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Two U.S.
representatives, Robert Steele from Connecticut and Morgan Murphy from Illinois
made an official visit to Vietnam in 1971 and they came with very disturbing
news about soldiers.

 They informed that 15 percent of U.S. army was
addicted to heroin. This news was spread in America and everyone was stunned. Then, president Richard Nixon promised to make
a new office called The Special Action Office of Drug Abuse Prevention for
rehabilitation from addiction.

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All the
addicted officers were not allowed to leave Vietnam
unless they clear the 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.

The normal
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 were temporary.

How did addiction started in war?

The war is a stressed situation and they were in contact
with fellow soldiers who were consuming heroin. The influencing element was surrounding
environment. For example- if you’re the only person who doesn’t consume heroin and all your surrounding people are
consuming in front of you, then they start forcing you to just try a little bit. But ones you’re involved then it’s getting difficult to get away from it,
especially when you are in stressed situation. We get pushed away in

But once
they return to home- a place without
stress and where there is no fellow heroin user
is the good surrounding for him. 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.

The most important
lesson we can learn from soldiers is you can change your behavior or control yourself in the influence of external stimuli.

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 that.  


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