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NEWS | Aug. 3, 2016

ADAPT informs on dangers of alcohol abuse – Part one

By Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program 628th Medical Group Mental Health Clinic

Know your limits!
The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program points out, "safe drinking," is a relative phrase. Impairment begins at the first drink. Each subsequent drink only serves to intensify the effects of alcohol on the body, mind, mood and behavior.

Even small amounts of alcohol may result in euphoria, a lessening of coordinated movements and a decrease in judgment. Moderate amounts result in decreased pain sensitivity, drowsiness, confusion, decreased fear and anxiety, aggressiveness, reduced inhibitions and increased risk-taking behaviors. Larger amounts of alcohol consumption result in physical and psychological distress, nausea, vomiting, blackout, stupor, deep anesthesia and potential death.

Einstein once said, "The difference between genius and stupidity is a genius knows its limits." Remember the saying next time you plan to drink. You need to have a good understanding of what constitutes a "drink" and how each drink affects your body, attitude and behavior. 

Know your respective service's policy on alcohol consumption and know what your physical limits are because they may not always match up.  Building policies regarding alcohol use are not about creating strict rules and guidelines to control how much and how often Airmen can drink.  Instead, it is about recognizing that alcohol will affect a servicemember's ability to perform duties at work, home and school, if it is misused or abused.

One drink is defined as any of the following: a 12 ounce beer, a 1.5 ounce shot of liquor or a four ounce glass of wine. The liver metabolizes approximately one half of a drink per hour.  So, to be safe, give your body two hours to process each drink consumed.

It's also important to note men and women may be affected by alcohol differently. For instance, women can expect substantially more impairment than men at equivalent levels of consumption due to many factors including body size, body fat, water percentages and fluctuating hormones.

Servicemembers are encouraged to follow recommended guidelines such as the Air Force's 0-0-1-3 campaign and use other resources such as the USAF Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) program, or, the Navy Drug and Alcohol Program Advisors (DAPA), Airmen Against Drunk Driving (AADD), The Health and Wellness Center (HAWC) and the Airman and Family Readiness Center (AFRC) or Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) to minimize and prevent problematic behaviors. 

As a Joint Base operation many other additional services are offered, so please refer to your local leadership for more information on the types of services available.