THE DAMAGING EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL: CHRONIC AND PATTERN ALCOHOL USE EXPLAIN WHY SEXUAL ASSAULT FIGURES HAVE NOT SIGNIFICANTLY DROPPED IN THE UNITED STATES MILITARY
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, DISTANCE LEARNING, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States
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Sexual assaults in the U.S. military services are still occurring at high rates because a critical underlying factor has not been identified and targeted preventive measures have not been incorporated into current strategy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate facts and information to produce a total true picture of the underlying problem. In this study, current military policy and primary source information is reviewed and collated to determine the common denominators between chronic and pattern alcohol consumption, antisocial behaviors and sexual assault. Results indicate recent discoveries in the field of neuroscience have proven chronic pattern and binge consumption of alcohol causes vast neurological damage affecting executivecognitive functions, emotional regulation, and behavior. footnote 1 Neurological damage caused by chronic and binge alcohol consumption is a primary causative factor in antisocial behaviors related to sexual assault. The recommended way ahead for the DoD is to fund an outside scholarly source to produce an educational plan covering the damaging effects of alcohol as it relates to neurological damage, antisocial behavior and sexual assault. It is also recommended that this educational plan be handed off to a newly created a joint integrated process team between the Joint Sexual Assault Prevention SAPR and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention ADAPT programs. Leaders will then be able to carve out implementation policy and tools for commanders to utilize at all levels of service. Finally, senior leaders overseeing the SAPR program are urged to include an alcohol involvement perimeter within reporting procedures. This will create a measureable data point to demonstrate changes in the number of sexual assaults once programmatic changes have been made.
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