Heroin In Vietnam

Great Essays
With the strict crack down on marijuana use, soldiers who frequently used this drug were forced to find alternatives means to help them disengage from the pressures and boredom of the war. For many soldiers, heroin became a popular and abundantly available alternative. “Under the French colonial administration Vietnam had a government controlled opium monopoly and therefore a tradition of opium smoking that soldiers visiting the brothels and gambling dens of Saigon encountered.” and Heroin was easily purchased by soldiers throughout Vietnam during the 1970’s. It was frequently packaged in ¼ to ½ grams in small easily concealable plastic vials. Typically 95% pure, heroin in Vietnam could be bought for 10-20 times less than that of heroin …show more content…
Many soldiers who had come to depend on heroin in Vietnam faced many consequences such as addiction, dishonorable discharge from the military, and for some death. Addiction became a struggle for many soldiers who converted to using this highly addictive drug. While an exact estimate of the number of heroin users and/or addicts is not available, during the first quarter of 1971 over 3,600 soldiers in the Army had asked for help with drug abuse problems related to heroin. Towards the end of the war heroin addiction had become such a large threat that the military needed to take action. With the alarming rate of heroin use, soldiers who were preparing to return home to the United States were not allowed to leave Vietnam until after they had kicked their drug addictions. In order for men these men to be allowed to return home, they were required to submit to a drug screening by providing a urine sample prior to being allowed to board their flights back to the United States. “by 1973, the Defense Department was collecting 4 million urine specimens annually for worldwide screening of all U.S. troops in thirteen drug-testing laboratories.” In order to do so Drug Abuse Control Programs were set up by the United States Army, Vietnam. Their policy was to make sure that “every individual who is identified through the urinalysis programs or …show more content…
In the event that a soldier or any other military personal failed a urine test twice the soldier would qualify as a “212”, which labeled them as a drug addict and was immediately sent back to the United States with a dishonorable discharge from the military and a loss of all military and veteran benefits. A report on Administrative discharges for drug abuse shows that in just the army alone the number of undesirable administrative discharges attributed to drugs between 1969 to 1970 jumped from 189 to 406; many of which were contributed to heroin abuse. Deaths in the military due to drug overdoses were not an uncommon occurrence in Vietnam as well. Looking at figure 1, we can see that in the calendar year of 1970 alone, 69 total deaths in Vietnam were caused from opiates; which was double the amount of any other drug surveyed in this chart. Charts like the one below, which was presented to the Hughes Subcommittee on Alcoholism and Narcotics by Roger T. Kelley shows just how concerning these numbers were for military

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    The American society was afraid that after the war, there would be a lot of heroin addicts walking around their neighborhood. However, Lee Robins, a researcher who was in charge of tracking the veterans, reported an unexpected result (Robins et al. 2010). He found out that 95 percent of the veterans eliminated their addiction when they returned to America. This report reminds people that when discussing Heroin addiction, there are more aspects that need to be…

    • 854 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Effects Of Fentanyl

    • 1534 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Users can never tell how powerful one specific amount is, so they are constantly at risk of overdosing. Heroin tolerance is built quickly, requiring more and more each time, in order to reach the high. Withdrawal symptoms are extremely painful, due to the body’s physical dependence on the drug. The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health says that 670,000 Americans use heroin. Throughout the world, there are 9.2 million people who use heroin.…

    • 1534 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The heroin epidemic is rising at an alarming rate and cites are desperate to find a solution. The CDC reports that 27,000 people die each year due to heroin overdoses. The jails are inundated with offenders, that once released go out and use again, thus continuing a cycle of insanity without producing any solutions. More youths have succumbed to addictions involving Meth and Heroin, and many are dying as a result. No one seemed to be paying any attention until it reached epidemic proportions, or as some have suggested, become a "white middle class problem" that surpassed the poor minority populations.…

    • 1525 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Many times there are not enough care the US Department of Defense and Veteran Affairs. The veterans suicides and high unemployment rates by paying the price of the “ high rates” of military sexual assault there all issues have draw attention by congressional. During 2010 there was half of all the 300 military suicides were done by those who had deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts that are reported. According to a VA reporter it is said that 22 Veterans take their own lives every day .It is also said that up to one in five suffer from PTSD while a very close number have mild traumatic brain injuries. some of them have overlapping health conditions, Most commonly known as PTSD, substance disorders, Depression and symptoms similar to mild TBI.…

    • 1163 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The Effects Of Cocaine

    • 1997 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Once in medical they will determine what’s causing the issue with the inmate and link it back to the drug cocaine. Cocaine in the prison system could be given with all types of other things to intense the high. Inmates could experience an allergic reaction from the drug or the materials that’s within the drug and this can lead to death. Even if someone was clean before the got into prison, their chances of relapse have already increase two times as much. Cocaine usage “puts inmates at the risk twice as much for contracting diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C” (http://drugabuse.com).…

    • 1997 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Luke Romine Robey Eng121 22 September 2015 Dependency on Drugs According to webMD, 22.9 million Americans have partaken in an illicit drug. Illegal drugs are a large problem in the American society because they are causing harm to the American people, and even death. Users fall in love with the high and will continue to chase that feeling. Heroine is one of the worst drugs on the market. The most common way to use heroine is to inject into the arm.…

    • 964 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The war on drugs has been a complete failure and the American government has completely lost sight of what is most important to help this nation arise from this great problem. If the government focused more on treatment and education towards drugs than the epidemic facing this country would start to fade away. According to Penal Reform International 317,176 people in US prisons are there for drug related crimes and according to The Vera Institute of Justice the average inmate cost 31,286 dollars a year. That means that approximately close to 10 billion dollars is spent each year to house and feed people for drug related offenses when the money could be better spent towards helping the people of America get over their addiction. The war on drugs has been a complete failure and it is time for the government to change its focus from a war that has been lost to the treatment of its own…

    • 1397 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Cocaine Essay

    • 1405 Words
    • 6 Pages

    In the United States there is an old and relentlessly growing problem. The distribution and usage of heroin and other opioid drugs has put the nation in a disturbing state of alarm dues to the rapid and growing death rate does to overdose of the drug. Cocaine is popularly thought to be the leading cause of drug related death, and in 1999 it was. Now there is a new statistic, heroin and opioid overdoses have become the leading cause of drug related death in the United States killing 10,574 people in 2014. While cocaine actually dropped and only killed 5.415 people in the same year.…

    • 1405 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    By May of 1968 the war in Vietnam had gotten worse, in one week 562 troops had been killed and atrocities against innocent children were committed in South and North Vietnam due to daily bombing raids(History Learning 1). News of the deaths occurring in combat zone were published in the Westmoreland Papers, approximately 30.4% of the deaths were draftees( USS Boston).With all the events occurring in the US the Hippies began to think of themselves as some sort of "heroes" they thought they could solve the problems of the world by protesting against them while violating the laws. In the 1960s many problems were occurring in the US but the only person with the power of taking control of the situation was the president, however the Hippies formed their own group and started their reform that only caused a greater commotion and a greater deal of problems for the US to…

    • 842 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Legalizing Drugs

    • 1024 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Over the past 45 years drug statistics have shown that the drug war and its efforts to keep illegal substances out of the nation and hands of the American people is not working. The drug war is feeding the drug kings, inflating the price of illegal drugs, and increasing violence among rivals much like the alcohol prohibition supplied the bootleggers and organized criminals in the 1920’s. According to the DPA, the United States has spent more than $51 billion annually on the drug war. In 2014, the U.S. had the highest incarceration rate in the world with approximately 1.5 million arrests for drug law violations. Billions of U.S. dollars spent, millions arrested and still, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released drug overdose statistics in August 2016, showing a drug overdose death increase for the 5th consecutive year (Epi Data Brief, No.…

    • 1024 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics