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Army Hiring More Counselors For Alcohol Abuse

Rushing to help the rising number of troops with alcohol problems, the army is increasing its staff of substance abuse counselors by about 30 percent.

Officials said Wednesday that they posted 130 new job openings this week to help counsel soldiers stressed from a decade of war. That would boost staffing from the current level of about 400.

Dr. Les McFarling, head of the army's substance abuse program, said the number of troops abusing alcohol has roughly doubled in the last five years as soldiers go through the stressful cycle of training, serving in the wars, readjusting to home life and then doing it all over again.

Some 13,000 soldiers were treated for substance abuse last year, mostly for alcohol and a small percentage for drugs.


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