Uh oh. A population trained to solve problems with weapons is being plied with drugs that have been linked to violent psychotic breaks. For related reading, see this list of school shooters and the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors they were on or withdrawing from at the time they committed their acts of mayhem. And bear in mind that many combat veterans go into domestic law enforcement upon their return home.
Use of psychiatric medications among people ages 18 to 34 — mostly active-duty troops and their spouses — is rising at a significantly higher rate than other age groups in the military health care system, according to data newly released to Military Times.
Overall, the number of prescriptions filled for psychiatric medications rose 42 percent from 2005 to 2009 among Tricare beneficiaries in that age group, according to data provided by Tricare Management Activity in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
That compares to an increase of 24 percent among Tricare beneficiaries ages 45 to 64, mostly retirees. For children 17 and younger, the increase was 18 percent.
All the increases outpace overall growth in the Tricare population over the same period.
Anti-depressants like Zoloft, Wellbutrin and Celexa account for slightly more than half of the prescriptions in this age group. But increasingly, young adults in the military and their spouses are turning to other types of psych meds to treat their mental health problems.
Prescriptions for stimulants, including amphetamines and drugs to treat attention-deficit disorders, more than doubled. And claims for anti-psychotics like Seroquel and Abilify nearly doubled from 2005 to 2009 among beneficiaries ages 18 to 34, the Tricare data show. Seroquel is often used to treat nightmares and sleeping problems related to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Read more at Navy Times.