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The Prevalence of Substance Abuse in the Military

The military has a zero tolerance policy for alcohol and drug abuse. However, studies show that military substance abuse is very common. Approximately 2.3 percent of people in the military are using an illicit drug. Illicit drug use is higher among military people who are between the ages of 18 and 25. More than 3.9 percent of military people between the ages of 18 and 25 have used illicit drugs.

Prescription drug abuse is prevalent among military personnel. Studies show that more than 11 percent of military people abuse prescription drugs.  Opioid pain medications are the most commonly abused prescription drug. Additionally, the percentage of military people binge drinking has increased drastically within the past decade. In 2008, 47 percent of military people reported that they have binge drank within the past month. Thirty-five percent of people binge drank in 1998.

Many military men and women drink heavily on a regular basis. Also, thirty percent of military people smoke cigarettes. Clearly, military substance abuse is a major concern among all of the armed forces in the US today.

Why is Military Substance Abuse so Widespread?

Drugs and alcohol are used to cope with the stress of being away from their loved ones.  Stress, loneliness, fear and fatigue are reasons a person decides to use addictive substances.

Military people use drugs and alcohol to cope with boredom. Additionally, mental disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, will result in substance abuse.

Why is it Dangerous for a Person Who is in the Military to Abuse Drugs and Alcohol?

Drug and alcohol abuse can affect a person’s ability to make decisions. The habitual abuse of drugs and alcohol can also lead to health problems. If a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then he or she likely will not be able to perform the job correctly. This can put other people who are in the military unit in danger.

The Importance of Inpatient Rehab for People Who are in the Military

People who are battling an addiction need to seek treatment at an inpatient rehab facility as soon as possible. Inpatient rehab is the best option for overcoming substance abuse. It will not only help people get sober, but it will also help them maintain their sobriety for life.

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