Substance Abuse in the Military
Substance abuse, whether it be alcohol or drug abuse, has proven to be extremely detrimental to the well being of a competent and professional military. It undermines the extremely unique standards of readiness and disciple that makes our fighting force the most professional around the globe. This paper will explore the possible reasons that substance abuse is a wide spread problem, including the combat related stress affecting today's military. The research will highlight the potential causes of substance abuse by our nation’s service members and examine policies and programs that the Department of Defense currently have in place to help overcome these issues. This information will show that the military is taking steps in the right direction to ensure that service members are becoming better prepared to combat substance abuse.
It may be surprising to find out that nearly two-thirds of the United States population over 14 years of age consumes alcohol. Although the majority of these people drink responsibly, many abuse or even become dependent on alcohol. Unfortunately, heavy drinking has nearly always been associated with military service, hence the term “drink like a sailor.” This is a stigma that the U.S. Armed Forces is taking drastic measures to change. Alcohol abuse and drug use is completely inconsistent with maintaining good or and discipline, combat readiness, and the overall physical and mental well being of the military force. The Department of Defense has taken massive steps within the past decade to educate its service members about the effects that substance abuse has on their health, safety, and overall well being. Many leaders in today’s military have personally experienced how detrimental the affects of this problem can be. The majority of disciplinary problems that they...