The Army recognizes Alcohol Awareness Month as a time to promote self-awareness by encouraging people to take a look at their alcohol consumption and how it might be affecting their lives. During April, U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Army Substance Abuse Program aims to inform the community about the dangers of high-risk drinking, help people increase or maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce alcohol-related incidents.
It is important for community members to understand the risks that are associated with increased alcohol consumption, said Anisley Moreno, USAG RP ASAP intern. These risks can impact health, family and career.
“Alcohol is a drug and a depressant that slows brain activity, impairs function and decision making,” Moreno said. “If people are aware of the dangers, they will start to question if they actually want to consume a substance that puts them at a greater risk of developing a dependent relationship with alcohol, and a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease or liver disease.”
This doesn’t mean community members have to refrain from drinking alcohol altogether. Jordan Goslin, USAG RP ASAP intern, explained that alcohol addiction can be avoided with low-risk choices when it comes to drinking.
“We want to promote responsible drinking by promoting low-risk choices,” Goslin said. “For example – pace your drinks, alternate drinks with water, eat food before and during drinking alcohol and do not drink and drive.”
Goslin also explained the 0-1-2-3 guideline, which recommends:
Zero drinks for those who are underage, pregnant, at risk for alcoholism or planning on operating a vehicle
One standard drink per hour maximum
Two standard drinks per day maximum if you are a daily drinker or regular drinker
Three standard drinks maximum if you are an occasional drinker or drink only on special occasions
ASAP hosts several events throughout the month of April to provide education on alcohol and inform community members of local resources and where to turn to if they need help.
ASAP will host a month-long static demo display for unit prevention leaders and non-commissioned officers interested in providing unit training. Participants may come to the ASAP offices in Kaiserslautern (Pulaski Barracks, Bldg. 2886) and Baumholder (Clinic Kaserne, Bldg. 8743) for the displays. Staff will demonstrate how to use training tools and resources so that UPLs and NCOs may provide various training formats for their units.
ASAP will host information tables from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 13 at Baumholder Commissary and April 18 at Vogelweh Commissary. The tables will have information on different resources available in the community and alcohol-free recipe cards.
ASAP will also provide daytime hot spot tours in Kaiserslautern and Baumholder for leaders to become aware of locations where Soldiers are making high-risk choices.
April 19: The first five registered participants, E-5 and above, will meet at the Kaiserslautern ASAP office at 9 a.m. where they will be taken to on-post facilities along with hot spot locations in downtown Kaiserslautern. Pre-registration is required by April 17.
April 27: Participants will join ASAP at 9 a.m. at Bldg. 8720 along with other community counterparts for a walking tour of downtown Baumholder and its hot spot locations for alcohol and drug use. Pre-registration is required by April 26.
Lastly, ASAP invites the community to take part in an alcohol-free weekend, April 27-29. The alcohol-free weekend challenges community members to abstain from alcohol for three days.
Garrison Commander Col. Keith E. Igyarto recommended participation in the alcohol-free weekend.
“This is a great way to increase self-awareness. We can’t seek help if we’re not aware that there is an issue. If you find it difficult to abstain from drinking alcohol for three days, I encourage you to seek help from our community organizations such as ASAP. We’re here to help you and support you, and erase the stigma that comes along with asking for help,” he said.
If you would like more information or if you think you may need help overcoming an alcohol addiction, call ASAP at 493-1710 or 0631-3406-1710 in Kaiserslautern, 531-3141 or 0611-143-531-3141 in Baumholder.