative Linda Lagemann (left) and Susan Selke after Selke testified about her Marine son’s suicide while he was on a cocktail of psychotropics.

Selke said her son said more than once, “I’m a guinea pig for drugs. They’ll put me on one thing, I’ll have side effects, and then they put me on something else.” The ending was Hunt’s tragic suicide.

Others testifying included the mother of another suicide victim, a retired Marine, with the Wounded Warrior Project, and the executive director of Team Red, White and Blue. Both veteran support organizations focus on alternatives to psychotropic drugging of veterans. More

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