Drug Abuse in the Military: Illicit and Prescription Drugs

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE (10/29) – Just 2.3 percent of military personnel were past-month users of an illicit drug, compared with 12 percent of civilians, according to the 2008 Department of Defense (DoD) Survey of Health Related Behaviors among active duty military personnel. Among those age 18¬-25, who are most likely to use drugs, the rate of military personnel was 3.9 percent, compared to 17.2 percent among civilians…However, in spite of the low level of illicit drug use, abuse of prescription drugs is higher among service members than among civilians and is on the increase. In 2008, 11 percent of service members reported misusing prescription drugs, up from 2 percent in 2002 and 4 percent in 2005. Most of the prescription drugs misused by service members are opioid pain medications. Read more

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