Alcohol Awareness Month: Take action, be a good wingman

  • Published
  • By ADAPT Clinic
  • 59th Mental Health Squadron
In 2014, there were approximately 80,000 preventable deaths; the leading cause among them was alcohol. April is Alcohol Awareness Month; it is a time for you to reflect upon this common problem which often carries fatal consequences.

Currently, there are 22.6 million people in the U.S. who are experiencing an alcohol or drug-related problem. Today, one out of four children live in a family where alcoholism is a problem. As a result, most of these children are exposed to poor lifestyle choices, neglect, and in some cases abuse.  

Alcohol abuse touches nearly everyone; consider your personal life. Do you know someone whose life has been affected or ruined by alcohol abuse? Chances are you have.

Many of us have witnessed family members or friends struggle with alcohol. Or maybe you have recognized certain alcohol-related patterns or habits within yourself. If so, you are not alone.

Applying the Airmen's Creed perspective, we can see our responsibilities and how they apply to responsible alcohol consumption. 

We are Wingmen.
We have an obligation to look out for our fellow Airmen and seek help for them when we have concerns.
We are leaders.
We have an obligation to monitor ourselves and our own behaviors and model healthy, responsible lifestyles for others to follow.
We will not fail.
We have an obligation to not let substance use negatively impact the success of our mission.

Alcohol is a drug and is potentially very addictive. Alcoholism is a progressive disease. Full-blown alcoholics can be easily identified when in crisis; however, the subtle signs leading up to that point are often overlooked.

In addition to being aware of any potential signs for alcohol-related problems, here are some questions to ask when uncertain on whether you or someone else may need additional support:

Am I (or someone I know) in complete control of my (their) alcohol use?
Do I (or someone I know) ever consume more alcohol than I (they) should?
Do I (or someone I know) have strong urges to use alcohol?
Am I concerned about my (or someone else's) drinking habits?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you should seek help. Contact the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) Clinic at (210) 292-4452, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Other helpful resources include the Mental Health Clinic, Military One Source, your primary care manager and Military Family Life Consultant. These resources can provide alcohol/substance-related information, guidance, or assistance.

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