January 12, 2009
I'm shocked! Shocked! To hear that the Royal Navy has a massive alcohol problem.
The researchers said that there was a tendency for sailors to ‘alternate between restraint while at sea and the opportunity for excess while on shore’.
Last year researchers at King’s published a study that looked at the drinking habits of all of the UK’s armed forces.
It uncovered a worrying culture of drinking and suggested that it was driven in part by isolation and boredom.
But they said it could also be fuelled by a need to bond with colleagues after intensive periods of duty or training. A sense of communal risk-taking and comradeship is thought to promote drinking as a way of bonding.
The Navy survey of 1,333 personnel found those most at risk were young, single, low-ranked sailors.
The results appear to show that efforts to curb heavy drinking, including alcohol-awareness days and penalties for staff who commit alcohol-related offences, have failed to tackle widespread abuse.
Defence Minister Kevan Jones said: ‘I’m well aware of the potential harmful effects of alcohol and there is no room for complacency.’
That coming from a branch of the military that used to issue rum to its sailors as part of the daily rations.
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