Soldiers Dying From Opiate Overdose

Soldiers Dying From Opiate Overdose

Army documents show that in 2010 a soldier overdosed in Afghanistan after taking several drugs including morphine and codeine, even though the drugs were not prescribed to him. The growing epidemic of soldiers who are suffering from addiction goes under reported in our society. Fortunately, CNN published an article depicting just how widespread this situation has become, and hopefully this will shed a brighter light on the emerging problem. “Eight American Soldiers died of overdoses involving heroin, morphine or other opiates during deployments in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011 according to the U.S. Army investigative reports.” (Martinez 2012) The country of Afghanistan is said to supply the majority of the world’s opium and it is here that our soldiers are falling victim to opiate addiction. Heroin is the most powerful and effective pain killer in the world. Many of the soldiers who had abused heroin were already taking prescription drugs, such as Percocet, for pain relief. Easy accessibility to heroin seems like a viable alternative; however, the non-controlled distribution makes each dose a risk. The acknowledgement of drug rehab programs and increased education for both commanding officers and subordinates should take place before, during and after deployments. Increasing the awareness of addiction is an excellent preventive measure to ensure those who fight for our country do not succumb to a premature death because of a drug overdose.