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Military Binge-Drinking Rates Are Highest Among the Marines

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Binge-Drinking Rates Are Highest in These Military Services

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Military.com 20 Jul 2018 By Gina Harkins

A third of troops reported binge drinking in a newly released health study, prompting researchers to urge military leadership to give immediate attention to the problem.

Members of the sea services were the most likely to report binge or hazardous drinking, according to data released by Rand as part of the Defense Department's health-related behaviors study.

The Marine Corps had the highest reported rate, with 42.6 percent of respondents saying they engaged in binge drinking within the past 30 days. The Navy was next, with 34.2 percent of sailors reporting binge drinking. More than 31 percent of Coast Guard respondents also said they'd binged.

Binge drinking means consuming five or more drinks on one occasion for men and four or more drinks for women at least once in the past month, according to the report. The data was collected in 2015. Military Times first reported on the survey findings this week.

"We found that rates of binge drinking in the services remained nearly as high as in 2011 and were at a level high enough to cause concern," researchers wrote.

Respondents from those services also reported the highest rates of hazardous or disordered drinking, which according to the report "meets criteria for a possible alcohol use disorder." Nearly half of Marine respondents, about 40 percent of sailors and 34 percent of Coast Guard respondents fell into that category.

That type of drinking can result in serious consequences, loss of productivity and risky behavior, according to the report.

The sea services have taken steps in recent years to combat alcohol abuse in the ranks.

Navy leaders promote the responsible use of alcohol and healthy alternatives to drinking throughout a sailor's career -- from recruitment to retirement, said Lt. Rick Moore, a spokesman for the chief of naval personnel.

"Navy leadership at all levels regularly engages with sailors, especially before long weekends and holiday periods, to discuss the importance of responsible drinking and the necessity for sailors to have a plan in place -- like having a designated driver -- if they are going to be drinking," Moore said.

Coast Guard leaders also work to educate members about alcohol abuse and prevention throughout their careers, said Lisa Novak, a service spokeswoman. The Coast Guard follows the guidelines of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, she said.

"The Coast Guard also provides consistent messaging about the services and support available to personnel who believe they need help dealing with alcohol-related issues," Novak said. "...It should be noted the survey also indicates that the majority of Coast Guard personnel do not have an issue with binge-drinking."

The Marine Corps' Training and Education Command did not immediately respond to questions about how it addresses alcohol abuse prevention. Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said in a service-wide message released last year that Marines "need to drink less, read more, and [train] smarter."

"We're known for our toughness and endurance, but many of us eat poorly, smoke, dip, and drink alcohol excessively," he said. "This self-abuse plays into the hands of our enemies. … Take a hard look at how you are living your life. Be honest. Are you taking care of your mind, body and spirit?"

Neller also introduced the "Protect What You've Earned Campaign," which is similar to a new program the Navy started called "Keep What You've Earned."

That program, Moore said, encourages responsible drinking through positive messaging about what sailors have achieved in their Navy careers. The Navy also unveiled a new mobile application geared toward junior sailors called "Pier Pressure." The app encourages sailors to practice responsible drinking behaviors in real life through a role-playing game and includes a blood-alcohol content calculator and local taxi-cab search.

The Rand-DoD health report states that 68.2 percent of service members perceived the military culture as "supportive of drinking." Researchers found that alcohol is often purchased on base, and suggested raising prices.

Commissary officials recently announced that they will soon begin selling beer and wine on base.

Ultimately, Novak said studies like the health-related behaviors survey are useful sources of information so military leadership can provide the best education and resources to the force.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/07/20/binge-drinking-rates-are-highest-these-military-services.html?ESRC=eb_180723.nl

 

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Jester

5 or more drinks on one occasion??  So if you have 5 drinks in one bar and then go to another bar and have 5 more is that considered another occasion??    I think I had too many occasions in my younger days!

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lamoe

"Binge drinking means consuming five or more drinks on one occasion"

Come on - they don't say how long an "occasion" is   - start at 8 pm finish at midnight = 5 beers / mixed drinks - that's only 1 an hour -  eat some food  - won't even get that buzzed on 1 beer an hour and I weight only 160 now not 230.

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DeedleNuts

They also don't say how big 'a drink' is - that's a key loophole right there. 

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sugbu777
9 hours ago, Jester said:

5 or more drinks on one occasion??  So if you have 5 drinks in one bar and then go to another bar and have 5 more is that considered another occasion??    I think I had too many occasions in my younger days!

Ditto

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sugbu777

When I was in the Navy, we would go quite a few months without drinking while underway during deployment. We would sure make up for it when we got in-port. (Especially in Subic and other "similar" ports). We didn't call it binge drinking then, but that was pretty much an every night occurrence, until we got underway (usually within a few days) again.

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lamoe
Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, DeedleNuts said:

They also don't say how big 'a drink' is - that's a key loophole right there. 

I've seen the amounts refereed to as alcohol ounces where 120 is a standard drink -
80 proof  x 1.5
 
12 fl oz of
regular beer
=
8-9 fl oz of
malt liquor (shown in a 12-oz glass)
=
5 fl oz of
table wine
=
3-4 fl oz of
fortified wine
(such as sherry or port; 3.5 oz shown)
=
2-3 fl oz of
cordial, liqueur, or aperitif (2.5 oz shown)
=
1.5 fl oz of brandy or cognac
(a single jigger or shot)
=
1.5 fl oz shot of
80-proof distilled spirits
Edited by lamoe
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DeedleNuts
14 minutes ago, lamoe said:
I've seen the amounts refereed to as alcohol ounces where 120 is a standard drink -
80 proof  x 1.5

Well, a liter and a half seems like a lot, but OK. 

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lamoe
9 minutes ago, DeedleNuts said:

Well, a liter and a half seems like a lot, but OK. 

No no no 😛

120 = 1 oz of 120 proof (60%) or 120 oz of 1 proof

Some of the stuff I drank ( Puckering Punch  - Canadian company - brewed by Minhas Wisconsin) 2 cans usually within 2 hours, was 12 % / 24 proof x 24 oz ($0.50 / 100 P a can)

24 x 24 x 2 = 1152 alcohol OZ's or 14.4 shots = 7.7 drinks 

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SkyMan
Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Salty Dog said:

A third of troops reported binge drinking in a newly released health study,

So this was just one of those questionnaires where some respondents lie in denial, some brag, and a few tell the truth.

Edited by SkyMan

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RogerDat

I have drank 20 SM beers a night in Balibago bars, one each bar, they had 300 supposedly, and tried to make it thru all in the 4 years I was there, but they keep changing the names, so lost track.

I have also drank 1.5 quarts of Beams Choice in a night. Smoked 4 packs or more a day. Only one time was late, for drug and alcohol abuse of all things.

I am still here.

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Davaoeno
19 minutes ago, RogerDat said:

I have drank 20 SM beers a night in Balibago bars, one each bar,

That is truly amazing !  Did you use GPS so that you went the shortest route between bars ?  I assume you were walking so you didnt have to find  parking ?

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Jack Rat
25 minutes ago, RogerDat said:

I have drank 20 SM beers a night in Balibago bars, one each bar, they had 300 supposedly, and tried to make it thru all in the 4 years I was there, but they keep changing the names, so lost track.

I have also drank 1.5 quarts of Beams Choice in a night. Smoked 4 packs or more a day. Only one time was late, for drug and alcohol abuse of all things.

I am still here.

I couple of my koraput mates and I are regular visitors to Vikings. We  have been known to knock back 12-15 handles each at Vikings simply because the beer is free.....Over a four hour period and because we are consuming food we never think about how much we have consumed, we just enjoy the moment. It's only when the staff comment on our consumption as they have to wash the glasses. Some guys are half pissed on only two or three beers, but we can always walk out 'reasonably' sober. We are happy to pay 800-900p each for a good night out, keeping in mind a similar night out in Aussie would cost at least $80+.. 

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jtmwatchbiz
4 minutes ago, Jack Rat said:

Some guys are half pissed on only two or three beers

that would be me.  actually i would prolly be completely passed out.  i'm a cheap date!  :biggrin_01:

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DeedleNuts

I can drink quite a lot, but I don't enjoy it so I keep it to one drink. One 1.5 liter 80 proof drink. 

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