If someone who is not in the military is struggling with drugs or alcohol, and they seek help, there is a small likelihood that it will affect their standing at work and their ability for upward movement in the company. However, the same cannot be said for those serving in the military who meet the criteria for addiction and need help.
In fact, people with alcohol use problems are far less likely to seek help for fear of it affecting their career, according to researchers who sought to find the best method of intervention for service men and women, ScienceDaily reports. The findings were published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
Despite the fact that 47 percent of active-duty military members were binge-drinkers in 2008, the fear of seeking treatment for an alcohol use disorder is quite common, according to the article. The researchers point out that only a small number of military members are referred for evaluation or treatment, and those who do seek help could be subject to disciplinary action or other repercussions.
"If you're in the military and you seek substance abuse treatment, your commanding officer is notified and it goes on your medical record and your military record. That's a huge barrier," said Denise Walker, director of the Innovative Programs Research Group at the University of Washington School of Social Work.
The study showed that telephone-based interventions could be an effective method of reaching people in the military; the results indicated that participants actually:
- Reduced their drinking over time.
- Had lower rates of alcohol dependence.
- Were more likely to seek treatment.