Drug addiction among United States troops in South Vietnam is now a major problem, according to the American Government.
Drug addiction among United States troops in South Vietnam is now a major problem, according to the American Government. So a clamp on drug traffic has been imposed on all U.S. bases in the country, and soldiers going home are searched thoroughly at airports. Medical testing equipment capable of instantly detecting heroin addicts has been flown in to South Vietnam; Vietnamese civilian workers on the military bases are searched upon entering and leaving; and the Vietnam Government is co-operating by agreeing to try and curb drug traffic in the marketplaces. It is too soon to judge whether the campaign, which only began recently, is going to be a success. But the American Government believes it will at least prevent addicts from getting back to the United States--where they are partly responsible for the growing wave of drug-taking there.
SYNOPSIS: A new war in Vietnam--this time, a battle against drug addiction among United States troops there. Following recent estimates that about 30,000 American troops in Vietnam are drug addicts, military police have begun a large-scale clamp-down on drug traffic in and out of military bases.
The net is wide-spread. Because so may servicemen buy their drugs-including heroin--from Vietnamese civilian workers on their bases, all civilians are now checked upon entering and leaving. And under pressure from the United States Government, the South Vietnam authorities have agreed to crack down on the market-places--traditional shopping centres for all drugs. President Nixon has called the problem "a national emergency", and an average of one GI has died from a heroin overdose every two days since the beginning of the war.
But the biggest clamp down of all has been imposed on American soldiers leaving South Vietnam to return home. Every single item of luggage is searched, and every person boarding the aircraft is thoroughly checked. Three medical machines capable of instantly detecting heroin in a person's body are being set up at South Vietnamese airports, and addicts will be detained for rehabilitation treatment before being allowed to go home. Many more of these machines are needed, however, and while the flow of drug back to the United States has been almost halted, the flow of drug addicts hasn't...not for the moment, anyway.