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Military veterans suffer from substance abuse

A new study from the Yale University School of Medicine has learned that military veterans with mental health disorders also suffer from high rates of addiction to drugs and alcohol.

The research team looked at over 1 million veterans of the military who had been previously diagnosed with a mental disorder such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Between 21 and 35 percent of those military veterans suffered from a substance abuse disorder. The military veterans had served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and had been diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) or other mental illnesses.

“Our findings may be useful in program planning and for understanding the needs of veterans of different eras,” said Dr. Ismene Petrakis. “For example, in determining the needs of vetereans from the current conflicts, it sees that those with serious mental illness are particularly in need of services to address a comorbid substance use disorder.”

 

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