Alcohol a Growing Problem for the U.S. Army

pAlcohol abuse seems to be a growing problem among Army personnel, according to a USA Today post. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Armyrsquo;s No. 2 officer claims the Army needs to double its staff of substance-abuse counselors to handle the steady increase of soldiers seeking treatment./p
pRoughly 300 additional counselors are needed to meet the demand, reduce wait times and provide evening and weekend services. In 2009, the soldiers in treatment numbered 9,199 after being diagnosed with alcohol problems. Data shows that some 16,388 sought some type of counseling./p
pquot;There’s no doubt in my mind that since 2001 and being involved in two wars … that we probably have a higher incidence of alcohol abuse,quot; Chiarelli said in the USA Today interview./p
pBrig. Gen. Jeffrey Horne, chief of Army human resources and policy noted that the nationrsquo;s help is needed in finding more counselors. The service is down 20 percent from its authorized staffing level of 290, according to Les McFarling, director of the Army Substance Abuse Program./p
pMcFarling noted that many soldiers find themselves in counseling after an incident, including a citation for drunk driving. If it is determined they do not have an alcohol-abuse problem, the soldiers simply need to go through a two-day educational course instead of a formal treatment program./p
pWhile drugs are an issue within the Army, alcohol continues to be a much larger problem, making up 85 percent of this military divisionrsquo;s substance-abuse treatment caseload./p
pThe Army did start a program last aimed that sought to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help for alcohol problems. This program included the ability to seek alcohol-abuse counseling without their commanders being notified at three Army installations. br /