Fort Campbell has been experiencing a rise in fentanyl overdoses among service members. According to a letter from the Pentagon to lawmakers, fentanyl is now infiltrating the military and causing a significant problem.
The use of fentanyl has been on the rise in recent years, not only within the military but throughout the general population. However, the military has been hit particularly hard by the crisis, with many service members falling victim to the drug’s deadly effects.
In the letter to lawmakers, the Pentagon acknowledged the rise in drug overdoses among service members, with fentanyl being a contributing factor in many cases. The letter stated that the military has been working to combat the issue through a variety of efforts, including increased drug testing, increased access to counselling and treatment programs, and enhanced education and training for service members and their families.
The letter specifically mentioned Fort Campbell as having experienced multiple fentanyl overdoses between 2017 and 2021. Fentanyl alone is responsible for majority of the overdoses in the military. According to the letter, there were 18 overdoses at Fort Campbell during that time. The fact that the problem has hit one of the country’s most important military installations highlights the severity of the issue.
Fentanyl is a highly potent synthetic opioid that is often used to manage severe pain. However, the drug is also highly addictive and can be deadly in even small amounts. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and up to 50 times more potent than heroin.
The rise in fentanyl use in the military is a major concern, as it not only puts service members at risk but also compromises national security.
“Drug abuse has a substantial impact on the degradation of total force readiness, not to mention the irrevocable impact on service members and their families”, the Pentagon explains.
The issue has caught the attention of lawmakers, military officials, and veterans’ advocacy groups.
Senator Josh Hawley, for example, has called for the establishment of a dedicated task force to investigate and combat fentanyl trafficking in the military. He has also pushed for increased funding for drug testing and treatment programs for service members.
“We’ve got to turn off the supply,” said Senator Josh Hawley
Meanwhile, organizations like Operation Stand Down have been working to address the issue of drug abuse and addiction among service members. The non-profit provides services and support to veterans, including addiction treatment programs.
The Pentagon’s letter emphasized the importance of addressing the issue of fentanyl abuse, not only to protect service members but also to protect public health more broadly. The problem of fentanyl abuse in the military is a complex and multi-faceted issue that will require ongoing attention and action.
The rise of fentanyl use in the military is a troubling development that highlights the severity of the opioid crisis in the United States. While efforts are being made to address the issue, there is still much work to be done to ensure the safety and well-being of our service members.