Alcohol abuse is becoming a major concern among the UK armed forces service men and women, according to recent studies.
Historically alcohol was used to encourage bonding and deal with difficult experiences that service men and women often face and while overall alcohol use is declining, harmful drinking is still double that of the general population.
According to data 11% or men and 5% of women in the UK armed forces are guilty of alcohol misuse, in other words drinking at a level that is likely to be harmful to their health.This is compared with 4% of men and 2% of women in the general population.
A recent project – a collaboration between King’s Centre for Military Health Research and University of Liverpool, funded by the Medical Research Council, was meant to determine if an app could also support people in the armed forces to reduce their drinking.
Researchers developed an app to help people monitor their alcohol consumption and manage it. Users of the app can set goals, compare drinking to civilians and other service men and women.
It also provides information and support in real time.