Armed Forces: Alcoholic Drinks

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 23rd February 2015.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to improve the strategy for combating alcohol abuse in the armed forces.

Photo of Lord Astor of Hever Lord Astor of Hever The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) attaches considerable importance to tackling alcohol misuse in the Armed Forces, and consequently has in place a package of measures, including education, training, discipline and treatment. Sensible, moderate consumption of alcohol can play an important part in the military culture. However, the benefits must always be balanced against the hazards of misuse.

The majority of Armed Forces personnel manage social drinking in moderation, although we are not complacent. The MOD's approach to alcohol is therefore being reviewed by a pan-Defence working group in order to identify key policy and behavioural changes needed to bring about a reduction in alcohol misuse in the Armed Forces.

This review will result in the adoption of a strategic approach towards continuing to improve Armed Forces' attitudes and culture regarding alcohol consumption. This will lead to the introduction of more effective screening procedures, the development of alcohol brief interventions, as well as greater emphasis on the chain of command in effecting change, be that through education, staff development or leadership.

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