NORFOLK, Va. – The number of veterans drinking and driving has increased nearly 60% since 2014, according to a study from American Addiction Centers.
The study analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and found that drunk driving, as well as binge drinking, are rising in the veteran population.
Post-traumatic stress disorders is a contributing factor, the study says.
“PTSD symptoms are more likely to be linked with drinking problems overall, including between 60 and 80 percent of Vietnam War veterans specifically who’ve been diagnosed with alcohol abuse disorders and have a higher occurrence of binge drinking,” the study’s authors write.
In a state by state break down, Virginia’s numbers are lower than the national average, but still local advocates say the numbers are concerning.
“It’s not going away. In fact, it’s disturbing that the statistics are going in the other direction,” said Michael Goodove, a Virginia attorney and president of the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Goodove’s brother was killed by a drunk driver. “When you lose a loved one, you die with that loved one. You can never get back what you had. The sad part is how preventable it is,” he said.
The study’s authors and Goodove agree that veterans and others can get treatment instead of drinking and driving. “I think it highlights that there’s a need for treatment and prevention in this area particularly,” he said.
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