Military Substance Abuse Prevention Programs

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Runninghead: CLINICAL ANALYSIS Assignment #4: Military Substance Abuse Prevention Programs Gemma K. Vizcocho University of Southern California Professor Fred P. Stone, PhD, LCSW April 24, 2017 Substance abuse in the military has been a problem throughout history. The unique culture and stress experienced by military service members put them more at risk for substance abuse. Drug and alcohol use has been an easy escape and a coping mechanism for those service members who struggle to forget their traumatic war experiences and daily stressors (Jacobson et al., 2008). According to the 2008 Department of Defense (DOD) Survey of Health Related Behaviors, 12 percent to 15 percent of the…show more content…
The rise in prescription drugs abuse is linked with the increased number of medications prescribed to treat chronic pain associated with military service connected injuries. The DOD Survey of Health related Behaviors Among Active Duty military personnel estimated prevalence rate of service members actively using illicit drugs at 12 percent, prescription drug misuse at 11 percent, heavy alcohol use at 20%, and tobacco, including smokeless, at 31 percent (Bray et al., 2010). Numerous studies have addressed the attitudes and beliefs contributing to stigmatization of mental health issues within military populations (Dickstein, Vogt, Handa, & Litza, 2010). The development of these stigmas is deeply associated in the traditions and culture that exists in the military. Ame and Cunradi (2005) stated that workplace culture in the military could be a risk factor for heavy alcohol use or binge drinking. Additionally, alcohol access is readily available at reduced prices on most military installations. Multiple studies have also cited mental health stigma as one of the most prevalent that exist in a military culture. Seeking treatment for substance abuse among service member is a form of weakness. Rae Olmsted and colleagues compared perceptions of stigma among soldiers in treatment and those who are not. The findings suggest that those in treatment have lower perceptions of stigma associated with their care than those service members

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