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Mil Med. 2007 Sep;172(9):950-5.

A historical look at alcohol abuse trends in army and civilian populations, 1980-1995.

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1
United BioSource Corporation, 3 Olde Connecticut Path, Westborough, MA 10581, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The purpose of this study was to compare civilian and Army alcohol-related hospitalization trends and to plot temporal changes in rates relative to alcohol-related legislation and social policies.

METHOD:

We compared population-based civilian and Army annual hospitalization rates for overall alcohol-related diagnoses and for alcohol-related diagnostic subgroups (1980-1995) and plotted them against civilian and military substance abuse regulations. Civilian data were adjusted to Army age, gender, and race.

RESULTS:

Although overall civilian and Army alcohol hospitalization rates were similar, alcohol subgroup rates varied. Simultaneous drug and alcohol abuse (polyabuse) rates were higher among civilians (16.6 per 10,000) than Army soldiers (5.1 per 10,000). Army rates for dependent alcohol-related disorders were higher and increased. Army nondependent alcohol disorders tracked with alcohol-related regulations as rates fell 69% between 1985 and 1995.

CONCLUSION:

Army and civilian alcohol abuse trends vary by abuse type. Without longitudinal, diagnosis-specific subgroup analyses, these trends would not have emerged. Army policies and screening may explain divergent nondependent alcohol abuse and lower polyabuse rates.

PMID:
17937358
PMCID:
PMC2214832
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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