Thursday, September 20, 2012

On average, one active duty soldier is committing suicide each day

DSM5 in Distress

The DSM's impact on mental health practice and research
Ten suggested interventions
With understandable urgency, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has made suicide one of his top priorities, instructing commanders at all levels to feel acutely accountable for it. The numbers are startling. On average, one active duty soldier is committing suicide each day, twice the number of combat deaths and twice the civilian rate. Suicides have jumped dramatically since 2005 and increased by 18 percent in just the last year. The DOD and VA are groping for explanations and plans of action—clearly, just commanding the commanders to prevent suicide can't possibly do very much. And sadly, psychiatry has no ready or certain answers, no sure way to predict or prevent suicide. Research in this area has huge methodological problems and is unlikely to bear any low-hanging fruit. So we may have to rely on obvious, common sense suggestions...


My Comments:
This is unconscionable! How do we care for people who defend us? Thank you again, Dr. Frances.

Fighting the Wrong War On Drugs 

Taming the pharmaceutical companies, undercutting the cartels
Since Richard Nixon was President, we have been fighting a drug war we can't possibly win. Meanwhile, we have barely begun to fight a different drug war we couldn't possibly lose.
The losing battle is against illegal drugs. Interdiction has been as big a bust as Prohibition of alcohol in the 1930s. Occasionally arresting a drug kingpin or confiscating a few million of dollars worth of contraband heroin or cocaine makes for a nice headline, but doesn't stop the flow.
The beneficiaries of our war on drugs have been the cartels and the narco-terrorists; the casualties are the failing states they can buy or bully. The Mexican government is fighting what amounts to an undeclared civil war against cartels armed to the teeth and flowing with money -- both from north of the border. We have unwittingly created a terrific business model for the drug dealers and a disaster for the states where they deal.

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