By Maj. Gen. Kent Savre and Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Stanley
Special to GUIDON
April is Alcohol Awareness Month – a time when we educate and inform our community about the dangers of alcoholism, alcohol abuse and alcohol-related issues.
This year’s theme, “Changing Attitudes: It’s Not A ‘Rite of Passage,’” turns our focus to the glorification of alcohol among our youth. Adolescent years often involve periods of heightened risk-taking and a desire for social acceptance.
Kids and teenagers are heavily influenced by their peers and believe that using alcohol is “cool” or a way to fit in.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, research shows that kids are 50 percent less likely to use alcohol if they have conversations with their parents about its dangers and long-term health concerns.
Here on Fort Leonard Wood, we encourage everyone to understand the risks and warning signs of alcohol abuse. Alcohol’s effects to the consumer include changes to heart rate and blood pressure, impaired motor skills, and, if over-consumed, stomach damage, liver cirrhosis, brain damage or even death.
Alcohol has been linked to inter-personal issues such as violence, unhealthy relationships, performance issues at school or in the workplace, and undue risk to the safety of our loved ones and community members.
The Army Substance Abuse Program is a great resource and will be providing alcohol screening, low-risk drinking guidelines and information about alcohol content April 13 at the John Mahaffey Museum Complex. Please call 573.596.0938 for further details. Also, if you or someone you care about is afflicted by alcohol dependence, our medical facilities, the chaplain’s office, and your chain-of-command are there to provide hope and help.
We rely on all of our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, DoD civilians, retirees and family members to make sensible decisions if they choose to drink.
We want our team to be safe, healthy, and informed. We are proud to serve with you.
Victory starts here — victory through skill.
(Editor’s note: Savre is the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general. Stanley is the MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood command sergeant major.)