When Elvis Presley was stationed in Europe during his military service, his fellow soldiers introduced him to amphetamines and other stimulants used to help keep them alert during long, boring patrol duties. Elvis became addicted to the little brown and green pills – and brought the problem back home with him to Graceland. The King’s death decades later (as a result of a prescription drug overdose) opened many people’s eyes to problems of drug use in the military – a concern that still exists today as thousands of American soldiers are currently fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Drugs in the military threaten our national security because they lower the readiness of our troops. They undermine authority and the strict order that fuels military efficiency. And most importantly, they damage human lives – the lives of the brave men and women who risk their lives to fight for our freedoms.