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Substance Abuse in the Armed Forces

SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN THE ARMED FORCES The number of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with drug and alcohol addiction is staggering. In 2011 alone, 1 in 10 veterans was diagnosed with alcoholism, and 1 in 20 had a drug abuse disorder. This infographic outlines statistics on substance abuse in the armed forces, emphasizing information specific to each military branch and the connection between substance abuse and the rise of mental health disorders, incarceration, and homelessness among veterans. The following results were found in the 2011 Department of Defense Health Related Behaviors Survey of Active Duty Military Personnel: MARINES NAVY ARMY AIR FORCE ALCOHOL BINGE DRINKING (Past 30 days) 48.6 36.1% 31.8% 22.9 PRESCRIPTION STIMULANTS used to "get buzzed" 2.3% N/A 5.5% 3% Likelihood of SEEKING ALCOHOL TREATMENT 1.1% 1.3% .9% next 6 months PRESCRIPTION DRUG MISUSE (Past 12 months) 1.4% 1.2% 1.7 .6% While MALE VETERANS are more likely to binge drink... FEMALE VETERANS are more likely to abuse prescription drugs. WHY VETERANS ARE PRONE TO ALCOHOL ABUSE 63% of veterans with combat experience are MORE LIKELY TO DRINK EXCESSIVELY. 2 OUT OF 10 VETERANS WITH PTSD ALSO HAVE A SUBSTANCE ABUSE DISORDER. PTSD ALMOST 1 OUT OF EVERY 3 VETERANS SEEKING HELP FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE ALSO HAS PTSD. WHEN DOES THE SUBSTANCE ABUSE START? 2008 For some service members, substance abuse begins while on active duty. A recent federal study reported that BINGE DRINKING AMONG ACTIVE DUTY MEMBERS JUMPED BY 34% ↑ 34% FROM 1998 TO 2008. 1998 SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that almost 22 PERCENT OF 22% OEF/OIF VETERANS WITH PTSD also have a substance abuse disorder. OEF/OIF veterans diagnosed with mental health disorders through VA health care are more likely to receive prescription opioid medications related to pain than those with no mental health conditions, leading to INCREASED RISK OF PRESCRIPTION 60% OF OIF/OEF VETERANS SEEN 60% FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT through the VA had coexisting mental disorders. DRUG ABUSE. SUBSTANCE ABUSE COMPOUNDS AND PERPETUATES THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS AMONG RETURNING VETERANS... 30% It was a contributing factor ..... to 30% OF ARMY SUICIDES <... RIP from 2003 to 2009 and 45% OF NON-FATAL 45% SUICIDE ATTEMPTS between 2005 and 2009. MARINE CORPS CRISIS The research on substance abuse by military branch clearly shows that Marine Corps service members and veterans have a higher risk of developing a substance abuse disorder. The Marine Corps prides itself on being the toughest and strongest branch of the military. As a result, Marines returning from Iraq and Afghanistan do not seek help for fear of appearing weak. ONLY 1 IN 3 MARINES DIAGNOSED WITH PTSD AND RELATED SUBSTANCE ABUSE SOUGHT TREATMENT.. 50% 50% OF MARINES IN IRAQ who tested positive for mental health problems feared being seen as weak by seeking help for mental health, to include substance abuse treatment. ALCOHOL WAS RIP RIP RIP RIP INVOLVED IN 5 OUT RIP RIP RIP OF THE 7 OFF-DUTY MARINE CORPS FA- TALITIES IN 2011. CONSEQUENCES OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN THE ARMED FORCES The Navy recently released court martial records revealing a high number of substance abuse and sexual assault-related charges. 200 CASES REVEALED 15 CASES OF WRONGFUL USE OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE BY NAVY PERSONNEL. The VA reports that approximately 70% OF HOMELESS VETERANS In 2004, approximately 140,000 VETERANS WERE IN U.S. STATE 70% IN THE U.S. SUFFER from some type of substance abuse AND FEDERAL PRISONS, with substance abuse being the greatest contributing factor. disorder. In 2007, 33% OF TROOPS CONVICTED OF CRIMINAL ACTS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN committed their crimes while under the 33% influence of a controlled substance. ALCOHOLISM AND THE ARMED FORCES ALCOHOLISM IS THE MOST PREVALENT AND DEVASTATING FORM OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE for returning veterans. Approximately 1 in 3 returning Army soldiers meets the criteria for alcohol abuse. A STUDY OF A SAMPLE OF RETURNING IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN VETERANS SHOWS THAT: 40% tested positive for hazardous drinking. According to The American Journal of Preventative Medicine, ALMOST HALF OF ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY 22% percent screened positive for alcohol abuse. SERVICE MEMBERS REPORTED BINGE DRINKING within the last month... LESS THAN ONE THIRD of and 20% REPORTED DRINKING those who tested positive for hazardous drinking received risk reduction counseling from the VA medical center. HEAVILY. SOURCES: http://www.drugabuse gov/publications/topics-in-brief/substance-abuse among-military-veterans-their-families 0.pdf 3791325.html veterans.asp RehabHotline ANON-PROFIT REHAB REFERRAL & PLACEMENT SERVICE ......... .......................

Substance Abuse in the Armed Forces

shared by ajbanks303 on Jan 12
Members of our armed forces, particularly those who have been deployed in warzones, deal with many issues beyond the battlefield. Many suffer from severe post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) brought ...


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