In 1971, Robert Steele from Connecticut and Morgan Murphy
from Illinois, two congressmen, made an official visit to Vietnam and disclosed
very disturbing report. They told that 15% of U.S. army was addicted to heroin.
This news was spread in America and everyone was shocked. The president Richard
Nixon then decides to make new office called The Special Action Office of Drug
Abuse Prevention for recovery from addiction.
All the addicted soldiers were not allowed to leave Vietnam
unless they clear they drug addiction. They did not expected 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
The normal pattern of heroin addiction is- they get clean
from the hospital 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.
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.
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 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
What can you learn
from Vietnam soldiers?
External stimuli and supports play the important role in
changing human behavior.
Don’t take or make any decisions under stressed situations.
If your 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 drug abuse.
War is a stressed situation; it’s not easy to live alone
without family, many soldiers return from war with post-traumatic conditions.
The environment is the
important factor, for example, if you
want to learn something new then surround yourself with the things related to