It’s hard for our soldiers, many of whom are even under drinking age, to deal with battlefield stress. Most of these soldiers are still kids in the sense that they’re fresh from high school. On top of that, they grew into early adulthood during our current prescription drug boom. The military, just like the public, is now more prone to medicating soldiers as psychiatric treatment. In Iraq and Afghanistan, however, the current situation has infantry soldiers, usually in the thick of the action, under medication but not receiving any sort of counseling as civilians would. This potentially creates a dangerous mixture of intoxication, high emotions, and firearms. In other words, the effects of such haphazard treatments could blow up into a PR nightmare for the US military.
US Army data shows that about 12% of combat troops in Iraq are under medication and about 17% of those in Afghanistan receive treatment as well. Most troubling, is the negative stigma associated with receiving mental health help, which ultimately may point to these figures being grossly underestimated.