The rate of alcohol abuse among soldiers has doubled in the past five years, says Dr. Les McFarling, Director of the Army Substance Abuse Program. McFarling attributes the rise to the stress of serving in wars, readjusting to life at home and then repeating the cycle, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. He says about 13,000 soldiers were treated for substance abuse in 2010—most of them for alcohol.
No direct link has been found between alcohol abuse and the number of a soldier’s deployments, according to McFarling. However, it is well known that soldiers use alcohol to deal with the stress of readjusting, or with post-traumatic stress syndrome, he noted.
The Army announced last month it is trying to fill 130 substance-abuse counselor positions by October 1. The Army Substance Abuse Program is looking for professionals to help substance-impaired soldiers who have the potential to continue military service.