Returning Soldiers Combat Drinking Problems at Home - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/12/08

Returning Soldiers Combat Drinking Problems at Home

We have known for a long time that the pressures of combat can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) but now, there is a new concern.  After surveying more than 48,000 troops, the Naval Health Research Center says that, of those on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan,  one in four started binge drinking and suffered other alcohol related problems when they came back home.  The study found that women and young soldiers are most at risk and are almost five times more likely to have alcohol-related problems at work and home.  Getting help can be tough, especially for Reservists and National Guard members who may have to drive several hours to get the help they need from military health services.

Tom Taratino, of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, says of the epidemic, "It's very easy to turn to drugs and alcohol, to risk-taking behavior to acting out, to try to get that rush back".

The survey found that these are not soldiers who already had problems.  In fact, the one in four who admitted an alcohol problem said they had no problems before they went to war. 

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