68,000 veterans have with opioid-use disorders -13 % of all veterans currently taking opioids. (NIDA)

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) numbers show that certain drugs are more problematic for military personnel than others. For example, while the use of illicit drugs is lower for this segment of the population (with 2.3 percent of military personnel using cocaine, heroin, and other illegal drugs as opposed to 12 percent of the population at large), the misuse of prescription drugs is overall higher. And it appears to be increasing.

NIDA suggests that this may be at least partly due to the Department of Defense (DoD) having a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to illegal substances. On the other side, drugs that are available by medical personnel are not only more permissible, they are often times more readily available and easier to get. NIDA reports that painkillers were prescribed four times more often in 2009 to military personnel than they were in 2001, with more than 3.8 million total service members having access to this type of drug.

Consequences of Substance Abuse for Military and Veterans:

  • Potential discharge
  • Increased suicide risk
  • More likely with Mental Illness like PTSD (see below).
  • Veteran homelessness and unemployment
  • Veteran Incarceration


Studies (Meier, et al., 2014) have found that prescription opioid use is significantly associated with co-occurring PTSD symptom severity. PTSD patients are also more likely to use prescription opioids in combination with sedatives or cocaine. Females are more than three times as likely as males to have co-occurring PTSD symptoms and prescription opioid use problems. Younger PTSD patients (18-34 years old) are also at higher risk for opioid abuse.

Signs and Symptoms of opioid abuse are the same for all, check out “Need Help?” to get more information. 

Prescription Drug Disposal Location:

Richmond Hill Medical Home
Phone: 912-435-7119/7118
Location: 2451A US Highway 17, Richmond Hill, GA 31324
Hours of Operation: Mon – Fri: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Resources: How to Help a Military and Veterans with Substance Abuse Issues

Fortunately, there are many treatment options for military personnel and veterans who are struggling with a drug or alcohol dependency. Among the most common are counseling, medication, and finding comfort in a support group of individuals who share or had similar experiences and obstacles.

Although cost can sometimes stop veterans from seeking treatment or help for any issues they face, whether substance abuse-related or otherwise, there are actually many free resources available to veterans and their families.

Among those offered, these include:


Fort Stewart Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)

Services: Biochemical Testing, Prevention Education, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention. Services are authorized for all eligible personnel as directed by AR 600-85 and AR 40-68. Please contact the Fort Stewart Army Substance Abuse Program for more information and to verify your status for available services.

Phone: (912) 767-5974

Location: Bldg 201 and 201c 807/808 Worchester Avenue, Fort Stewart, Georgia 31324

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m.


Fort Stewart Substance Use Disorder Clinical Care (SUDCC)

Substance Use Disorder Clinical Care (SUDCC) is the Army’s new model for providing substance use disorder and other behavioral healthcare in an integrated, unit aligned, and co-located manner.

Clinical services, through SUDCC, are now re-aligned to the following locations:

  • Fort Stewart, Winn Army Community Hospital, 1061 Harmon Ave, 912-435-6787/7299.
  • North Troop Medical Clinic, 8435 Vanguard Road, 912-435-9354.

Hunter Army Airfield, Tuttle Army Health Clinic, 212 Leonard Neal Street, 912-315-6430.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.







Richmond Hill Medical Home


Behavioral Health Services – Scope of care includes assessment, diagnosis, and brief counseling for common primary care diagnoses (anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders, stress reactions, etc.) and behavioral modification related to chronic disease and prevention.

Phone: 912-435-7119/7118
Location: 2451A US Highway 17, Richmond Hill, GA 31324
Hours of Operation: Mon – Fri: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


For more information go to: