Saturday, April 19, 2008

Alcohol Abuse in Soldiers

Alcohol Abuse in Soldiers

A lot of soldiers returning home from wars have become alcoholics. It is true that the loneliness as well as the pressure while out in the battle field makes soldiers resort to drinking sprees, alcohol dependency and sometimes drug dependency.

Soldiers should remember though that the abuse of alcohol as well as the misuse of medications or drugs can result to harmful and risky behaviors that include but are not limited to pub fights, spousal abuse, even unexpected deaths so it is a must to engage in responsible drinking. Below are some tips that would help one drink responsibly:

Before drinking and in the course of drinking, make sure that your stomach has food because eating food with starch and high protein will slow down the rate of the effects of alcohol hitting you.

Drink slowly but surely as fast drinking will make the drinker more intoxicated. Drinking no more than one drink every hour will result to the drinker not being drunk fast

Try drinking non alcoholic drinks in between your intake of alcoholic drinks as this will result to alcoholic drinks not having a greater effect on you.

Remember this HALT! This is easy to remember and stands for “Never Drink if you have the following feelings: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.”

And of course, let us not forget (though it may be a cliché, it can save lives). Do not drink and drive. Always make sure that the person who will be driving the vehicle is sober, otherwise, just take a cab or any other public transportation.

Following these tips will help you (soldiers) avoid alcohol abuse as well as symptoms or ailments partnered with alcoholism such as: PTSD. PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder when coupled with alcoholism will automatically cause a lot of trouble. It is a type of anxiety disorder that usually results from trauma that comes from physical injury, a serious threat of death or the death of someone close. As early as the 6th century BC, PTSD has been observed in war veterans.
It has been observed that people with PTSD have a greater risk of developing alcoholism and most alcoholics are even diagnosed with the said disease. Around eighty percent of war veterans undergoing treatment for PTSD have been detected with alcohol abuse disorders. These people have a tendency to commit suicide once they become depressed especially if they are over the age of 65. Binge drinking is also a frequent activity in soldiers/veterans as it is used as a tool to forget traumatic memories for a short period of time.

Alcoholism also disrupts your relationship with your partner and may lead to violence as it is evident in spousal abuse committed by intoxicated soldiers. Aside from conflicts, problems in intimacy have also been observed. PTSD symptoms are stimulated more with alcoholism. The effects of PTSD treatments are also lessened by alcohol abuse.
Soldiers amongst all professionals have the great responsibility of avoiding alcoholism. It is a must to follow tips in avoiding too much drinking not only for your safety but also for the safety of your loved ones and the people who look up to you.

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