A controversial drug still being taken by some local Marines and sailors is back in the spotlight in the wake of the massacre of Afghan civilians in Kandahar last month.
In 2003, as Naval Reserve Cmdr. Bill Manofsky was being deployed to Kuwait, he was given a pill — Lariam or Mefloquine — to protect against malaria.
“It was the worst thing that happened in my life,” said Manofsky.
Soon after, he said he started feeling angry.
“I woke up mad and I went to bed mad. It interrupted my ability to do my job,” said Manofsky.
He said he started to hear things and also developed vision and balance problems, along with paranoia.
“I do recall having an extreme paranoia that I was going to wake up in a psychotic rage and do something to my wife,” Manofsky said.
After five months, he stopped taking the pills and checked into Naval Medical Center San Diego. It took more than a year before the most severe symptoms would fade.
“It was a very bad nightmare,” he said.
Manofsky believes he has no doubts what caused it.
Now, there are growing questions about whether the same drug could be tied to Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales and the Kandahar incident — a theory proposed by the Army’s former top psychiatrist.
Days after the shooting, the Pentagon stepped up a widespread review of the drug, but declined to say if Bales had taken it.
That was not the first probe.