When one thinks about substance use or addiction in the military, one’s mind may automatically go to alcohol. Although the prevalence of alcohol use and abuse can be considerable, we would be remiss to overlook the historical use and current trends in use of two other legally and socially sanctioned substances within our military population: tobacco and caffeine.
Blog posts with the tag "Data"
Have you ever said “I need a drink!” to a friend or colleague? Maybe you’d had a long, stressful day, or maybe you wanted to unwind and relax before bed. I think it’s endemic in our society to an extent, the use of having a drink – let me clarify, an alcoholic drink – to de-stress, and by extension for many, to try to get to sleep.
A quick search of the PTSD literature will show you widespread rates of PTSD in the U.S. military. In some studies, the rate is as low as 1.4% (Bliese, Wright, Adler, Thomas, & Hoge, 2007), and in others it is as high as 41.3% (Maguen, Lau, Madden, & Seal, 2012). There are a number of reasons for these highly discrepant rates, many of which are methodological differences.
In 2015, the National Center for Health Statistics found that in the U.S. alone, 9.8 million adults endorsed having serious suicidal thoughts, and 1.3 million adults reported a suicide attempt during the past year (World Health Organization). Suicide experts advocate for restricting access to lethal means as an effective strategy to reduce suicide rates. In this blog, I plan to review the efficacy of reducing access to various lethal means.
Stigma is relative, socially and culturally determined, and dynamic. Consequently, stigma is a difficult concept to operationally define. This is important because definitions shape and directly impact efforts to research and reduce stigma. In 2014, the RAND National Defense Research Institute published an extensive assessment of stigma-reduction strategies within the DoD (Acosta et al., 2014).