This week’s issue of Time has a cover story called America’s Medicated Army, about the increasing use of antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs among U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The article quotes figures from a recent report by the Army’s Mental Health Advisory Team, according to which, 12% of troops in Iraq, and 18% of those in Afghanistan, have been prescribed these medications (that is, approximately 20,000 of the total number of troops deployed).
A study of British troops published last year showed that the longer troops are deployed, the more likely they are to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and to have severe alcohol problems.
Even so, troops are being prescribed these medications so that they can remain deployed for their full tour of duty. In this way, the U.S. military – which is already stretched to breaking point – can save money that would otherwise be spent on training and troop rotations.
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