Substance abuse among Veterans

Taniya Trull/4th Period


Veterans heavy alcohol and tobacco use and prescription drug abuse are prevailing and on the rise.Stresses of deployment during wartime and the culture of the military account for some of the differences (


Those with multiple deployments and combat exposure are at greatest risk of developing substance use problems (


Just 2.3 percent of military personnel were past-month users of an illicit drug,compared with 12 percent of civilians (
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A policy of zero tolerance for drug use among DoD (Department of Defense) personnel is likely one reason why Illicit drug use has remained at a low level in the military for 2 decades (

Ways of addressing the problem of substance use in the military:

  • Increasing the use of evidence-based prevention and treatment interventions and expanding access to care
  • Broadening insurance coverage to include effective outpatient treatments and better equipping healthcare providers to recognize and screen substance use problems (
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