Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Dependence

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Edward Jones
  • 117th Medical Group
Alcohol abuse can be described as unhealthy and dangerous. Individuals that drink every day or drink too much at a time can be labeled alcohol abusers. This behavior puts a person at risk for many negative things to happen in their life. Alcohol abuse can ruin relationships, negatively impact job performance, lead to an increase in absenteeism at work and cause legal problems, such as public intoxication or DUI.

In the military setting there is a great amount of interdependence. Impaired members put their colleagues at risk because their job proficiency may not be adequate. Continued alcohol abuse can lead to alcohol dependence or alcoholism. A person will experience a stronger need to consume alcohol and may believe that drinking is necessary to get through the day at this level of abuse. Failure to recognize excessive drinking occurs during this state.

Excessive intake for a female is seen when that individual consumes more than three drinks at a time or more than seven drinks a week. For a male, it is more than four drinks at a time or more than fourteen drinks a week. Please talk to your physician if you notice that you are approaching or exceeding this level of drinking before a myriad of health, legal, financial, and career related problems occur.