and yes, terrorists use them too.
For over a century now one of the more popular fatigue solutions has been amphetamines. However, this drug can impair judgment, making the user more aggressive. Ambien has similar side effects. After September 11, 2001 kinder and gentler alertness medications became available. The most effective of these has been Modafinil (sold as Provigil). This stuff is described as "a mood-brightening and memory-enhancing psychostimulant which enhances wakefulness and vigilance." Tests showed that user performance was degraded 15-30 percent, versus 60-100 percent for those who took nothing at all after 24 hours of being awake.
when I was in medical school, they started cutting hours, but we still had weekends on call, meaning only a few hours sleep. A lot of people claimed we worked just as well, and even used studies to prove it. But I remember several times when I was so tired I couldn't walk let alone function.
It was about money: Interns and residents were cheap help.
What stopped it was when Libby Zion died because the residents didn't notice she was on an MAO inhibitor, and gave her a drug that interacted with that old fashioned anti depressant, so she died, and her father got a good lawyer to sue and change the law.
So, will the latest shooting at Fort Hood slow down the use of polypharmacy?
Actually, these drugs cut down the suicide rate, but alas are being used in place of other, more expensive things like talk therapy or cutting back on combat.