Addiction in the Military


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The soldiers who fight for our freedom have to endure multiple deployments, combat exposure, physical injuries, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and TBI (traumatic brain injury). All of these factors and more can cause addiction in the heroes of our country. Researchers discovered that prescription drug abuse grew three times as common in the US military in 2008 compared to 2005. Alcoholism is possibly the most common form of addiction in the military. In fact, some soldiers will report their concern for their alcohol consumption, but very few of them will actually receive help or be referred to any kind of treatment. There is no doubt that we need to improve help accessibility in the army, especially for service members returning from combat as they are twice as likely to become addicted.

 

Mental illness is another concern for the people of the military. Studies show that 20% of active soldiers and 42% of returned soldiers receive mental treatment for diseases or disabilities. Drug and alcohol use was involved in 30% of suicides from 2005-2009, and it was involved in 45% suicide attempts that were not successful.

 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is supporting research groups to help find ways to address the social and mental issues with veterans and soldiers. They have attached sensors to the individual that measures stress levels real-time in response to environmental triggers and situations. They are working on granting soldiers and veterans more open and free access to addiction treatment, mental illnesses, and interventions. In 2010, the NIDA gave 6 million dollars to 14 investigators to study the issues with medical problems in the army. The projects are exploring the different therapies for diseases like depression and addiction, in addition to measuring the effectiveness of various intervention tactics and early intervention. They are also judging the rates of smokers in returning soldiers.

 

There is no doubt that we need to help protect the people who are serving our country by sacrificing their lives, time, and families. They are fighting for us, and we need to fight for them in return. There needs to be easy access to help for addiction and mental disabilities for both veterans and soldiers. Everyone deserves help.

 

If you or a loved one have an addiction, contact Hired Power for help figuring out how to deal with your recovery. No one needs to go through addiction alone, and Hired Power is here to guide you through every step.

Call 800-910-9299 for more information on how to begin the process of recovery.