WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass., April 12 (UPI) — The U.S. Department of Defense says it is encouraging service members and their families to take an anonymous online assessment to detect alcohol problems.
Lt. Col. Hans Ritschard, director of psychological health strategic operations, says Military Pathways provides service personnel and their families opportunities to know more about mental health and alcohol use, using anonymous self-assessments offered online, by telephone and at events held at military installations.
“Occasional alcohol use can cause few if any problems. However, at-risk or heavy drinking can impact all aspects of a service member’s life, including health and family,” Ritschard says in a statement. “Screening is the first step in assessing whether someone should reduce alcohol consumption or get help in doing so.”
Alcohol is a factor in 60 percent of fatal burn injuries, drownings and homicides; 50 percent of severe trauma injuries and sexual assaults; and 40 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes, suicides and fatal falls, Ritschard says.
Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of liver disease, heart disease, sleep disorders, depression, stroke and several types of cancer.
The screenings are available at the Web site: www.DrinkingIQ.org.
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