Back to Top Skip to main content

Celebrate good times! No luck, charms or alcohol required

Marine Cpl. Edward Blodgett, wears a leprechaun hat at a regimental run in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day at Camp Pendleton, California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Khoa Pelczar) Marine Cpl. Edward Blodgett, wears a leprechaun hat at a regimental run in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day at Camp Pendleton, California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Khoa Pelczar)

Recommended Content:

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Traumatic Brain Injury | Substance Abuse

Unless you’ve been hiding under the Blarney Stone, you’ve seen the shamrocks — St. Patrick’s Day is upon us. In America, many adults celebrate the holiday with Irish jigs, witty toasts — and a lot of alcohol. But, if you are coping with posttraumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury (TBI) you may want to pass up that pint of green beer.

Many trauma survivors use alcohol to relieve pain and other symptoms, but the relationship between combat stress and substance use is counterproductive and can be dangerous. And drinking alcohol with a TBI can complicate your injury or delay recovery.

Know Your Limits

If you choose to drink, take a proactive approach and start by learning how alcohol affects you.

The National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2) Alcohol Awareness Kit includes a drink planning card that can help you understand your drinking behavior. You can use the card to track drinking patterns and identify red flags or situations to avoid.

If you know certain people, places or things trigger you to drink more than you plan, the T2 Mood Tracker mobile app can help. The app lets you track your emotions, triggers and helpful coping tools. Tracking your moods and triggers will help you stay alert during those times you are vulnerable to alcohol misuse.

Of course, having a plan is always a great idea. The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Blog offers ideas for how to avoid excess drinking, such as knowing your surroundings (situational awareness for you military folks) and having an accountability partner (wingman, battle buddy, etc.).

Choose Your Own Adventure

Don’t forget, you have options – and lots of them! In most cases, you get to decide how you celebrate.

If you need ideas for fun things to do in your area, try the Positive Activity Jackpot, another useful T2 mobile app. This interactive app shows activities nearby, offers suggestions and connects with your contacts so you can invite friends along to join in the fun.

Worried About Your Drinking? Talk About It

If you know you are at risk for or have a history of substance abuse, have a chat with your health care provider. Meeting with a mental health or primary care provider to talk about concerns is a proactive step. You’ll learn more about substance use risks, situations to avoid, and ideas to improve your overall well-being.

Until you meet with your provider, there are plenty of resources you can access online at The Deployment Health Clinical Center. They even have a standard drink calculator with really useful facts. For example, did you know that a typical margarita has more than one drink’s worth of alcohol? That’s good to know because realizing that one margarita isn’t equal to one single drink (it’s actually equal to 1.7 drinks) will help you track your alcohol intake — and hopefully avoid bad choices later.

The Real Warriors Campaign provides easy-to-understand content and helpful links — including the early signs and symptoms of alcohol misuse. Reading, or even scanning, the information the campaign offers can help you understand your limits. You’ll also learn how excessive drinking can cause (or worsen) anxiety, depression, insomnia and other health concerns.

If you have concerns and want to learn more about substance use disorder (for yourself or for someone you care about) DHCC has a fact-filled brochure you can download and share.

The DCoE Outreach Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to answer questions and provide resources on alcohol misuse, as well as other psychological health and traumatic brain injury issues. Call 866-966-1020, email or live chat.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

Promoting better understanding, treatment of traumatic brain injury

Article
12/26/2018
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Anthony Mannino performs Art Therapy as part of his Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) treatment and recovery. Art Therapy Interns, Adrienne Stamper (left) and Nancy Parfitt instruct and work with Mannino as he receives his art therapy. The therapy is conducted at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center located in Bethesda, Maryland. (Department of Defense photo by Marvin Lynchard)

Blood test to identify TBI among 2018 achievements

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

To drink, or not to drink

Article
11/9/2018
If you are battling substance abuse, consider attending an alcohol-free holiday party or host your own alcohol-free small gathering

If you are battling substance abuse, consider attending an alcohol-free holiday party or host your own alcohol-free small gathering

Recommended Content:

Substance Abuse

Pilot Program on Investigational Treatment of Members of the Armed Forces for TBI and PTSD

Congressional Testimony
10/9/2018

HR 3304, NDAA for FY 2014, Sec. 704

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Physical Disability | Mental Health Care | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Labyrinth: This path is made for mindful walking

Article
9/27/2018
Wounded warriors at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence are introduced to the indoor labyrinth during early days of their four-week intensive outpatient treatment program. (Photo courtesy of NICoE)

NICoE uses ancient symbol to promote healing

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Traumatic Brain Injury | Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy

PTSD Trauma Triggers and Memories Overview

Fact Sheet
9/27/2018

An overview of what trauma triggers are and how they can impact those with PTSD

Recommended Content:

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Air Force's first Invisible Wounds Center opens

Article
9/10/2018
Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg, Air Force Surgeon General, talks with a veteran during a tour of the Air Force’s first Invisible Wounds Center at the Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The IWC will serve as a regional treatment center for post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, associated pain conditions and psychological injuries. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The center will serve as a regional treatment center for post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, associated pain conditions and psychological injuries

Recommended Content:

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder | Traumatic Brain Injury

Healthy sleep for healing

Article
8/7/2018
Sleep is an important factor in health. In addition to aiding in the healing of the body after injury, studies suggest that sleep can help boost the immune system, prevent disease, and ease depression. (U.S. Army photo by Lt. Col. John Hall)

We know how to treat bad sleep

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Sleep

Drug-monitoring innovations help providers help their patients

Article
8/6/2018
Two Military Health System innovations are helping to ensure best practices for patients with pain, and for patients who’ve been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Curt Beach)

Focus is on management of pain and PTSD

Recommended Content:

Innovation | Substance Abuse | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

DHA PI 6490.01: BH Treatment and Outcomes Monitoring

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (k): a. Establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures for the collection and analysis of BH outcome data. b. Addresses how DoD will standardize BH outcome data collection to: assess variations in mental health and substance use care among in-garrison medical treatment facilities (MTFs) and clinics; assess the relationship of treatment protocols and practices to BH outcomes; and identify barriers to provider implementation of evidence-based clinical guidance approved by DoD. c. Designates the Army as the DoD lead Service for maintenance and sustainment of the Behavioral Health Data Portal (BHDP) in specialty care mental health and substance use clinics, referred to collectively as BH clinics, until BHDP functionality can be integrated with GENESIS or another electronic health record (EHR) system managed by DHA. d. Designates DHA Information Operations (J-6) as lead on transitioning BHDP functional requirements related to outcomes monitoring to future EHR data collection platforms and processes.

There is hope

Article
7/12/2018
Medically assisted treatment for opioid use can break the cycle of addiction.

More than 350,000 deaths are attributed to opioid overdoses nationwide since 1999

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Substance Abuse | Addiction | Mental Wellness

Life without liquor

Article
6/29/2018
There are 2.5 million alcohol-related deaths worldwide each year, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. (Courtesy photo)

One service member’s story of how he overcame a drinking problem

Recommended Content:

Mental Wellness | Substance Abuse

Progress in preventing opioid abuse, more needs to be done

Article
6/26/2018
Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Pick, with the 66th Security Forces Squadron, holds a nasal applicator and naloxone medication vial at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts. Naloxone is one of several medications designed to temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Hanscom was the first Air Force installation to issue the drug to law enforcement personnel under permission of the base commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

The Military Health System has a shared responsibility in addressing the nation’s opioid epidemic

Recommended Content:

Substance Abuse

DHA PI 6025.04: Pain Management and Opioid Safety in the MHS

Policy

The purpose of our MHS Pain Management Campaign is to enable Clinical Communities to provide evidence-based pain management guided by clinical practice guidelines (CPGs): effectively treat acute and chronic pain; promote non-pharmacologic treatment; prevent acute pain from becoming chronic; and minimize use of opioids with appropriate prescribing only when indicated. The Pain Management Clinical Support Service achieves these ends through clinical improvements in pain care, clinician and patient education, and research. This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI) is a dual effort between the Pain Management Clinical Support Service and the Clinical Communities to achieve our stated purpose through implementation of the MHS Stepped Care Model.

Breaking down anxiety one fear at a time

Article
6/5/2018
Marine Staff Sgt. Andrew Gales participates in ‘battlefield’ acupuncture, also known as ‘ear acupuncture,’ at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as a treatment for anxiety related to PTSD. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin Cunningham)

Generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and anxiety related to PTSD are common disorders. In fact, an estimated 31 percent of U.S. adults experience anxiety at some point in their lives; one marine discusses his journey.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Preventive Health | Men's Health | Mental Wellness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

For children who get concussions, brain rest is best

Article
4/19/2018
Christian Macias runs in a combat fitness test modified for children at a “bring your child to work day” event at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. (U.S. Marine Corp photo by Sgt. N.W. Huertas)

Most recover fully, but it may take longer to heal

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Traumatic Brain Injury
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 8

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing.. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.