A Bill to Explore the Relationship Between Veteran Suicides and Prescription Medication


On September 28, US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) introduced a bill in the Senate titled Veteran Overmedication Prevention Act (S. 3410).  This is a companion bill to HR 4640, Veteran Suicide Prevention Act introduced in the House by Congressman David Jolly (R-FL) earlier this year.  The objective of both bills is to combat suicide deaths by ensuring that accurate information is available on the relationship between suicides and prescription “medication”.  At the present time, 20 US veterans a day are dying by suicide.

In a September 28 press release, Senator McCain is quoted:

“‘Combatting this [suicide] epidemic will require the best research and understanding about the key causes of veteran suicide, including whether overmedication of drugs, such as opioid pain-killers, is a contributing factor in suicide-related deaths. This legislation would authorize an independent review of veterans who died of suicide or a drug overdose over the last five years to ensure doctors develop safe and effective treatment plans for their veteran patients. We have a long way to go to eradicate veteran suicide, but this legislation builds on important efforts to end the tragedy that continues to claim far too many lives far too soon.'”

Clearly in the press release there is an emphasis on opioid pain-killers, but the problem of psychiatric drugs is also addressed in the bill.  The bill mandates

“…a review of the deaths of all covered veterans who died by suicide during the five-year period ending on the date of the enactment of this Act.”

and the review shall include:

“(E) A comprehensive list of prescribed medications and legal or illegal substances as annotated on toxicology reports of covered veterans described in subparagraphs (A) through (C), specifically listing any medications that carried a black box warning, were prescribed for off-label use, were psychotropic, or carried warnings that included suicidal ideation.” [Emphasis added]

The bill clearly covers all psychiatric drugs.

On March 2, 2016, Congressman Jolly issued a press release which contained the following:

“‘It is critical that we understand whether there is any impact of certain psychiatric drugs prescribed for issues like P.T.S.D., depression or traumatic brain injuries, on the decision of a veteran to take their own life,’ Jolly said. ‘With veterans dying by suicide at a heartbreaking rate, we need to take a hard look at all possible factors in order to help prevent these tragedies.’

Specifically, the Veteran Suicide Prevention Act would require the VA to record the total number of veterans who have died by suicide during the past five years, compile a comprehensive list of the medications prescribed to and found in the systems of such veterans at the time of their deaths, and report which Veterans Health Administration facilities have disproportionately high rates of psychiatric drug prescription and suicide among veterans treated at those facilities.  The VA would then be required to submit to Congress a publicly available report on the results of their review, along with their plan of action for improving the safety and well-being of veterans.”

The wording of the House Bill is essentially similar to that of the Senate Bill.


Psychiatric drugs are poisons.  They poison the brains and other organs of those who take them.  In some cases, the adverse effects are slow, often taking years, or even decades, to become obvious.  But in certain cases, the poisoning is rapid and catastrophic.  The facts of this matter have been systematically suppressed by psychiatry, and by their pharmaceutical allies, for decades.

This great lie, this monumental hoax, is the soft underbelly of psychiatry.  And it is on this great lie that their self-serving drug-pushing empire will ultimately crumble.  The bills introduced by Sen. McCain and Rep. Jolly have the potential to begin this process.

I think we can be reasonably certain that at this time, psychiatry and pharma are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to kill these companion bills.  Skids are being greased with ill-gotten largesse; favors are being called in; lawmakers in vulnerable seats are being canvassed by pharma’s check-writers; and so on.  Every effort that money can buy is being used to kill or gut these bills.

So please, if you live in the US, write to your legislators (Senate and House), and ask them to support these bills.

Senate: S 3410 – Veteran Overmedication Prevention Act

House: HR 4640 – Veteran Suicide Prevention Act

Also, please consider writing to Senator McCain and Congressman Jolly, thanking them for this initiative and outlining its importance.


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. What’s really significant here is the ability of potential policies within the DoD and VA to influence wider public policy. I recommend everyone write their congressmen and congresswomen even if you don’t have a connection to the VA or DoD.

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  2. I’ve already written my senator to educate him about how the psychiatric drugs actually create the symptoms of the DSM disorders, but we must be persistent, since the pharmaceutical money does seem to trump the medical truth and the people’s voices. Thanks as alway, Philip.

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  3. My own view is that the idea that veterans come back from a war and are mentally ill, is nonsense.

    What is true is that they have experienced horrible things, and that our government does not want the public to know all of the things which are going on, like:

    1. Atrocities and campaigns of terror on enemy combatants and civilians.
    2. Fragging and friendly fire casualties.
    3. Simply that as it is now, these are unpopular and immoral wars, and most of the people who go are doing so simply because they have few other economic opportunities, so invariably they are already being looked down upon, and they are being taken advantage of.

    So yes, after such service one may well need a time of recuperation. But the more serious issue, which is being called PTSD or Mental Illness, is simply coming to terms with the lies which our society and these wars are being run on.

    I knew a guy from the UK, who had served 15 years in their army and was a sniper and had over 100 confirmed kills. He was said to have PTSD, and they wanted to drug him, but he preferred alcohol. But yes he was extremely jumpy. But I also listened to his stories. He had been on the wrong side in theater after theater. I feel that this was the real issue which made it so hard for him, just the fact that he had been used, not that he had some sort of a disorder.


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  4. True, the VA and the DOD do influence public policy and they particularly have influenced modern medicine as we see it. Many of the ways we are treated in our hospitals began as treatments in war or armed conflict. I think Senator McCain is very brave to introduce this legislation. Thank you.

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  5. To perpetuate an argument that came up after one of Sera Davidson’s posts, I’ll noted that McCain and Jolly are Republicans, as is Charles Grassley, who led the investigation that dislodged pharMercenaries A. Schatzburg (ceased leading an NIH-funded research project at Stanford U.) and C. Nemeroff (left his job as chair of the psychiatry department at Emory U.) from lofty perches. Is this going to become a partisan issue with the smarty-pants Dems on the wrong side of science?

    All three are senators, which puts them in a position to vote against HR2646 and the similar senate bill when they’re up for a vote in the senate. If you write to them, point out a few things that are bad about the bills, and ask them to lobby their pals in the senate to vote against it/them.

    I think it’s important to point out that Tim Murphy, sponsor of HR2646, used falsehoods about Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Aaron Alexis, and Elliot Rodger in promoting the bill.(1) He said they were all cases of untreated mentally ill individuals. They had all been subject to psychiatry or psychiatric drugs. Connecticut won’t spill the beans on Lanza’s drugs,(2) but Holmes’s was Zoloft, Alexis’s was Trazodone, and Elliot’s was a benzodiazepine.

    (1) In Murphy’s words:
    “Untreated serious mental illness in recent acts of mass violence – Adam Lanza (Newtown, CT), James Holmes (Aurora, CO), Jared Loughner (Tucson, AZ), Aaron Alexis (Washington, DC), Elliot Rodger (Santa Barbara, CA) – demands action.”
    Link: https://murphy.house.gov/uploads/MHOnePager2.18.15.pdf

    (2) Connecticut’s assistant attorney general’s incoherent, revealing excuse for denying Able Child access to Lanza’s medical history:
    “No matter how the outcome of the use of antidepressants, or the causal link between the use of antidepressants and the kind of violence that took place in Newton – that’s not a legitimate use [of Adam Lanza’s psychiatric drug use history]. Even if you can conclusively establish that Adam Lanza, that his murderous actions were caused by antidepressants, you can’t from that logically conclude that others would commit the same actions as the result of taking of antidepressants. Not only is the use to which you wish to put the information illegitimate, it is harmful because then you can cause of lot of people to stop taking their medications and cooperating with their testing physicians.”
    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruMLt_PpU28

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  6. Thank you very much for posting this and alerting us about potential legislation in Congress, both the good(such as the bills mentioned in this post) and the bad(such as the “Helping Families” in “Mental Health””Crisis” Act,the quotes are mine,btw). Psychiatry and their pharmaceutical cronies corrupt the Congress, but telling us about these bills would enable us to inform our legislators that there are other perspectives on mental “health” than what the often corrupted corporate lobbyists are telling them.

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  7. I am the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran and I saw the trauma and suffering that my father dealt with after serving in that war. I dare say it does affect the whole family. This is another something we would like to deny. However, it is my opinion that most veterans do not suffer from a “mental illness”. I would also include the family that suffers along side them. What they and their families suffer from is a lack of understanding, a lack of someone who would truly listen to their story and they do have a story to tell all of us. Veterans and especially Vietnam Veterans were highly misrepresented in dramatic media as being crazed maniacs walking around with guns who want to kill people out of rage. Yes, most veterans are very sensitive to loud noises, foods, all kinds of things those who never served in a war could understand. War does change people, no matter whether you were a soldier or a civilian. But, that does not make or cause mental illness amongst the survivors. As in the population who have not gone to war, if any mental illness exists, it is most probably the result of these psychiatric toxins we call “drugs.” In my opinion, veteran or not, most people just need their individual stores heard, validated, and appreciated. This also, in my opinion, includes assisting and affirming people for their unique gifts, intelligences, personalities, etc. We really need to let all people be and do as they were meant to be and do. I would hazard to say that after drugging the veteran, “a toxic, coercive form of ‘put up or shut up’ ” we then try to coerce them into a false job mill or more likely, just let them “go home, do nothing, and watch ‘reality tv’ ” all day. It is a lot easier for us just to drug them, ignore them and forget who they really are and what gifts they have to give back to our country. Of course, veterans are just only one wonderful group of people we do this to. We, now, start at age 0 an continue until they are past six feet under. There has been a lot of coverage of the “angry voter.” What they don’t realize, nor many of the voters, whether outwardly “angry” or not, is that it is this “fundamental disrespect of who they are ” as why they are upset. Thank you.

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