Veterans Kick The Prescription Pill Habit Against Doctors' Orders

“Veterans Kick The Prescription Pill Habit, Against Doctors’ Orders.” By Quil Lawrence, NPR.

For many people with post-traumatic stress disorder, you’ve ever been, at the worst possible moment. “I always see his face,” says Will, who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Army. “And in my dreams it’s the same thing. … I always walk over to him, and instead of this Afghani kid that’s laying there, it’s my little brother.” The memory that triggers Will’s nightmare happened during his tour in Afghanistan.

Troops coming home from war are often prescribed drugs for PTSD and other conditions. Hundreds of thousands of veterans are on opiates for pain, and 1 in 3 veterans polled say they are on 10 different medications. While there is concern about overmedicating and self-medicating โ€” using alcohol or drugs without a doctor’s approval โ€” there are also some veterans who are trying to do the opposite: They’re kicking the drugs, against doctor’s orders.

Dr. Richard Friedman, director of the Psychopharmacology Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College says, “They’re using psych drugs off label โ€” way, way, way off label. Obviously, they are not using them to treat the major disorders for which these drugs are designed.” Friedman researched the military’s use of antipsychotics like Seroquel, and stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin. He says those drugs have no official purpose that fits a combat zone.

More ยป

Be Sociable, Share!

Articles & Posts