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Study: Military Must Address Substance Abuse as “Public Health Crisis”

Monday, September 17th, 2012

flag military hat medalsA new study says that substance abuse in the military is a “public health crisis,” and the military must acknowledge and address the problem more effectively. The report shows that military caregivers have dramatically increased the number of prescriptions they hand out—from less than a million prescriptions in 2001, when the Afghanistan War began, to nearly 5 million last year. Opiate pain medication abuse increased from 2% to 11% from 2005 to 2008. One in four Army soldiers admitted to abusing prescription drugs and 60 percent of Marines admitted to binge drinking. The panel recommended that the military crack down on underage drinking, reduce alcohol access, and improve outdated treatment methods. The Pentagon has promised to review the report’s findings and recommendations and address areas that need improvement. Dennis McCarty, an expert who served on the panel, said of the military,”I think they’re ready to acknowledge that they can do better.”

Source: USA Today Study: Military needs to better address drug, alcohol abuse by troops

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