How Vietnam War Veterans Broke Their Heroin AddictionsTwo U.S.representatives, Robert Steele from Connecticut and Morgan Murphy from Illinoismade an official visit to Vietnam in 1971 and they came with very disturbingnews about soldiers.
They informed that 15 percent of U.S. army wasaddicted to heroin. This news was spread in America and everyone was stunned. Then, president Richard Nixon promised to makea new office called The Special Action Office of Drug Abuse Prevention forrehabilitation from addiction.All theaddicted officers were not allowed to leave Vietnamunless they clear the drug addiction. They did not expect that soldiers willrecover so fast. Lee Robins was the main the psychiatricresearcher.
Her studiesshowed that when soldiers came back to U.S. 95 percent of them were clean andwithout addiction. Only 5 percent ofthem were re-addicted to the heroin.The normalpattern of heroin addiction is- they get clean from the clinics or rehab centers but as soon as they go to their homethey get re-addicted but Vietnam soldiers were different. The habits weretriggered in certain situations and under certain conditions and it were temporary.
How did addiction started in war?The war is a stressed situation and they were in contactwith fellow soldiers who were consuming heroin. The influencing element was surroundingenvironment. For example- if you’re the only person who doesn’t consume heroin and all your surrounding people areconsuming in front of you, then they start forcing you to just try a little bit.
But ones you’re involved then it’s getting difficult to get away from it,especially when you are in stressed situation. We get pushed away insituations. But oncethey return to home- a place withoutstress and where there is no fellow heroin useris the good surrounding for him. In war, there were no family and no one tostop them from using heroin. But at home,you are surrounded by your loving family, friends and you don’t think aboutconsuming anything. So the absence of anyexternal stimuli also triggered the addiction.
The most importantlesson we can learn from soldiers is you can change your behavior or control yourself in the influence of external stimuli. · Don’t take or make any decisions under stressed situations. · If your friend or any relative is addicted to any drug abuse,then be supportive and help them to get out of it. Motivation, emotions isnecessary to recover from drug abuse.· War is a stressed situation; it’s not easy to live alonewithout family, many soldiers return from war with post-traumatic conditions. · The environment is the important factor, for example, if you want to learn something new thensurround yourself with the things related to that.