Substance abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and the country’s military veterans are no exception to its prevalence. Rates are low amongst active military who face strict zero-tolerance policies and even prosecution for engaging in drug use but once military personnel retire from active duty, the rates of illicit drug use jump. Sadly, nearly 70% of veterans with a substance abuse disorder do not receive any sort of treatment. Veterans and substance abuse is a growing concern as more and more evidence shows a link between military service and drug use.
Why Veteran Substance Abuse Is So Common
There are a number of circumstances unique to military service that contribute to the likelihood of developing a substance abuse problem. While many can be attributed to the stressful conditions of active duty such as deployment or combat exposure and the subsequent PTSD that develops, the causes aren’t limited to this.