Use of prescription psychotropics has skyrocketed among U.S. military personnel in recent years, according to an investigation by Military Times.
At least 17 percent of active-duty military personnel are currently taking an antidepressant, including as many as 6 percent of all deployed troops. In contrast, the rate of antidepressant use in the wider U.S. public is only 10 percent.
The numbers are probably higher than estimated, since troops are also known to share and trade prescription drugs with each other, even while in combat zones.
Data obtained from the Defense Logistics Agency show that overall use of psychiatric drugs increased by 76 percent between 2001 and 2009. More specifically, use of anti-seizure drugs increased 70 percent, use of sedatives and anxiety drugs increased 170 percent, and antipsychotic use increased 200 percent.
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