New survey data reveals that veterans are plagued with depression and are prone to binge-drinking.
A survey performed by American Addiction Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lawrence Weinstein reveals that nearly 70 percent of veterans suffer from depression, and an astounding number binge-drink to ease the pain.
Depression is often linked with productivity- the study also revealed that over two-thirds of vets who cannot work due to disabilities suffer from depression, and one-in-four unemployed vets are equally afflicted.
But it isn’t just the unemployed or disabled who are vulnerable: Dr. Weinstein says that veteran depression ranks are much larger than their civilian counterparts.
“Among the general population in the US, 60 million adult Americans have major depression, which is around seven percent of the population,” he said. “But when you get to veterans, 37 percent of female soldiers and 27 percent of male soldiers are diagnosed with major depression. You’re seeing a jump from seven percent of a population to almost 40 percent.”
To make matters worse, 25 percent of depressed vets drink heavily, to the point of being destructive behavior.
According to American Addiction Centers, Hawaii and Nevada had the highest number of binge-drinking vets, with West Virginia and Utah vets being the least likely to go on a bender.
Interestingly enough, the Department of Housing and Urban Development recently reported that Utah has a rising number of homeless veterans.
Veterans with PTSD appear to be more susceptible to alcoholism, despite evidence that alcohol can worse or amplify PTSD symptoms.
“It’s a vicious cycle [veterans] cannot get out of and the consequence of it is they now require help for substance use disorders on top of PTSD,” Dr Weinstein said.
Dr.Weinstein suggested improving ways in which the military can educate personnel about PTSD, as well as new ways of spotting signs and treating symptoms.
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