published Monday, September 17th, 2012

Study: Military drinking 'culture' now a 'crisis'

PAULINE JELINEK

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study says substance abuse among troops has become a "public health crisis" and Pentagon methods for dealing with it are outdated.

The study by the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, says about 20 percent of active duty service members reported they drank heavily in 2008, the last year for which data is available. And, binge-drinking rose to 47 percent in 2008 from 35 percent in 1998.

The study says new methods are needed to help troops. Those include better trained counselors and more outpatient care as opposed to relying so heavily on hospitalizations and residential programs.

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