05 May Army Gives Warning About Drug Use in War Zones
New data shows concern about drug use among our U.S. war veterans from a 2010-2011 study that investigated morphine use and other opiates. The study concluded that war zone areas are a concern for soldiers who are peddling and using illicit drugs such as heroin, morphine and other cocktails combining opiates, according to a recent article.
The study showed that at least eight soldiers died of drug overdoses in the time period researched. Afghanistan is an area flooded with fields of poppies that provide nearly 90 percent of our world’s opium sources. Opium is the raw ingredient used in making heroin.
Army officials say they have seen sporadic cases involving it but they do not see it yet as a widespread problem. Army spokesman, Colonel Tom Collins says they do have the means to check if it does become a problem among troops.
The above data only represents the criminal investigations that were done by the Army Criminal Investigation Command that represented Afghan soldiers in the last two years. Those cases are just a puzzle piece to broader drug use statistics from 2006-2011.
In that time period there were almost 70,000 drug offenses reported that involved about 36,000 solders. From 2010-2011 the number of offenses went from around 9,400 to 11,200. In those two years, overdose totals doubled in overall drug-related deaths for the past ten years in Afghanistan according to the Dept. of Defense.
Officials suggested that any additional deaths might have been reported as "other" when categorized and were still under investigation at the time the statistics were turned in.
Tom Fitton, president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, says these numbers show that military leadership needs to be vigilant and attentive when it comes to warning troops and watching them in Afghanistan when it comes to drug use.
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