In Part 1 of this series, we explored data related to the apparent risks associated with the suicide rate of military personnel with the realization that it's not only trauma from combat that contributes to risk, but also the pharmaceutical load on soldiers and specific problematic medications. What is the total load on America's soldiers? U.S. military members are routinely taking up to 19 prescription medications to enhance performance and reduce stress.The collateral damage is that 20 veterans die by suicide every day in the US, when including current active duty, reserve members, and the National Guard. View the full research report with citations, charts and more detailed information. Part 2 will further examine potential causal pharmaceutical-related factors for military suicides and highlight the non-pharma alternatives proving to mitigate risks.
At first glance, there seemed to be a simple explanation for the increase in suicides: Soldiers were returning from a prolonged, violent war traumatized by their experiences, and some of them took their own lives. While logical, this explanation turned out to be oversimplified. When the Army's Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention Task Force studied cases of suicide, it found that most soldiers who had taken their own lives had deployed only once to Iraq, or not at all, and that deployment-related mental-health troubles didn't necessarily correlate with suicides.