Substance Abuse Continues to Be An Issue for Vets
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 4, 2013 - Studies show that substance abuse continues to be an issue for veterans.
According to a new study from the Public Health Institute's Alcohol Research Group, male military vets, with a history of heavy drinking, are seeking treatment in higher numbers than ever before. Many veterans who have sought treatment, report better health and lower instances of depression, when compared to their civilian counterparts.
"There are a number of effective solutions for vets dealing with alcohol or other substance abuse issues," said Tampa veterans attorney David W. Magann.
The study was recently reported at the American Public Health Association's 140th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Calif. The report found that almost 30 percent of veterans below the age of 50 with a history of sustained, heavy alcohol use had pursued treatment for problem drinking, while only 17 percent of civilians with the same level of alcohol consumption did the same. Also, twice as many civilians reported depression than the veterans. The results were part of the 2010 National Alcohol Survey; five or more drinks in one day or evening, at least once a week, defined heavy drinking.
Katherine Karriker-Jaffe, PhD, researcher at the Public Health Institute, stated that researchers felt the study showed that Veterans Affairs (VA) treatment was serving an effective role for young veterans with heavy drinking histories. The researchers also concluded that veterans without substance (alcohol or drug) problems, but with suspected depression, might benefit from VA mental health services.
The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse found that alcohol use remains high for the 30 million veterans in the U.S. Twenty-three percent of male veterans admit to regularly binge drinking, as do 14 percent female veterans. According to data from the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, one in eight veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan between 2006 and 2008, were instructed to seek counseling for alcohol problems post-deployment.
And yet issues with drug and alcohol abuse only continue to rise: from 2003 to 2009, the number of soldiers enrolled in treatment to address a drinking problem increased by 56 percent. In 2004, the Army’s substance abuse budget was $38 million. As of 2008, it had reached $51 million.
David W. Magann, P.A.
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Brandon, FL 33511
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