Soldiers on Drugs

Monday, April 09, 2012

The recent high-profile case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the American soldier accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians in a shooting spree, has drawn renewed attention to the question of how the military deals with mental health issues. If Bales was taking psychiatric medication, it would make him hardly unique. Last year more than 100,000 active-duty Army troops had been prescribed antidepressants, narcotics, sedatives, anti-psychotics or anti-anxiety drugs. Bart Billings, a former military psychologist who hosts an annual conference on combat stress, says an over-reliance on medication can have dangerous consequences. However, David Rudd, Director of National Center for Veterans Studies believes that it is important for soldiers to have access to these kinds of drugs.


Bart Billings and David Rudd

Produced by:

Mythili Rao and Jillian Weinberger

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