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CCHR Florida Celebrates Purple Heart Day and Calls for an Investigation into the Psychotropic Drugging of Veterans

CLEARWATER, Fla., Aug. 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Florida chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a non-profit mental health watchdog established by the Church of Scientology in 1969, honored veterans and Purple Heart recipients at the historic Fort Harrison in downtown Clearwater on the 5th of August in commemoration of Purple Heart Day.  The ceremony included personal testimonies by a veteran and a family member of veterans and a subsequent call by CCHR Florida President for an investigation into the psychotropic drugging of veterans.

/EIN News/ -- Hundreds of area residents joined active duty military, veterans and veterans groups for the Purple Heart Day event where speakers emphasized the need for alternative treatments and drew attention to the negative effects of psychotropic drugging of American soldiers.

According to statistics released by the Pentagon, suicide—not combat—is the leading killer of U.S. troops deployed to the Middle Easti and experts such as Dr. Bart Billings, a retired Colonel and Medical Service Corps Officer in the U.S. Army, feels there is a direct relationship between a surge of prescriptions since 2005 and the gradual increase, to this day, of suicides in the military.ii

Speaking at the event psychologist Dr. Candice Steward-Sabin, who over the years has shifted her philosophy from a traditional treatment approach of medication, emphasized the need for alternative treatments that provide a unique approach to veterans' individualized situations and stressed the positive outcomes of holistic programs.

“I have utilized many of these (holistic) approaches with veterans and I have seen significant reductions in anxiety, management of stress, and overall improved quality of life,” stated Dr. Steward-Sabin.

As evidenced by the U.S. Department of Defense increasing its prescriptions of psychiatric drugs by nearly seven times from 2005 to 2011 while the suicide rate among veterans has surged 35 percent since 2001iii , psychiatric drugs are not the answer with more active duty servicemen and women having committed suicide in 2012 than died in combat.iv

Speaking on behalf of CCHR, the President of the Florida chapter, Diane Stein, pointed out that an over-reliance on pharmaceutical-based solutions has created an environment ripe for abuse, and that those doing the abusing are often also the ones charged with their own oversight.

“The weight of this abuse falls not on the abusers, but on the veterans themselves, on their families and on the groups who are diligently working to help veterans recover from past traumatic experiences,” said Stein.  “The connection between the drugging of our veterans and their suicide rates must be investigated.”

CCHR:
Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHR’s mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. It was L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, who brought the terror of psychiatric imprisonment to the notice of the world.  In March 1969, he said, “Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the ‘free world’ tortured, castrated, killed.  All in the name of ‘mental health.’”  For more information please visit www.cchrflorida.org

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i “Suicide kills more U.S. troops than ISIL in Middle East,” USA Today, 29 Dec. 2016, 
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/12/29/suicide-kills-more-us-troops-than-isil-middle-east/95961038/ 

ii Army Psychologist: ‘Direct Correlation’ Between Military Suicides, Psychiatric Meds
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/army-psychologist-direct-correlation-between-military-suicides 

iii Suicide Rate Among Veterans Has Risen Sharply Since 2001
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/08/us/suicide-rate-among-veterans-has-risen-sharply-since-2001.html 

iv More U.S. Troops Died by Suicide Than in Afghanistan Combat in 2012
 http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military-jan-june13-suicides_01-15/ 

Media Contact:
Diane Stein
President, CCHR Florida
727-442-8820
diane@cchrflorida.org
www.cchrflorida.org

Distribution channels: Culture, Society & Lifestyle