In 1971, Robert Steele from Connecticut and Morgan Murphyfrom Illinois, two U.S. representives, made an official visit to Vietnam anddisclosed very disturbing report.
They told that 15% of U.S. army was addictedto heroin. This news was spread in America and everyone was shocked. The presidentRichard Nixon then decides to make new office called The Special Action Officeof Drug Abuse Prevention for recovery from addiction.All the addicted soldiers were not allowed to leave Vietnamunless they clear they drug addiction. They did not expect that soldiers willrecover so fast.
Lee Robins was the main the psychiatricresearcher. Her studies showed that when soldiers came back to U.S.
95 percentof them were clean and without addiction. Only 5 percent of them were re-addicted to theheroin.The normal pattern of heroin addiction is- they get cleanfrom the hospital but as soon as they goto their home they get re-addicted but Vietnam soldiers were different. The habitswere triggered in certain situations and under certain conditions and it was temporary. How didaddiction start in war?The war was many stressedsituations and they were in contact with fellow soldiers who were a heroin addict.
The influencing factor was surroundingenvironment. For example- if you’re single person who doesn’t consume heroin and all your fellows are consuming in frontof you, then they convince you to just try a littlebit. But ones you’re involved then it’s getting difficultto get away from it, especially in a warsituation. 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 suitable condition. In war, there wereno 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 triggeredthe addiction. What can you learnfrom Vietnam soldiers?External stimuli and supports play the important role inchanging human behavior. Don’t take or make any decisions under stressed situations. If your friend or any relative is addicted to any drugabuse, then be supportive and help them to get out of it. Motivation, emotionsis necessary 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 theimportant factor, for example, if youwant to learn something new then surround yourself with the things related tothat.