Skip to main content

Patterns of drinking in the UK Armed Forces

Buy Article:

$43.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


To examine patterns of drinking in the UK Armed Forces, how they vary according to gender and other demographics, and to make comparisons with the general population. Design 

Large cross-sectional postal questionnaire study (response rate 60%). Setting 

United Kingdom. Participants 

A random representative sample of the regular UK Armed Forces who were in service in March 2003 (n = 8686; 7937 men, 749 women). Comparisons were made with the general population of Great Britain. Measurements 

Alcohol consumption was assessed using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Findings 

Sixty-seven per cent of men and 49% of women in the UK Armed Forces had an AUDIT score of 8+ (defined as hazardous drinking), compared to 38% of men and 16% of women in the general population. In both sexes, for all ages, the military have a higher prevalence of hazardous drinking. Binge drinking was associated with being younger, being in the Army, being single, being a smoker and being white. Among military men, heavy drinking (AUDIT score 16+) was associated with holding a lower rank, being younger, being single, being in the Naval Service or Army, being deployed to Iraq, not having children, being a smoker, having a combat role and having a parent with a drink or drug problem. Conclusions 

Excessive alcohol consumption is more common in the UK Armed Forces than in the general population. There are certain socio-demographic characteristics associated with heavy drinking within the military; for example, young age, being single and being a smoker, which may allow the targeting of preventive interventions.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Keywords: AUDIT; Alcohol; Armed Forces; general population; socio-demographic characteristics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: King's Centre for Military Health Research, King's College London, London, UK, 2: Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK, 3: King's College Hospital, London, UK and 4: Mental Health Hospital Unit, British Forces Germany Health Service, BFPO 40 5: Academic Centre for Defence Mental Health, King's College London, London, UK,

Publication date: 2007-11-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more