A recent example is found with the late Senior Airman Anthony Mena, who returned home from Baghdad only to be killed by a toxic cocktail of prescription medications in his apartment in the USA. As the New York Times reports, a toxicologist found eight prescription medications in his blood (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/u...).
In his last months alive, Senior Airman Anthony Mena rarely left home without a backpack filled with medications. Airman Mena died instead in his Albuquerque apartment, on July 21, 2009, five months after leaving the Air Force on a medical discharge. A toxicologist found eight prescription medications in his blood, including three antidepressants, a sedative, a sleeping pill and two potent painkillers.
Yet his death was no suicide, the medical examiner concluded. What killed Airman Mena was not an overdose of any one drug, but the interaction of many. He was 23.
After a decade of treating thousands of wounded troops, the military’s medical system is awash in prescription drugs — and the results have sometimes been deadly.
“I’m not a doctor, but there is something inside that tells me the fewer of these things we prescribe, the better off we’ll be,” Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the vice chief of staff of the Army who has led efforts on suicide, said in an interview.
Re: one Marine, who was prescribed at least five medications, including the antidepressants Prozac and Trazodone, and an anti-anxiety medication. Yet he continued to have headaches, anxiety and vivid nightmares. “He would be hitting the headboard,” said his father, Charles. “He would be saying: ‘Get down! Here they come!’ ” On Jan. 29, 2008, Corporal Endicott was found dead in his room at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where he had checked himself in for anger management after another car accident. He was 26.
I had a PERSONAL EXPERIENCE in my family -- a close cousin, like a kid brother, did NOT do well in Viet Nam, came home to hide out in dempsty dumpsters, aiming an imaginary AK-47 in the middle of the night. His parents had him to three different VA hospitals. He seemed to get better, got married, had two kids, a nice home and good job. And stashed all his pills, took them one weekend in Nov., 1982, and was taken off life support three days later.
He HAD gone to his psychiatrist, who dismissed his concerns, saying "You'll snap out of it Joel, you always do".