Three months after a scathing Institute for Medicine study on the “public health crisis” of substance abuse in the military, U.S. military officials are trying to curb alcohol abuse. According to NBC News, each branch of the military is tackling the issue in a different way. The Marines will give random breathalyzer tests, the Air Force and Army are limiting overnight liquor sales in Germany, and service members in Japan are not allowed to leave their residences after more than one drink.
Dr. Charles P. O’Brien, the chairman of the panel that authored the Institute for Medicine study, says the military still has not implemented some of the report’s basic recommendations. For instance, the military’s health system still does not allow anti-addiction medications like Suboxone, and in the entire Army, there is only one doctor who’s trained in addiction medicine. When asked if the military has implemented any of the report’s recommendations, a spokesperson for the Department of Defense said, “We are in the process of analyzing their findings and recommendations.”
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