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Protect What You've Earned: Know the Signs of Alcohol Misuse

The Commandant has challenged Marines and families to redefine the culture of the Marine Corps concerning alcohol use to ensure you “Protect What You’ve Earned”; but it can be challenging to determine if you or a loved one has a problem with alcohol. Due to a variety of factors, alcohol may affect people differently. Knowing the signs of alcohol misuse is the first step to determining your course of action.

  1. Taking risks: Driving or operating machinery while under the influence, or mixing alcohol with prescription medication.
  2. Legal issues related to alcohol: Having legal problems related to drinking (public intoxication, DUI, domestic violence, etc).
  3. Blackouts: Having trouble remembering short or lengthy periods of time that occurred while you were drinking.
  4. Loss of control: Inability to predict what will happen once you start drinking and/or inability to limit consumption consistently.
  5. Drinking more than intended: Drinking more often or consuming more than planned.
  6. Inability to stop: Continuing to drink despite others being worried about your drinking, and failed efforts to cut down or control your consumption.
  7. Repeatedly neglecting responsibilities at home and work:  Missing work, neglecting your children, or skipping out on commitments because of the increased time you’re spending drinking alcohol.
  8. Isolation: Staying away from family and social events, etc. so you can hide alcohol use or the effects of alcohol misuse. 
  9. Hiding alcohol: Denying how much you are spending on alcohol or hiding the bottles from family and friends.
  10. Blaming drinking or drinking-related problems on others:  Using life stressors as an excuse to continue your alcohol use.  

It’s important to be aware of the common signs of someone misusing alcohol. If you are concerned about your alcohol or other drug misuse or that of someone you care about, please contact your installation Substance Abuse Counseling Center (SACC). The SACC takes a proactive approach to support low-risk use of alcohol and discourage other substance misuse, and offers a wide array of prevention, intervention, and counseling. Click here to locate a SACC near you or learn more about how you can Protect What You've Earned.

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