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J Soc Work Pract Addict. 2012;12(1):28-51. Epub 2012 Feb 20.

Alcohol Use after Combat-Acquired Traumatic Brain Injury: What We Know and Don't Know.

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  • 1Brandeis University, Heller School, Institute for Behavioral Health, Waltham, MA, USA.


Military personnel engage in unhealthy alcohol use at rates higher than their same age, civilian peers, resulting in negative consequences for the individual and jeopardized force readiness for the armed services. Among those returning from combat deployment, unhealthy drinking may be exacerbated by acute stress reactions and injury, including traumatic brain injury (TBI). Combat-acquired TBI is common among personnel in the current conflicts. Although research suggests that impairments due to TBI leads to an increased risk for unhealthy drinking and consequences among civilians, there has been little research to examine whether TBI influences drinking behaviors among military personnel. This article examines TBI and drinking in both civilian and military populations and discusses implications for clinical care and policy.

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