Drug Problems Among Iraq, Afghan Vets Could Dwarf Vietnam

Rather than the heroin addictions many Vietnam veterans brought back with them from Southeast Asia, today's returning soldiers are more likely to be addicted to prescription medications -- the very opiates prescribed to them by the military to ease stress or pain -- or stimulants used by soldiers to remain alert in combat situations.

The Internet and cell phones may help keep soldiers more in touch with the home front than in past wars, but access to instantaneous communication also can be a double-edged sword, experts said. Gulf War veteran and Texas Tech psychology professor M. David Rudd, Ph.D., said that today's soldiers are more exposed to family-related stress over finances, children, and other issues.

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