Tuesday, April 10, 2012

An Army Under the Influence

"The pharmacy consultant for the Army surgeon general says the military's use of the drugs is comparable to that in the civilian world. "It's not that we're using them more frequently or any differently," said Col. Carol Labadie. "As with any medication, you have to look at weighing the risk versus the benefits of somebody going on a medication."
The first problem that comes to mind with the Colonel's justification is the army is comprised of young healthy men. This is not a demographic that should be compared to the civilian population at large. Young healthy people don't need the medications for stress or anything else that their older counterparts might.

The second thing is this. During Viet Nam illegal drug abuse was rampant. Heroin was extremely cheap and extremely available. Many used it to cope with the stress. The same must be true in Afghanistan today where a single dose of the drug costs 20 cents. Although we don't hear about it, I would imagine in addition to the awful prescription drug abuse, there's a good bit of illegal substance abuse as well.

What's your opinion?  Is the military keeping these things under wraps? Are they not only using our young men as cannon fodder but drugging them along the way?  Would this account for some of the terrible reports of high suicide rates?

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. The root of the problem is these kids joining the military in the first place. But who can blame them. They go through the government indoctrination camps for 12 years getting their heads filled with nationalistic bullshit and phony history explaining how America spreads democracy with peace bombs and saved the world in WWII by dropping atomic bombs on civilian populations, and all the rest of that crap. The schools leave out the military penchant for massacres of innocent people.
    Between the Pledge of Allegiance and flags flying everywhere, video games, tv shows glorifying war and all the fun it is shooting stuff up, is it any wonder these kids do the stupid thing of joining up with the butcher brigade.
    I have no sympathy for these people, if they want to kill themselves, let 'em. If drugs speed up the process, good. Better they kill themselves than somebody else.
    orlin selleres

    1. I agree with you except for the no pity part.

  2. I think the problem is the multiple tours of combat duty that service members are put through. I think that compulsory service would spread the burden and keep the multi year tours from happening.

    1. I suppose you're right, but who could support another draft? I couldn't.

    2. I'm not talking about a draft..I'm talking about what S Korea, and Israel do..Mandatory service for all. As with the IDF there are, of course, exceptions.


  3. One of the reasons that we have so many military personnel with drug and emotional problems, imo, is that a large percentage of the enlistees come from the margins of society. This has been true since the Vietnam war, at least.

    The well educated youth from more privileged backgrounds don't, as a rule, enlist in the military. Consequently, a lot of young people without another avenue for funding an education or, even, having a decent job (due to their lack of education and job skills) are the ones stepping up to the plate. In a "perfect" world, they would simply do their jobs and then die. Things get messy when they come home with more problems than they left with.

    orlin sellers be hatin' on teh military. I wonder if that's because they turned him down or if it's because he became allergic to jingoism after the 2008 election.