Alcohol Misuse

Excessive alcohol use is a leading lifestyle-related cause of death, attributable to approximately 88,000 deaths per year in the United States (U.S.)[ Reference 1 ].  The financial costs of excessive drinking are a significant impact to the American economy, estimated to cost the U.S. $249 billion in 2010. Most of that figure ($191 billion) was accounted for by binge drinking (five or more drinks per occasion for men; four or more drinks per occasion for women).[ Reference 2 ]

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, slightly more than half of Americans age 12 or older reported being current drinkers of alcohol with almost 38 percent of 18 to 25 year olds binging on alcohol in the last 30 days (binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least one day in the 30 days prior to the survey).

In the military, alcohol misuse can impact mission readiness and productivity, in addition to service members’ physical and mental health. The Department of Defense (DoD) regularly tracks alcohol use in the military. Findings from the 2011 Department of Defense Health Related Behaviors Survey of Active Duty Military Personnel (HRB), indicated that among current alcohol drinkers, approximately 40 percent of active-duty service members reported binge drinking in the past 30 days, with the Marine Corps reporting the highest rate of binge drinking (56.7 percent) and the Air Force reporting the lowest rate (28.1 percent). Findings indicate that 11.3 percent of active-duty personnel were classified as problem drinkers (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) score ≥ 8).

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Fact sheets – alcohol use and your health. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm.

  2. Sacks, J.J., Gonzales, K.R., Bouchery, E.E., Tomedi, L.E., & Brewer, R.D. (2015). 2010 national and state costs of excessive alcohol consumption. Am J Prev Med, 49(5), e73–e79.

  3. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (n.d.). Alcohol’s effects on the body. Retrieved from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body.

  4. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (n.d.). Alcohol’s effects on the body. Retrieved from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body.

  5. Merikangas, K.R. & McClair, V.L. (2012). Epidemiology of substance use disorders. Human Genetics, 131(6), 779-789

  6. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

  7. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

  8. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

  9. Grant, B.F., Goldstein, R.B., Saha, T.D., Chou, P., Jung, J., Zhang, H…Hasin, D.S. (2015). Epidemiology of DSM-5 alcohol use disorder: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions III. JAMA Psychiatry, 72(8), 757-766.

  10. Institute of Medicine. (2012). Substance use disorders in the U.S. Armed Forces. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

  11. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (September 4, 2014). The NSDUH report: Substance use and mental health estimates from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Overview of findings. Rockville, MD: Author.

  12. Schumm, J.A. & Chard, K.M. (2012). Alcohol and stress in the military. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews, 34(4), 401.

  13. World Health Organization. (2006). Intimate partner violence and alcohol. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/world_report/factsheets/fs_intimate.pdf.

  14. Barlas, F.M., Higgins, W.B., Pflieger, J.C., & Diecker, K. (2013). 2011 Department of Defense Health Related Behaviors Survey of Active Duty Military Personnel. Executive Summary. Retrieved from http://health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Access-Cost-Quality-and-Safety/...

    Foran, H.M., Heyman, R.E., Smith Slep, A., & United States Air Force Family Advocacy Research Program. (2011). Hazardous drinking and military community functioning: Identifying mediating risk factors. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79(4), 521-532.

    Ramchand, R., Miles, J., Schell, T., Jaycox, L., Marshall, G. N., & Tanielian, T. (2011). Prevalence and correlates of drinking behaviors among previously deployed military and matched civilian populations. Military Psychology, 23(1), 6-21.

  15. Ames, G. & Cunardi, C. (2005). Alcohol use and preventing alcohol-related problems among young adults in the military. Alcohol Research and Health, 28(4), 252-257.