Ever wonder why people abuse drugs and alcohol? Me too. I was searching the web last night for answers and found a few things that shocked me. A recent study published in the February issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry found those who had a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) were more likely to have short-term substance and alcohol abuse issues. Wow. Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) symptoms include confusion, disorientation and memory loss.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Inside the U.S. Military

I dug deeper inside the study and found a few interesting facts:

  • Data from the Military Health System with records from 2001-2008 were reviewed.
  • 5,065 patients with TBI were compared to 44,733 without.
  • After suffering from a TBI, participants reported a higher rate of substance abuse (30 days after the injury) and alcohol abuse (for 6 months).
  • The researchers concluded those with TBI also be screened for substance and alcohol addiction, and be given preventive information.

These statistics fascinated me. My overall take? All military should be given such advice, regardless of injury. The relationship between brain injury and substance abuse applies to several groups, not just the military. However, we should be doing everything we can to protect our active and returned military from substance abuse issues.

What do you think about mild traumatic brain injury as it relates to substance abuse? Let us know in the comments!



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