The Prevalence of Substance Abuse in the Military

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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. Call our toll-free number today to learn more about addiction treatment options for military substance abuse, or any type of addiction.

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This is a subject that hits pretty close to home. I think that this is a very huge problem that something way more effective needs to be done to handle. I have many friends who either were in or who are in the military, and it tears me up to see what is being done to the military. They are very prone to getting injured, and so that accounts for the large amount of prescription drugs that are abused, as they are put on them cause they need it and then they get hooked ont hem and cannot get off of them, as they are constantly being given them. This is also not accounting for the psychiatric drugs that are even worse that are handed out like PEZ candies to the people in the military. I am also aware that people who are pilots for example, have to fly super long missions and use amphetamines or speed in order to stay awake for the long hours. While I can see that they need to fly these long missions, there has to be a better solution to them doing this. As personally, I would not want to put people onto a plane with a pilot that was on drugs. PTSD is a serious condition as they are putting themselves into very stressful situations and this can be difficult to cope with. It is heartbreaking to also hear about the statistics of soldier who kill themselves on a daily basis. I cannot look at this statistic and not think that the amount of drugs that are given to them have something to do with this. It is interesting to see how that works. There are an average of 22 soldiers a day that take their own lives. This is something that needs to be faced. I mean these are people that choose to go and protect our country, and then when they come home they are not given the support that is needed in order to get them off of drugs if they are on them, they are either given different ones or given more of the same ones. This does not lead to a handling of the problem that we are faced with. I also think that the stress of the job is what leads people to use drugs, and while I am not aware of what the handling for them is in terms of reducing the stress as going to war is just that…going to war. But that does not mean that there can’t be more done in order to support them when they come back from the front lines. Another thing that makes this even more heartbreaking is that I hear that there is going to be more money put into psychiatric help for the military personnel and to me that just means more drugs with will only perpetuate the problem. I would like to see a facility like this one set up for just the military to make use of. I think that would go a long way to improving the situation.

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