In the first part of this blog, I discussed the historical use and current trends in use of tobacco in the military population. This time around we're going to examine another widely-used and socially-sanctioned substance, caffeine. If tobacco is the spark to the battle weary individual, it is surely coffee or caffeine that is gas that feeds the ever-elusive energy flame
Blog posts with the tag "Deployment"
When one thinks about substance use or addiction in the military, one’s mind may automatically go to alcohol. Although the prevalence of alcohol use and abuse can be considerable, we would be remiss to overlook the historical use and current trends in use of two other legally and socially sanctioned substances within our military population: tobacco and caffeine.
A study of non-treatment-seeking infantry soldiers who had been deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq Tobin, et al (2014) found that 44.0% reported chronic pain (pain for more than 90 days). Of those chronic pain suffers, 48.3% reported symptoms for over one year. Additionally, 15.1% of this non-treatment-seeking sample was using opioids. The comparable rates of civilian chronic pain and opioid use at the time of this study were 26.0% and 4.0%. Alarmingly, 44.1% of soldiers reporting opioid use also reported mild to no pain in the past month and 5.6% reported no pain (Tobin, et al, 2014).
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among Service members and Veterans receives a lot of well-deserved attention. That said, it was not until 1992, that the term Moral Injury was coined by Dr. Jonathan Shay to describe the devastating impacts of an event or experience that violates one’s personal ideals, ethics, moral expectations, conscience, or attachments. Since moral expectations are at the core of who we are as humans, moral injury describes a fracture to one’s deepest sense of being. The result of this moral violation can lead to guilt, existential crisis, and loss of trust (Jinkerson, 2016).