Chicago, Illinois (WiredPRNews.com) — According to a military study conducted recently, combat troops of the National Guard & Reserve of Afghanistan and Iraq have the possibility of developing drinking problems more than active-duty soldiers. The authors of the study have speculated that derisory preparation for combating stress and the support services are responsible for this state of affairs.
The study, which appeared in the Journal of American Medical Association on Wednesday, is the first for comparing alcohol problems of veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq after and before their deployment. Dr. Edward Boyko, the co-author of the study who has been working for Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, said that this study will be helpful in guiding and planning for treatment programs and future prevention.This study has been one of the very first major researches that emerged out of the ‘Millennium’, a landmark study from the Pentagon launched in 2001.
The study includes a large number of military personnel and has been designed for evaluating long-term effects on the health of military services. The researchers analyzed data of approximately 80,000 military staff including over 11,000 people who had been sent to Afghanistan and Iraq. The study was aimed at observing whether combat exposure and deployment were related to new alcohol problems like binge drinking.
As a result of the study, it was found that over 600 troops, who were not reported with binge drinking at the beginning, developed it after combat exposure and deployment. Newer patterns of problems such as not attending work due to drinking took place more often in reserve troops and guard troops who were involved in combat.
The military has inclined heavily over the National Guard & Reserves during the present conflict. Sometime during 2005, they made up approximately half of the troops fighting in Iraq. The Millennium study is going to continue tracking the health of the veterans and will determine whether the drinking problem among returning troops will last long.