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Military drug abuse and Military addiction problems

Although drug and alcohol addiction affect people in many different careers, when a service person is dealing with addiction, it can be a very special case because of the co-occurring disorders such as post traimatic syndrome.

Substance abuse is a concern for all branches of the military. In addition, alcohol abuse is a prevalent problem in all branches of the military. Soldiers and other military personnel who are dealing with alcohol problems are at an increased risk for related harmful behaviors (such as drinking and driving and using illegal drugs).

Drugs and alcohol addiction can be especially troublesome for military personnel. Drugs can slow reaction times and using while on the battlefield or in a training situation can be deadly. In the extreme, they can result in a soldier’s own death or death of another. Being on drugs or detoxing from drugs during these intense situations can impair a soldier’s judgment and lead to injury or death. Addiction can also create the wrong kind of environment. The military thrives on the chain of command that goes along with that. Drug use and alcohol addiction can disrupt the proper order and make it impossible for the military unit to function properly. Upon arriving home military personnel may develop drug addictions or abuse and alcoholism because of the pain experienced from injuries or mental wounds that are often releived with substance abuse that becomes more of a problem in itself as thy continue to rely on the numbing effects of the abuse. Post Traumatic Syndrome often carries unbearable weight that often goes unaddressed as they transition into civilian life. A good rehab facility that specializes in these areas of co-occurring disorders can effectively treat these patriots who deserve our help and gratefulness for their unbelieveable sacrifices for our nation. We at Challenges Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center in Florida offer the best environment and staff of professionals for recovery.

Despite these consequences, military addiction is on the rise. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse:

  • Prescription drug addiction doubled among U.S. military personnel from 2002 to 2005 and then almost tripled between 2005 and 2008.
  • Since 1999, over 17,000 people have been discharged from the military because of drug addiction.
  • During the same time period, failed drug tests have increased in the U.S. Air force by 82% and in the U.S. Army by 37%.

There are several reasons why drug and alcohol abuse have become so prevalent in the military:

Stress – Soldiers who are serving in the current ongoing conflicts are constantly under fire from insurgents. This state of being wears even the strongest person down and leaves them looking for an outlet. Once a soldier comes home, they make seek out drugs as a way to self-treat their post traumatic stress disorder.

Downtime and Boredom – When soldiers are on duty, they may have intense periods of stress followed by days or weeks of downtime. Although soldiers are still on duty during this downtime, the boredom can make them seek out entertainment through drugs or alcohol.

Access – There is a “zero tolerance” policy in the military, but soldiers can get drugs from friends or family members who ship them overseas. Soldiers who are coming back after being on duty can also bring drugs back into service.

Even after a soldier comes home, they may use drugs or alcohol to deal with the transition of being back with their families and away from combat.

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