June 30, 2007:
There is a drug problem with
American troops in South Korea. So far this year, 32 of the 29,000 troops have
tested positive for illegal drugs. That's more than twice the usual number.
Most of the troops caught have used marijuana, while most of the remainder were
using prescription drugs they weren't supposed to be using. The painkiller
OxyContin was often the prescription drug of choice. While this is hardly a
crises, with only about one in a thousand troops using drugs, the trend is
disturbing. The troops know they are subject to random drug tests, but more are
taking chances, using drugs and hoping they won't get caught. The military has
made it illegal to use prostitutes, and cracked down on drinking and tobacco
use, which may have something to do with this. Then again, all those tours to
Iraq and Afghanistan may play a role as well.