Army report: Suicide rate sets record; alcohol abuse up 54 percent

Christian Science Monitor

The suicide rate among active-duty soldiers hit an all-time high in 2011. But there are signs that rates among reservists and members of the National Guard are stabilizing after years of steady increase.

These findings are in a new US Army study. Efforts to confront suicide, says Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who shepherded the report as the Army’s second-highest-ranking officer, have produced some encouraging successes. He says he is hopeful that “we’ve at least arrested this problem and hopefully will start to push it down.”

However, given that the Afghanistan and Iraq wars make up the longest period of conflict in US history, Chiarelli warns, “There are second- and third-order effects that have grown out of this that our nation has never experienced before.”

There were 164 suicides among active-duty, Army, National Guard, and Reserve troops in 2011, compared with 159 in 2010 and 162 in 2009.

The Army’s study, released Thursday and entitled “Generating Health and Discipline in the Force,” found: “Many soldiers who are suffering from behavioral health issues or ‘invisible wounds’ remain undetected throughout the force, suffering in silence in Army formations at camps, posts, and stations and – within the Reserve component – across communities nationwide.”

This sort of suffering can manifest itself in some troubling ways, according to senior US military officials. Incidences of domestic violence among soldiers increased by one-third between 2006 and 2011, the study found. At the same time, alcohol abuse that was associated with domestic violence increased by 54 percent.

Indeed, the study noted, “soldier demographics in relationship to binge drinking are at the forefront of issues confronting the Army.” As much as 43 percent of active-duty soldiers reported binge drinking “within the past month,” according to a recent study.

Prescription-drug abuse among troops continues to be a source of concern for Pentagon officials as well. A report appended to the Defense Department’s 2012 budget noted, “25-35 percent of wounded soldiers are addicted to prescription or illegal drugs while they await medical discharge.”

Roughly half of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanstan “report pain-related problems and symptoms,” according to the Defense Department study, which says that roughly 14 percent of soldiers have been prescribed an opioid painkiller. Oxycodone accounts for 95 percent of those prescriptions.

Soldiers are also increasingly using synthetic marijuana like spice, which can be purchased in shops around the country. The use of synthetic marijuana is now banned by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

During the height of the wars, drug and alcohol infractions were pursued less. Some of the military police who had been responsible for the random drug testing of troops were put to work on other jobs, Chiarelli says.

But a lack of enforcement is beginning to change, he says.

Today, there are a few bright spots amid the struggles, Chiarelli says. The number of soldiers being referred to treatment programs is increasing. And while waivers for drug and alcohol violations peaked at 1,307 in 2007 so soldiers could continue serving in a time of war, by 2009 those waivers had been reduced to 337. By 2011, they were at zero.

As force reductions increase in the face of budget cuts, it could add to the stress of troops who have fought in wars and now must leave the military, Chiarelli warns. “It’s absolutely essential that when soldiers leave the Army, we do everything possible to get them situated,” he says. This includes treatment programs, he adds.

“We have a saying in the Army: There are lessons noted and there are lessons learned,” Chiarelli says. “Too often we say that these are lessons learned, but they’re actually lessons noted.” As soldiers grapple with the wounds of war, he adds, that must change.


More here: http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/army-report-suicide-ra...

Views: 49

Comment

You need to be a member of 12160 Social Network to add comments!

Join 12160 Social Network

"Destroying the New World Order"

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE SITE!

mobile page

12160.info/m

12160 Administrators

 

TOP CONTENT THIS WEEK

Latest Activity

Doc Vega commented on Doc Vega's blog post The Danger of Ignoring Red Flags Part II
"Cheeki kea Thank you so much for your comment. You're insight is always much valued. as I said…"
2 minutes ago
Old Denmark posted a photo
41 minutes ago
Burbia favorited stormtruther's photo
51 minutes ago
Burbia posted a blog post

1720 Plague, 1820 Cholera Outbreak, 1920 Spanish Flu, 2020 Chinese Coronavirus

January 27, 2020 IWBThe year 2020:It seems that history repeats itself every 100 years, is this…See More
55 minutes ago
Burbia commented on James Roberts's photo
Thumbnail

MIGA

"BREAKING: Supreme Court Allows Trump Admin to Enforce Rule Barring Green Cards For Migrants Using…"
1 hour ago
James Roberts commented on Chris of the family Masters's blog post Man who pushed SARS dud now pushing new Chinese virus
"Interestingly enough, in the BBC series, Utopia, a top virus expert travels to the site of the…"
1 hour ago
James Roberts favorited Chris of the family Masters's blog post Man who pushed SARS dud now pushing new Chinese virus
1 hour ago
James Roberts posted a video

Bill Clinton under Mind Control.

Bill Clinton under Mind Control.
1 hour ago
James Roberts favorited Chris of the family Masters's video
1 hour ago
James Roberts posted photos
2 hours ago
stormtruther commented on stormtruther's photo
Thumbnail

nazi

"thanks cheeki"
5 hours ago
stormtruther posted photos
5 hours ago
Chris of the family Masters posted a blog post

What are the Chinese hiding in Wuhan?

"In the previous epidemics, which turned out to be duds---West Nile, SARS, bird flu, Swine Flu,…See More
6 hours ago
cheeki kea commented on stormtruther's photo
Thumbnail

nazi

"Your a funny one also stormtruth. but your right, Looney hardcore lefties are driving everyone to…"
7 hours ago
cheeki kea commented on the mighty bull's video
8 hours ago
cheeki kea commented on the mighty bull's video
Thumbnail

TRIBAL HUK WAIKATO PRESIDENT WARNING P DEALERS OUT OF NGARUAWAHIA

"People on p are getting dangerous and shortly after Dixon run amok another woman, this time in ChCh…"
8 hours ago
cheeki kea commented on Doc Vega's blog post The Danger of Ignoring Red Flags Part II
"Good post up Doc V. I've read both parts and from a womans' point of view I concede that…"
9 hours ago
cheeki kea commented on James Roberts's photo
Thumbnail

Happens To Us All

"ha, funny one JR, that gave me giggle of the day. Before 12160 I use to be an individual that…"
11 hours ago
cheeki kea favorited James Roberts's photo
11 hours ago
Mr. Sizzle posted a discussion
12 hours ago

© 2020   Created by truth.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

content and site copyright 12160.info 2007-2019 - all rights reserved. unless otherwise noted