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Substance Abuse in the Military

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Military
Wordcount: 1484 words Published: 18th May 2020

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The reason for this expository essay is to address a portion of the numerous issues that the Military veterans have faced with the back to back deployments to combat zones. A portion of the issues that the veterans have confronted have brought about substance use and substance abuse. During the fragment of this essay, a short foundation of military, exploitative conduct, how arrangements have prompted substance use and abuse, how organizations influence soldier’s availability, and contradicting perspectives will be tended to.

Substance Abuse in Military


 The Military is the world’s chief battling power that is intended to serve, ensure, and protect the American individuals and constitution of the US. The Military’s wide scope of powers and abilities has made it effective when battling the War on Terrorism. It has likewise been fruitful in supporting the US worldwide responsibilities and building a successful global alliance. “The Military backings global activities that mirror the US long-standing administration of responsibility toward the North Atlantic Settlement Association and numerous different partners (R. 2017)”. The Military backings different nations and partners to include: South Korea, Japan, and Europe. Although the military is the security that ensure the land and natives of the US, there are some dishonest issues that service members experience from over the years.

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     There has been a rising concern of the how deployments effect soldiers before, during and after returning from a combat zone. Studies have demonstrated that many of the criminal offenses made by military veterans are connected to side effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Other behavioral issues from military veterans were an aftereffect of alcohol abuse and introduction to combat.  Per Hourani (2017), substance use, particularly unlawful medication use, and psychological wellness issues were significant associations of the criminal and forceful conduct, as were more youthful age, male sex, high impulsivity and work/family stress. “A background marked by tyke misuse and battle introduction appeared to be an animate the impacts of unscrupulous conduct through increments in substance and psychological wellness issues” (Hourani, 2017).

Deployments affect Soldier Readiness

 Majority of the combat-related injuries and strains are a result of carrying heavy equipment during multiple deployments.  Those injuries and strains played a significant role in the increase in the misuse of prescription and illicit drugs (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2016).  Many Soldiers use stimulants as means of enhancing alertness during patrols or night time duty (Lampert, 2016).  Some Soldiers have a hard time dealing with the military’s lifestyle and fail to adapt to the military’s standards and policies.  There are a lot of young Soldiers that result in the use of drugs to be separated from the military.  Every Soldier is aware of the military’s zero tolerance for illegal drugs and knows that they are guaranteed to be discharged from military services (Military consultant, 2017). 

The research conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse provided insight on how members of the Armed Forces substance abuse are on the rise.  Stresses of deployment during wartime and the unique culture of the military, account for some of the heavy alcohol and tobacco use (Abuse, 2013).  Reasons for problems is because most military personnel that have substance abuse issues lack confidentiality that deters many who need treatment from seeking it (Abuse, 2013).  The research in this article also suggested that those with multiple deployments and combat exposure are at significant risk of developing substance use problems (Abuse, 2013).  These individuals are more than likely to engage in new-onset heavy weekly drinking and binge drinking to suffer alcohol and other drug-related problems and to have higher prescribed use of behavioral health medications.  These Soldiers are also more likely to start smoking or relapse to smoking (Abuse, 2013). 

Opposing Views

 There have been many solutions and recommendations acted upon and proposed to counteract the misuse of drugs and prescription medication.  The military has done an outstanding job with helping those with substance abuse problems, by incorporating to evidence-based prevention and treatment inventions and expanding access to care.  Many military veterans recommended that extending insurance coverage to include: effective outpatient treatments and improving the equipment for health care, should be referred to the appropriate facilities to help those with substance abuse problems (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2016).  Fortunately, the military has already reduced the use of prescription medication to six months.  By limiting the use of medicines to six months would help increase the monitoring of Soldiers medications when multiple prescriptions are being used at a time (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2016).

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The military has also incorporated follow up measures to ensure Soldiers are returning to duty in the best physical and mental state of ability.  The military works hand in hand with civilian physicians to deal with Soldiers with drug and alcohol addictions.  Soldiers undergo several types of treatments such as detoxification, behavioral counseling medication, evaluation, treatment programs for mental health issues, and long-term follow up to prevent relapse (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2016).


 Although the U.S military is the fighting force that guards and protects the freedoms and liberties of the citizens and Constitution of the United States, deployments to fight Global War on Terrorism has had significant impacts on military veterans.  Unethical behavior in the military affects Soldier Readiness, before, during, and after deployments.  However; with preventative measures and various mental and behavioral health programs, the Army can be better equipped with treating and caring for the veterans.



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