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Military Alcohol Addiction

When many soldiers and military personnel return home from war, they realize there's a completely different battle awaiting them – drugs and alcohol. Military alcohol addiction plagues many veterans, who must not only fight to rid themselves of the harsh memories of war but of their addictions as well. The ability to lead a normal life amidst all the painful memories and related nightmares causes them to find an escape however possible; this can take the form of alcohol, drugs or attempted suicide.

Alcohol and drug abuse is not only common among individuals coming back from war, but also among individuals who are on active duty getting ready to go to war. It is hard to picture the same young soldiers in uniform lifting beer mugs while celebrating, shooting up heroin, smoking crack cocaine, or suffering from alcohol addiction. But these images are very real and highlight the fear relating to the realities of war.

Much of the addiction veterans suffer from war is related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is an anxiety disorder that can happen after being exposed to any traumatic event that has threatened one's life or loved one's safety. Individuals who have been rape victims, and children, youth, and adults who have witnessed or experienced physical or sexual abuse are very likely to undergo PTSD.

PTSD is a serious reaction to a psychological trauma that overpowers an individual's defenses. Symptoms can take the form of nightmares and flashbacks, insomnia, anger, hypersensitivity to normal life experiences and avoiding anything that could remind them of the traumatic event.

Research indicates that 30 percent of individuals returning from combat experience PTSD. This leads many to seek solace in drugs or alcohol, breeding the issue of drugs or alcohol addiction. PTSD can be treated if the individual recognizes the symptoms and gets assistance from a specialized therapist or psychologist. Sadly, many times PTSD is left untreated and the individual turns to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate; however, this does nothing but makes the situation worse. When the effects of the alcohol or drug wear off, the pain is still present, so the individual uses again, starting what becomes an infinite cycle of addiction.

In America, military alcohol addiction is at an all time high. For almost 2 decades, the army has had a tough time reducing the statistics of military personnel who are abusing alcohol. Statistics also reflect that military people between ages 18 to 25 generally drink more than their civilian counterparts.

For most alcohol abusers, stress and tension are the main reasons for this abuse. Individuals serving in the military personnel face a completely different type of stress. The training they must undergo are physically demanding and mentally challenging; this is to prepare them for unpredictable situations in war. Consequently, many seek solace in alcohol to cope with all the exertion. For many military personnel, finding a balance between their family and military responsibilities is a difficult task in itself. Therefore, there are different factors that influence military alcohol addiction

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