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The U.S. Army is funding improvements to a drunk driving game developed at the University of Calgary, in hopes of reducing what they say is a growing drunk driving problem among soldiers returning from war zones.
Heavy alcohol use is a significant problem in the military. Personnel often use alcohol in an attempt to cope with stress, boredom, loneliness, and the lack of other recreational activities. The easy availability of alcohol, ritualized drinking opportunities, and inconsistent policies contribute to a work culture that facilitates heavy and binge drinking in this population. Prevention strategies such as alcohol use policies combined with campaigns focusing on alcohol deglamorization, personal responsibility, and health promotion currently are being implemented to help reduce heavy alcohol use, but further research is needed to evaluate the effects of these efforts. Understanding the characteristics of military culture that encourage or allow heavy and binge drinking practices also will help in designing effective prevention approaches.