How Vietnam War Veterans Broke Their Heroin Addictions

How Vietnam War Veterans Broke Their Heroin Addictions

Two U.S.
representatives, Robert Steele from Connecticut and Morgan Murphy from Illinois
visited Vietnam in 1971 and they came with very disturbing news about soldiers.

 They informed that 15 percent of U.S. army was
addicted to heroin. This news was spread in America and everyone was stunned. Then, president Richard Nixon promised to make
a new office called ‘The Special Action Office of Drug Abuse Prevention’ for
rehabilitation of soldiers.

All the officers
were not allowed to leave Vietnam
unless they clear the drug addiction. Lee Robins was the main the psychiatric researcher. Her studies showed that when
soldiers came back to U.S. 95 percent of them were clean and without addiction.
 Only 5 percent of them were re-addicted
to the heroin.

The normal
drug abuser shows the following routine- they get clean from the clinics or
rehab centers but as soon as they go to their
home they get re-addicted but Vietnam soldiers were different. The habits were
triggered in certain situations and under certain conditions and it were temporary.

How did all these things started in
war?

The war is a stressed situation and they were in contact
with fellow soldiers who were consuming heroin. One of the influencing factors
that lead to formation of any habit is surrounding environment. For example- if
you’re the only person who doesn’t consume
heroin and all your surrounding people are consuming 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 in situations.

But once
they return to home- a place without
stress and where there is no fellow heroin user
is the good surrounding for him. In war, there were no family and no one to
stop them from using heroin. But at home,
you are surrounded by your loving family, friends and you don’t think about
consuming anything. So the absence of any
external stimuli also triggered the addiction.

The most important
lesson 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 is
necessary to recover from drug abuse.

·       
War is a stressed situation; it’s not easy to live alone
without 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 then
surround yourself with the things related to that.