When you’re in the military, you drink for every occasion.
Did you get promoted? Let’s celebrate by drinking.
Did your guy or girl dump you? Time for a drink.
Did you get blackout drunk the night before and not even make it to the party? Well, start drinking again and give it another go.
When I was in, we had Army medics carrying around IV bags to combat hangovers. There are places that make you pay top dollar for that now. We invented the practice.
Which is why a new study indicating that veterans are at a higher risk for alcohol abuse than any other demographic should surprise no one (story HERE).
Because for some of us, its all we know how to do.
And for some veterans, our drinking actually gets worse after we get out of the military. That’s because there are no early morning runs that go on for miles. There isn’t anyone that is going to come looking for us. Its a kind of freedom not all of us our prepared for.
But let’s talk about solutions.
The answer is to change the way we both celebrate and cope. To learn moderation.
Many of us will do this instinctively. And if we’re transitioned out of the military properly (and that’s no guarantee read HERE) then chances are better that we’ll be fine.
But the problem is when we end up alone, as many of us do. Something goes wrong. We start drinking. We get depressed. We drink some more, and then nothing good usually happens. Some of us will end up on the street. And a few will sadly choose to end their life.
This is why we have to look out for each other. And we have to learn how to deal with life’s events, both good and bad, the right way.
And that doesn’t always have to include a bottle.
We don’t need a study to realize that.
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