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Study: one in five UK veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan turn to alcohol

One in five formerly deployed military personnel were found to be drinking at “harmful levels,” the study found.

Source : Al Arabiya / 03 Mar 2014

Around 33,000 British men and women who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan are turning to alcohol to cope with combat-related stress, according to a recent study by UK researchers.

The statistic means that one in five formerly deployed military personnel are drinking at “harmful levels,” British newspaper the Daily Mail reported on Thursday.

Soldiers deployed in direct battlefield combat stood at a greater chance of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the study found, which was undertaken by academics at King’s College London, who described their research as “alarming.”

In addition to alcohol abuse, around one in seven service personnel attack someone - often wives of partners - in anger after returning from the combat zone.


However, UK soldiers were “more resilient” at dealing with after-combat stress than U.S. troops, where the rate of PTSD stands at 29 percent, the study added.

A Defence Ministry spokesperson said the Government had committed $12.3 million (£7.4million) to improve the mental health of service personnel.

“We are not complacent. We want to further reduce the stigma of mental illness and continue to better services,” said the spokesperson.

The study has been published today the in the journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps.


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