Drug Use In The Vietnam War

Submitted By CheyEmoBarbie
Words: 621
Pages: 3

Throughout history, there have been many accounts and reports of drug use among the men and women of America, leading into the Armed Forces itself. Many of these accounts was during the years of the Vietnam War, with the use of opiates, marijuana, and other drugs of a known factor. These drugs were used as a coping method for many of the recruits and even officers during the war. The United States has tried to address this issue. The use of drug among American soldiers is not a new case, in the year 1898 the American forces acquired control of Philippines to suppress the guerilla uprisings and this was the first time when the American soldiers learned to smoke opium. Soldiers began using marijuana in Vietnam as early as 1963, during the advisory period, and before its use became widespread in the United States. Its popularity grew steadily. In 1967 a Congressional investigation discovered 16 instances of marijuana use inside the Marine brig at Da Nang. The source was Vietnamese who gave it to prisoners on working parties, often throwing it into passing vehicles in which prisoners were riding. The drug addiction between the American soldiers was escalating at a very high pace, so that in the year 1903 a meeting was called by the American Pharmaceutical Association to find the reason behind it. This drug addiction did not left the American soldier’s and the next time when they entered Vietnam for a similar kind of an operation the drug use became epidemic. According to the author “The single most important cause of the transformation was the decline in iatrogenic opiate addiction” (Courtwright, 110).
This time the drug of which the American became addicted was marijuana. Before the arrival of the American forces marijuana was very much present in Vietnam. Experts believe that the reason why the American became so much addictive of this drug is because in that part of the world drug was not very well defined and the punishment of using drug was not given much priority in their criminal justice. The government had little influence over the proliferation of marijuana which made it very easily accessible. A survey which was conducted in 1966 showed that at that point of time only in Saigon there were 29 outlets where marijuana was easily available