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Survey Finds Widespread Prescription-Drug Abuse Among U.S. Troops

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Misuse of prescription drugs occurs at a much higher rate among U.S. troops than the general population, with 22 percent of soldiers and 20 percent of Marines reporting prescription-drug abuse within the past year, USA Today reported Dec. 17.

The Department of Defense survey of service members found that prescription painkillers were the most commonly misused drugs.

The survey also found that 11 percent of soldiers exhibited signs of post-traumatic stress disorder in 2008 — notably in the Army and Marine Corps — and that 60 percent of Marines admitted to binge drinking. Two percent of service members acknowledged that they had thought about committing suicide during the past year.

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