Soldiers’ Alcohol Abuse Fought with Telephone-based Intervention

Soldiers’ Alcohol Abuse Fought with Telephone-based Intervention

It’s an unfortunate fact.

Alcohol abuse is pervasive in the military, where a culture of heavy drinking and the stress of deployment lead many soldiers down a troubled path.

According to a 2012 report by the Institute of Medicine, 47 percent of active-duty military members in the United States were binge-drinkers in 2008, up from 35 percent a decade earlier.

According to an article on the University of Washington website, rates of heavy drinking also rose during that period. But many in the military avoid seeking help for alcohol abuse, fearing disciplinary action or other repercussions, and few soldiers are referred for evaluation or treatment.

The article notes that there is little research on what type of treatment is most effective for active-duty military members.

To shed new insight on that question and remove obstacles to seeking treatment, a team of researchers tested a telephone-based intervention geared specifically to military members struggling with alcohol abuse — with promising results.

The study, published online Oct. 13 in October in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, found that participants in the telephone intervention significantly reduced their drinking over time, had lower rates of alcohol dependence and were more likely to seek treatment.

The article concludes that this intervention has the potential to be used for soldiers and military personnel worldwide. It would really help fill the gap in service provision that is currently available to soldiers

Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States, to learn more, click here.

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