In 1971, Robert
Steele from Connecticut and Morgan Murphy from Illinois, two U.S. representatives, made an official visit to Vietnam
and they got disturbing news about the soldiers. They told that 15% of U.S.
army was addicted to heroin. This news was spread in America and everyone was
stunned. The president Richard Nixon then decides to make new office called The
Special Action Office of Drug Abuse Prevention for rehabilitation from addiction.
addicted soldiers were not allowed to leave Vietnam
unless they clear they drug addiction. They did not expect that soldiers will
recover so fast. 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.
pattern of heroin addiction is- 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 was temporary.
How did addiction start in war?
The war was many stressed situations and they were in
contact with fellow soldiers who were a heroin
addict. The influencing factor was surrounding environment. For example- if you’re
single person who doesn’t consume heroin and
all your fellows are consuming in front of you, then they convince you to just
try a little bit. But ones you’re involved
then it’s getting difficult to get away
from it, especially in a war situation. We
get pushed away in situations.
they return to home- a place without
stress and where there is no fellow heroin user
is the suitable condition. 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.
What can you learn from Vietnam soldiers?
and supports play the important role in changing human behavior.
or make any decisions under stressed situations.
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
War is a
stressed situation; it’s not easy to live alone without family, many soldiers
return from war with post-traumatic
The environment is
the important factor, for example, if you
want to learn something new then surround yourself with the things related to