The suicide problem is just the very tip of a much larger iceberg. That one active duty soldier per day is desperate enough to kill himself speaks volumes of the less obvious, but significant, distress experienced by many other soldiers and veterans.
We have to acknowledge that a certain percentage of the population will never be entirely drug-free, and we have to figure out what to do about that. It's costly and regressive to continually respond with arrests, drug courts and incarceration.
Children are learning that success comes not by training, practice and hard work, but by taking shortcuts. We tell young people, "Don't use drugs," but our beliefs and actions encourage them to win at all costs.
A number of doctors like myself in the past year or so have seen a sharp uptick in patients searching for a new doctor because the old doctor no longer wants to treat them. I have come to recognize the telephone call.
The relatively recent epidemic of opium-addiction is now America's fastest growing drug problem. While the consequences of this prescription-driven epidemic may be largely invisible to the general public, it is all too clear to doctors like myself.
More articles like the one in the New York Times are needed to inform parents about the consequences of putting excessive pressure on their kids and readily giving them powerful psychiatric medications to improve their focus and their grades.
Mention Miami this week and the first thing people will talk about is the "zombie" attack. Once the Twitterverse finishes with the jokes, look into the lives of both men and it stops being funny and starts being sad.
The most dangerous drugs may be much closer to home than you think. In fact, they may already be in your home. You may be worried about your teenager's relationship with drugs, but this is probably a good time to start talking to your younger children, too.
Now, more than ever, it's crucial for all of us to inventory whether we have unused and expired medicine in our homes and take immediate, safe steps to dispose of them -- before they end up in the wrong hands.
Mary, a lovely lady in her early 60s, had come to see me, describing her problem as "being sleepy all the time." As an internist practicing addiction medicine for the past 24 years, I have become sensitive to the significance of sleep disturbances and what they might represent.