US soldiers and drugs in Iraq

US soldiers showing how easy it is to buy hashish in Iraq, the Iraqi traders certainly think that US soldiers buying hashish is perfectly normal.

It would be ridiculous to think that US forces weren't smoking lots of hashish, opium and heroin in Iraq. As this film from the Vietnam War shows soldiers self-medicate to get through the trauma of war.

The self-medication doesn’t stop with the return to civilian life. Three quarters of US homeless people have problematic use of drugs and alcohol. Whilst one in four homeless people are veterans, we don’t look after those who are damaged fighting in our armies and like other damaged people they often find their way to drug use and homelessness.

Perhaps if we want to address problematic drug use we need to start caring for people better before their need to lessen their pain spills over into problems that affect other people. The prison systems in many countries are full of drugs users. Perhaps we need to learn to care for rather than reject wounded veterans.