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Int J Addict. 1977 Dec;12(8):1143-54.

Heroin use among soldiers in the United States and Vietnam: a comparison in retrospect.


A "unique" heroin epidemic was claimed to exist among American soldiers in Vietnam in the early 1970s. To assess this claim, in 1972 we simultaneously evaluated heroin use in two similar military populations in the United States and Vietnam and compared findings with previous Vietnam studies. The total percentage ever reporting use of heroin was comparable in both locations. Recent use, however, was significantly higher in Vietnam. Heroin users, regardless of location, were demographically and psychosocially more similar than different. Any conclusion that the heroin epidemic in Vietnam was grossly "unique" seems unwarranted.

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