Cardin urges probe into use of antidepressants by troops

March 25, 2010

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin called Wednesday for an investigation into possible links between the growing use of antidepressants by members of the military and high rates of suicide among men and women in uniform. The Maryland Democrat, in remarks to a Senate Armed Services subcommittee, said that only "a proper scientific study" can determine whether the Defense Department "is prescribing antidepressants to its service members appropriately." Cardin quoted from the most recent Defense Department statistics, covering 2005 to 2008, showing a 400 percent increase in prescriptions for antidepressants and other drugs used to combat anxiety. The senator called those numbers "disturbing." At the same time, other government figures have reflected a significant increase in suicides among those in uniform. In 2009, there were 160 suicides among active-duty members of the Army, a 15 percent increase over 2008. Cardin called the number of suicides "unprecedented" and asked whether there was a relationship between the use of antidepressants and "the alarming rate of suicides" in the military.

- Paul West

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.