Soldiers still suffer from drug addictions or dependencies post-battle

Friday, March 23, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: soldiers, drug addiction, Afghanistan

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
GMO crops totally banned in Russia... powerful nation blocks Monsanto's agricultural imperialism and mass poisoning of the population
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Holistic cancer treatment pioneer Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez dies suddenly; patients mourn the loss of a compassionate, innovative doctor who helped thousands heal from cancer
Pepsi drops aspartame from diet soda as consumers reject toxic sweetener
Bride of Frankenfood: Hillary Clinton pushes GMO agenda... hires Monsanto lobbyist... takes huge dollars from Monsanto
STATINS RED ALERT: Widely prescribed drugs act as cellular poisons that accelerate aging... deactivate DNA repair... promote diabetes, muscle fatigue and memory loss
Wild eyes and bowl cuts: Why do mass shooters always share the same hair styles and crazed zombie stares?
Mind control through emotional domination: How we're all being manipulated by the "crisis of the NOW"
(NaturalNews) It was a report that shocked most Americans: A senior noncommissioned officer walked out of his base in southern Afghanistan well before dawn, armed with his M-4 carbine and a mind full of ill-intent. Before the sun rose, 16 Afghan civilians, many of them women and children, lay dead in a nearby village, leaving elected leaders, the soldier's commanders, friends and fellow service members, the civilians he enlisted to serve, and his own family grieving and searching for answers.

What could cause Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, a husband and family man who has been praised by commanders and fellow soldiers alike, go so completely off the deep end? Increasingly, it's looking like a host of issues, including money problems, legal woes and trouble at home, are at least partially responsible.

But there is another element that can't be discounted, and it's one that is difficult to measure in tangible terms: How much of an influence did battle stress have on Bales, who was on his fourth deployment in just over 10 years?

Having served a combat tour in Afghanistan, where I was exposed often enough to improvised explosive devices and small-arms fire, one year-long tour is stressful enough for most people. So to me, it is understandable that, for the past several years, larger numbers of returning veterans have experienced mental health problems and issues with drug and alcohol abuse.

That said, experts are only just now beginning to link such aberrant behavior among some vets to the amplified operational tempo that Bales and scores of other military personnel have endured over more than a decade of war. That's not an excuse for Bales' heinous act, mind you - only one possible explanation.

The Army sees it

The good news is that the military is beginning to recognize it has a problem. In 2010, the U.S. Army released a 15-month study examining the service branch's worsening suicide rate. What researchers found was alarming.

"Equivocal deaths, deaths by drug toxicity, accidental deaths, attempted suicides and drug overdoses are reducing the ranks and negatively effecting [sic] the Army's ability to engage in contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan," said the 350-page report, entitled Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention. The report defined equivocal deaths as those where natural causes, suicide, homicide, or accident could not be distinguished. "No one could have foreseen the impact of nine years of war on our leaders and soldiers," the report said.

A separate study in 2011 revealed more troubling news. Researchers surveyed more than 600 personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and found that http://health.usnews.com.

Gaining attention

In April 2011, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) also began focusing on the rising incidences of substance abuse among returning vets.

"While the 2008 Department of Defense Health Behavior Survey reveals general reductions over time in tobacco use and illicit drug use, it reported increases in other areas, such as prescription drug abuse and heavy alcohol use," the NIDA said. "In fact, prescription drug abuse doubled among U.S. military personnel from 2002 to 2005 and almost tripled between 2005 and 2008."

Abuse of alcohol "is the most prevalent problem and one which poses a significant health risk," the group said. It found that soldiers interviewed three to four months after returning home from combat zones in Iraq "showed that 27 percent met criteria for alcohol abuse and were at increased risk for related harmful behaviors (e.g., drinking and driving, using illicit drugs)."

Again, mental health issues were a rising concern:

In another study of returning soldiers, clinicians identified 20 percent of active and 42 percent of reserve component soldiers as requiring mental health treatment. Drug or alcohol use frequently accompanies mental health problems and was involved in 30 percent of the Army's suicide deaths from 2003 to 2009 and in more than 45 percent of non-fatal suicide attempts from 2005 to 2009.

Research into the problem is ongoing, NIDA said. Currently, The Millennium Cohort Study -- the largest prospective study in military history -- is following a representative sample of U.S. military personnel from 2001 to 2022. Preliminary results have already identified that, especially among Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers who "deploy with repeated combat exposures" are at "increased risk of new-onset heavy weekly drinking, binge drinking, and other alcohol-related problems."

The war in Iraq may be over for U.S. troops and the conflict in Afghanistan winding down, but it's already become obvious that a decade of conflict, coupled with multiple deployments to combat zones will continue to take a toll on hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines for years to come.

Sources for this article include:





Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Soldiers at FETCH.news
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.