Soldiers who have seen combat face particular risk. One study found that one in four veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan reported symptoms of a mental health disorder, and one in six reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These disorders are strongly associated with substance abuse and dependence among returning military personnel, as are others, including sleep disturbances, traumatic brain injury, and violence in relationships. As of May 2016, 22 Veterans enrolled in VA programs are committing suicide every day, 35 Veterans total commit suicide every day, that's one brave soldier every 65 seconds, 8,000 to 13,000 each year. According to a US Government report in 2016 approximately 65% of these are Veterans age 50 and up. Those veterans in combat were more likely than those without and those with multiple wounds were 39% more likely to commit suicide.
According to EndHomelessness.org's update on April 2015, communities across America identified 49,933 homeless veterans during point-in-time counts, which represents 8.6 percent of the total homeless population, even though great strides in Veteran Homelessness have been made over the past several years. IPlus.org, working to end homelessness, stated nearly 50% of the homeless people living in the areas they serve are veterans of the armed forces despite receiving money from the government monthly. This is due to many factors, including mental illness, being taken advantage of by drug dealers, family and others.
Veteran Drug and Alcohol Dependency
Service members with multiple deployments and combat exposure are at the greatest risk of developing drug and alcohol problems, use more prescribed medications, and often exhibit a co-occurring triad of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and pain, which complicates the problems with drug and alcohol use. Additionally, difficulties in civilian life -- setbacks such as job loss, divorce and financial problems -- all common for returning vets -- may push as many as 13 percent of vets toward drinking and drugs. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, substance abuse rates appear to be strongly related to combat exposure. (NCADD.org)
Studies find that one in four veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan reported symptoms of a mental health disorder, and one in six reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As of May 2016, 22 Veterans enrolled in VA programs are committing suicide every day. 35 Veterans total commit suicide every day. That's one brave soldier every 65 seconds, 8,000 to 13,000 each year! According to a US Government report in 2016, 65% of these are Veterans age 50 and up. Those veterans in combat deployments were more likely than those that were not and those with multiple wounds were approximately 40% more likely to commit suicide.