Suicides among our military troops and veterans have now crested the peak and surpassed death by combat. The tragic statistic released by the Pentagon is that more than one soldier per day commits suicide.
Instead of trying to figure out what is sending our men and women to the depths of this black despair, the military has funded research for the development of a drug that goes directly to the brain to deaden the soldiers’ emotions.
The Army Times reports:
An Indiana University School of Medicine scientist has been awarded $3 million to develop a nasal spray intended to combat suicidal thoughts among soldiers.
The Army awarded the research grant to Michael Kubek, associate professor of anatomy and cell biology and of neurobiology. He works with thyrotropin-releasing hormone, or TRH, a neurochemical he helped discover in the human brain.
IU said TRH is known to have antidepressant and anti-suicidal effects, but it isn’t suitable for injection or oral use. So Kubek and other scientists at Purdue and at Hebrew University in Jerusalem are developing a nasal spray designed to deliver appropriate doses of the drug to the brain over time.
Soldiers to do not have the option to refuse medical treatments “offered” by the military. This makes them prime human guinea pigs for medical research without consent. Many veterans have returned from tours with Gulf War Syndrome, caused by pills given to them to allow them to withstand the effects of nerve gas. The veterans remain permanently disabled from the syndrome, with symptoms ranging from neuropathic pain to chronic fatigue to mental confusion and forgetfulness.
The new medication being developed is a hormonal treatment that goes directly to the brain by way of the nasal cavity. Pills and injections do not allow the hormone to cross the blood-brain barier and reach the brain. TRH causes “euphoria and calmness”, instantly stabilizing the mood.
One must wonder whether the euphoria will become addictive, and one must also ask if this is just the latest step in turning our military into emotionless “super soldiers” who follow even the most questionable orders without remorse or hesitation. Is this instant treatment worth the risk of a potential chemically induced lobotomy through an untested drug?
This immediate relief may sound like a godsend to those suffering from debilitating depression, but larger ethical questions loom.
- Will a drug like this stifle the conscience of the soldier, allowing him to perform acts without considering the moral and ethical ramifications?
- What about the current military tours has caused this enormous leap in severe depression?
- What are the potential long term effects of sending a chemical directly into the brain?
Instead of providing counseling to these people who have been damaged by their service, the military is offering a bandaid that may create long-term mental and physical health issues through an untested nasal spray. This drug is planned for those in active duty, but what about the soldiers who have returned home? What kind of follow up will they receive? Will they keep snorting the happy juice or will they be nurtured with real mental health care?
If the current method of “helping” veterans is adhered to, mental health assistance is not in the cards.
According to the website TheWe too many soldiers are coming home with severe PTSD and being turned away from the Veterans Administration when they go there for help. The soldiers commit horrific acts in the name of duty, and receive no relief from the country who sent them to do these things.
“We told them. We told everybody there was something wrong. Nobody would listen.”
~ the wife of Jared August Hagemann
He was depressed by his wife’s request for a divorce. On a second deployment in Iraq, he was caught putting a gun in his mouth and evacuated on suicide watch to Germany. There, he tried to overdose on pills. He was flown back to his home base here in Washington state. After a brief psychiatric evaluation, he was left alone in his room. He hanged himself with a cord in his closet.
~ the mother of Derrick Kirkland
On July, 6, 2010, Glenda Moss received this text message from Hale, her son: “i love u mom im so sorry i hope u and the family and god can forgive me.” Her son had tried to kill himself in May. She feared he might try again. She immediately called the Army and then drove the 90 minutes from her home in King, Texas, to the base. It was too late. Hale had walked into a restaurant across Highway 190 from Fort Hood, asked to use the bathroom, locked the door and shot himself in the head with a newly purchased handgun, according to a police report. He was removed from life support a few days later. Moss knew her son was very troubled. When his second combat tour to Iraq ended in 2007 after 15 months, he was diagnosed with PTSD and severe depression, began drinking heavily, saw his marriage disintegrate and, finally, left the base without permission last year. He was brought back to Fort Hood in May after being taken into custody by police in King for being absent without leave, his mother said. He attempted suicide in his barracks that month. The Army sent him to a psychiatric hospital in Denton, Texas. Army doctors told him “we don’t have enough people here (at Fort Hood) to help you,” his mother recalls….
~ the mother of Douglas Hale
The Department of Defense sends these young people to terrible places to perform terrible acts. They return home and have to fight the Veterans Administration for every penny they are due and for sub-standard health care. Many of them attempt suicide repeatedly before they succeed.
Does the VA really care?
After all, dead veterans do not use up VA financial resources, do they?
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