Alcohol, Suicide and the Military
Binge drinking among the military is a growing epidemic. In 2003, it was reported that 1.5% of our military soldiers were suffering from alcoholism or have alcohol abuse issues. Stress seems to be a contributing factor to alcohol binges and suicides. It is tragic that there is a growing epidemic of substance abuse cases within the military. As a result, military commanders are increasing substance abuse education including alcohol addiction treatment options. In 2008, there were 142 soldiers who ended their lives. Many families lose their loved ones to suicide which also may be part of the lack of emotional and psychological support from the military. A study that was done in Minnesota revealed that 43% of active soldiers had engaged in binge drinking one month prior to the study and 20% of military personnel engaged in binge drinking at least one time per week. Alcohol is a legal liquid drug and is extremely unhealthy for your body and clouds your judgment. People who binge drink risk alcohol poisoning and have higher incidences of alcohol-related accidents. Binge drinking is a very dangerous form of stress relief. It seems that our military would benefit from education about alternative stress relief techniques such as talk therapy, massage, acupuncture and more.