Addiction: Substance Abuse Within the Ranks

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Janel Fulton

Aharen Richardson
English 1113
October 30, 2012
Substance Abuse Within the Ranks
“An Enemy Called Addiction Guelph Man’s Struggles in the Canadian Forces Suggest Our Military is Ill-Prepared to Battle Substance Abuse Within its Ranks”(Guelph Mercury (ON), 09/03/2011) an article written on September 03,2011 and published in the Guelph Mercury news paper in Ontario Canada is an essay written over one mans struggles with addiction in the military.

The military doesn’t know how to deal with addiction within the ranks. According to a statement made by Rees “They don’t know how to deal with addiction at all, he said. They’re completely stupefied by it.” (Guelph Mercury (ON), 09/03/2011) You would think that in such a structured environment addiction would not be a problem, but that simply is not the case. Many soldiers are struggling with drug and alcohol addictions. This is not a new problem, “During a recent interview, Guelph addiction therapist Harry Vedelago, a history buff, noted the prevalence of alcohol and morphine during the First World War and the widespread, some would say epidemic, use of heroin during the Vietnam War.” (Guelph Mercury (ON), 09/03/2011)

Many soldiers are experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to their lack of coping skills. Soldiers are trained under extreme conditions and are programmed not to show emotions in highly stressful conditions. According to a Canadian web site, “ Up to one in five Canadian soldiers is returning from Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other operational stress injuries. Bellwood’s website states, adding, “In order to cope, many soldiers turn to heavy drinking or drug use.” (Guelph Mercury (ON), 09/03/2011) The article also stated, “Without opportunities to express fear and grief, many soldiers instead manifest anger, anxiety and paranoia. “ “Because of training, they’re not so good at identifying and expressing feelings. That’s not something that is...
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