(Washington, DC, Monday, January 7, 2019) – For active duty service members, veterans and family members, stress can sometimes lead to substance misuse, including over-consumption of alcohol. As alcohol misuse can often co-occur with other psychological health concerns including depression and suicidal ideation, it is important to reach out often and early to loved ones and health care providers.

Real Warriors Campaign Representative Air Force Tech. Sgt. Bradley Blair is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC) at the Psychological Health Center of Excellence (PHCoE). This month, the campaign is asking that warriors and loved ones reach out for support when coping with alcohol misuse.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Bradley Blair with the Real Warriors Campaign, explains.

SOUNDBITE #1:

IF YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE DRINKING MORE THAN YOU MEAN TO, ARE HAVING A HARD TIME CUTTING BACK, OR YOUR DRINKING INTERFERES WITH YOUR DAILY LIFE, KNOW THAT YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ALCOHOL. HERE ARE FOUR TIPS TO GET STARTED: TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR DAILY ROUTINE TO TRY TO IDENTIFY THE STRESS THAT MAY BE CAUSING YOU TO OVER-DRINK, AND TAKE STEPS TO MAKE A CHANGE. IF NEEDED, CHANGE YOUR SOCIAL SURROUNDINGS SO THAT YOU ARE LESS TEMPTED BY OLD HABITS.

SOUNDBITE #2:

TRY ENJOYING YOURSELF WITHOUT ALCOHOL BY REPLACING DRINKING WITH HEALTHY HABITS LIKE RUNNING, WINTER SPORTS OR A GAME NIGHT. IF YOU’RE STRUGGLING, REMEMBER THAT REACHING OUT FOR HELP IS A SIGN OF STRENGTH. TALK TO A BATTLE BUDDY, LOVED ONE OR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR DRINKING.

Please visit realwarriors.net to learn more about maintaining your physical and mental fitness, or call 866-966-1020 for 24/7 resources including confidential counseling.

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