17 September 2012

Institute of Medicine study shows that alcohol abuse by American military personnel is a "public health crisis"

A 410 page report was just released today entitled "Substance Use Disorders in the U.S. Armed Forces" by the Institute of Medicine.  The study, which was conducted at the behest of the U.S. Department of Defense ("DoD"), shows there is a "public health crisis" in the use of alcohol among troops and their families. 

The report notes:
  • Troops have increased binge drinking in a decade by 12 percent (going from 35 percent in 1998 to 47 percent in 2008).
  • In 2008 nearly 20 percent of troops reported they had engaged in heavy drinking (five or more drinks per drinking session).
  • DoD programs have not modernized to address contemporary substance abuse issues.
A four page report brief concludes that "grappling with the public health crisis of substance use and misuse within the ranks of the armed forces will require the DoD to consistently implement prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment services and take leadership for ensuring that these services expand and improve." 

At the time of the publishing of this post DoD had not issued any press releases regarding the study.

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