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Drinking Behaviors and Health Problems among Enlisted Soldiers in Thailand

  • Received : 2018.05.21
  • Accepted : 2018.05.29
  • Published : 2018.05.31

Abstract

Alcohol consumption among soldiers impairs health status, performance, and increases the risks of injuries and violence. This study examined drinking behaviors, health problems, and violence among enlisted soldiers at Adisorn military unit in Saraburi, Thailand. Data collection using self-reported questionnaires were distributed to 256 enlisted male soldiers in May 2017. Participants were age 20-22 (93%), Buddhists (98%), high school education or lower (93%). They purchased alcohol at their own expense (46.5%). For alcohol consumption, all were lifetime drinkers (100%). The current drinking patterns were different 28.5% were current drinkers, 65.5% are currently abstaining from drinking (64.5%), and 6.6% stopped drinking permanently. The top three alcohol beverages were beer (52.3%), brandy (25.0%), and hard liquor (19.5%). Problems related to alcohol were from lost balance/falls (6.7%), illness (10.2%), driving under the influence (19.5%), and accidents (24.2%). Violence from drinking in the past month was from fighting (28.1%). This study is the first to provide information about alcohol-related problems in enlisted male soldiers. There is the need to offer straightforward advice, brief counseling, and refer soldiers to receive treatment to prevent alcohol-related problems. Online social media and web-based programs were recommended as platforms to provide preventive alcohol message to the enlisted.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Boromarajonani College of Nursing Saraburi

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