Reducing Stigma and Expanding Access to Drug Abuse Screening and Care in Armed Services
Sep 17, 2012
In 2008, about 20% of active duty personnel in the armed services reported engaging in heavy drinking and 11% in misusing prescription drugs. A report by the Institute of Medicine cited outdated approaches to preventing drug abuse, barriers to care, and other issues affecting the U.S. Department of Defense’s ability to curb substance abuse in military members and their families.
Requested by Congress, the Institute of Medicine report addressed the top concerns hampering better care for those in the armed services and their families: inadequate prevention strategies, staffing shortages, lack of coverage for proven services, and stigma associated with substance abuse disorders. According to the report, in order to address the issues, the Department of Defense needs to start at the top to ensure all the branches follow suit, take the initiatives seriously, and implement strategies for prevention, screening, and treatment. A better system and service will help military health care professionals recognize substance abuse and provide specialized care for those in need.
Learn more: Treatment, Signs of Drug Use
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