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FORT STEWART, Ga. - April is Alcohol Awareness Month, an annual public awareness campaign that encourages local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues.

Heavy alcohol consumption and underage drinking is a problem in the military.

A recent University of Minnesota study found that the level of underage binge drinking in the military is "dangerous to both the drinker and those around them."

Mandy Stahre, the epidemiologist who led the study, said the results were disturbing, "given the equipment and dangerous environments commonly encountered by active-duty military personnel."

Stahre said 43 percent of the 16,000 Soldiers surveyed reported binge drinking in the past month. The group defined binge drinking as four or more drinks in one session for men and three or more drinks for women.

Alcohol is linked to 5,000 deaths per year for underage drinkers. Alcohol can be a problem for underage drinkers in the military. These individuals use alcohol to cope with stress, boredom, loneliness, and lack of recreational activities. This is especially true during pre- and post deployments.

Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield has seen a steady increase in alcohol-related incidents from September 2010 with a low of eight incidents , to February 2011 which had 58 incidents.

In the United States, a standard drink is one that contains 0.6 ounces (13.7 grams or 1.2 teaspoons) of pure alcohol.

Servicemember's tolerance levels are higher than the norm. They tend to consume more and not realize that they are drunk.

Alcohol affects your physical coordination (ability to walk/talk), your brain (slows reaction times), your gastrointestinal tract, your reproductive system, your immune system, and is linked to cancer.

It is found that a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.35-0.50 is the level in which death occurs.

No two people will respond to alcohol the same way.

The only way to get sober after drinking is TIME. It takes your liver up to two hours to get rid of a standard drink.

Taking a shower, drinking coffee and going to bed will not necessarily make you sober.

For more information on alcohol awareness, or if you or someone you know needs help, call 912-767-5265/767-5267

Alcohol Awareness Month activities
National Alcohol Screening Day
April 7, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Soldier Service Center Building 253 and Post Exchange at Fort Stewart Commissary and Post Exchange at Hunter Army Airfield.

April 12, Fort Stewart
Information Booths, building 253

April 18, Hunter Army Airfield
Information Booths, PX and Commissary

Fort Stewart Georgia State Patrol
April 19, 9-10 a.m.; 1-2 p.m. at Moon Theater
This class will be presented by Trooper Andy Sinquefield, from Georgia State Patrol, and will educate attendees about underage drinking and driving under the Influence.

Hunter Army Airfield Georgia State Patrol
April 25, 9-10 a.m.; 1-2 p.m. at Hunter Theater
This class will be presented by Trooper Andy Sinquefield, from Georgia State Patrol. This class will educate attendees about underage drinking and driving under the Influence.

Save a Life Tour
April 25 and 26 at Fort Stewart Caro Gym
April 27 at Hunter Army Airfield Tominac Fitness Center
The National Save A Life Tour takes a new approach to drinking and driving awareness. Gone are the days when a tall cop with a shiny badge tries to scare people into listening. The Save a Life Tour brings a shocking approach to alcohol awareness with tragic video, personal stories of the loss of loved ones by peers, and a sobering drinking and driving simulation experience. This tour has earned itself national acclaim from colleges, universities, high schools, and military events nationwide.

Page last updated Wed March 30th, 2011 at 19:42