So I just read this article over at the NY Times.
According to data not reported on until now, the military evidently responded to stress that afflicts soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan primarily by drugging soldiers on the front lines. Data that I have obtained directly from Tricare Management Activity, the division of the Department of Defense that manages health care services for the military, shows that there has been a giant, 682 percent increase in the number of psychoactive drugs — antipsychotics, sedatives, stimulants and mood stabilizers — prescribed to our troops between 2005 and 2011. That’s right. A nearly 700 percent increase — despite a steady reduction in combat troop levels since 2008.
So basically it appears to be commonplace that the military is using the wrong treatments to "help" soldiers and it's not like these soldiers are off duty.
Note that the military uses antipsychotic drugs to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, even though there is but weak evidence that these drugs effectively treat it. A recent randomized, controlled clinical trial involving nearly 300 veterans found that the antipsychotic risperidone was no better than a placebo as an adjunct in treating PTSD. Yet in 2007, PTSD was the most common off-label diagnosis for those, within the Department of Veterans Affairs, treated with psychoactive medications.
I'm honestly speechless and appalled in how the military thinks that it is ok to handle a delicate matter with what is essentially a fucking sledgehammer in some sick attempt to fast track "recovery". Antidepressants are the usual candidates to help cases of PTSD and depression but the effects are not instantaneous when compared to something like an anti-psychotic (which are not known to be effective forms of treatment for any of these cases) and then there's the need for therapy which I'm sure would just get in the way and prolong a "speedy recovery"...ugh. The article even mentions that anti-psychotics have been used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and aggression. Just...what?
To think that someone is ok having troops drugged up and be more at risk on the battlefield with less than optimal fine motor skills, dull nerves and emotions is well...I don't even know. Also these drugs can be addictive and cause withdrawal symptoms which will only lead to damaging consequences in the long run. Way to take good care of our soldiers.