Killing time in the war zone
No surprise here. US troops in Iraq are turning to drugs to relieve the stress of combat.
According to US army figures, out of the 4,000 men of the 256th Brigade Combat Team, 53 faced alcohol-related charges and 48 were charged with drug offences.Those of course are only the ones that got caught. One would expect the actual number of users is much greater.
In another case, Pte Emily Hamilton told a court martial that she used a hashish pipe belonging to a colleague because "it helped me go right to sleep". She was given a year's confinement and a bad conduct discharge.Certainly an easier way to get out of the army than shooting yourself in the leg. Oddly, the one drug they don't test for is steroids, a well known cause of erratic behavior commonly called "steroid rage."
"Some of these young soldiers just can't handle the stress," said Capt Christopher Krafchek, a military defence lawyer.
The majority of drug-users are in their teens or early 20s, and sometimes get their drugs from local Iraqis while on patrol in Baghdad.
Troops caught in possession of illegal substances are either jailed, demoted or discharged from the forces.
[hat tip to JackL]