US military informed Congress that hundreds of soldiers have died from drug overdoses
US military informed Congress that hundreds of soldiers have died from drug overdoses

Washington: In response to inquiries from Congress, the Pentagon is said to have acknowledged that more than 15,000 US military personnel have overdosed on illegal drugs in the last five years, 332 of which have resulted in fatalities.

According to a Wednesday Rolling Stone report, the information was provided to five US senators this week, including Massachusetts Democrats Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren.

The magazine had reported that up to 30 US soldiers may have died from overdoses at Fort Bragg in 2020 and 2021, and the senators had written to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin last September to request information on the issue.

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The base in North Carolina serves as the administrative centre for the nation's special forces among other things.

Markey declared on Wednesday that "one service member lost to a fatal overdose is one loss too many." "The toll is rising with hundreds of fatal overdoses reported on US military bases. The overdose crisis in America can and must be stopped.

According to the Pentagon, more than half of the overdose deaths among military personnel involved fentanyl. In fact, since 2017, the number of deaths caused by synthetic opioids has more than doubled, following a similar pattern to the overall drug crisis in America.

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According to government statistics, there were over 71,000 civilian overdose deaths in the US in 2021, more than half of which were related to fentanyl.

In other ways as well, the overdose deaths in the military have mirrored those in the general population. In contrast to officers, 96% of those who died were enlisted soldiers, and the vast majority of civil cases involve those without college degrees.

White males under the age of 33 made up the vast majority of the service members who died from drug overdoses.

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According to Rolling Stone, there were significant numbers of overdoses at bases that house Army infantrymen, Green Berets, and other elite soldiers. The publication asserted that "this is probably no coincidence" because these formations "bear almost all of the burden of the past decade's war in Afghanistan and a half-dozen other countries."

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