Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has introduced legislation that would make addiction treatment more available to members of the military and provide more privacy protections to service members who seek help for alcohol and other drug problems, Stars and Stripes reported Feb. 2.
The Support for Substance Use Disorders Act is aimed in part at the widespread perception that service members who seek treatment could be punished. “Our men and women in uniform deserve the very best health care available,” McCaskill said. “Substance abuse is a medical problem and to think they can't get the help they need, or worse receive punishment instead of treatment, is outrageous.”
On the other hand, the legislation acknowledges that commanders need to be aware of the status of their troops and would spell out when and how they would be notified about treatment and recovery related issues.
The measure also would establish a treatment planning process for the military and support treatment research.