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PTSD Blamed for Increases in Veteran Drinking and Drunk Driving

December 7, 2018

When veterans come home to Indiana, they sometimes struggle with mental health problems arising from post-traumatic stress disorder. Multiple studies have shown clear links between depression caused by PTSD and binge drinking. A new study from the American Addiction Centers has measured a recent increase in drinking among veterans and incidents of drunk driving.

From 2013 to 2017, researchers calculated an overall increase in binge drinking of 1.6 percent among veterans. The study noted that female veterans experienced a 3 percent increase in excessive drinking. Although female veterans are drinking more, their male counterparts were much more likely to be caught driving while intoxicated. When the researchers looked at the number of veterans labeled as drunk drivers since 2014, they identified a rise from 1.6 percent of veterans to 2.5 percent.

The study concluded that rising numbers of depressed veterans contributed to the increases in drinking and driving while intoxicated. Large numbers of veterans could potentially be struggling with mental health problems and alcohol abuse. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have produced almost 3 million veterans, and roughly 11 to 20 percent of them must cope with PTSD.

A person arrested for drunk driving might be at an emotional low point in life and benefit from legal guidance when responding to criminal charges. The advocacy of an attorney could be helpful when one must make a decision about how to enter a plea. Legal counsel might find opportunities to defend the person from strong prosecution. A police officer who made mistakes during a field sobriety test or faulty breath test equipment might give a lawyer leverage to get charges reduced. An attorney could also propose a plea agreement that replaces jail time with alcohol counseling.

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