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Associations Between Police Stress and Alcohol Use: Implications for Practice

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Law enforcement officers are often reported to frequently abuse alcohol due to occupational stress. However, few studies have examined alcohol use among U.S. police officers. This study investigated the prevalence of alcohol use and the relation between alcohol use and amount of subjective work-related traumatic distress, work-related but nontraumatic stress, personal relationship stress, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, depression, and age among law enforcement officers (N = 193) working in a midwestern state. Multiple regression analyses showed that greater subjective posttraumatic distress and PTSD avoidance symptoms were the most significant predictors of greater alcohol use among officers. Implications for practice are discussed.
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Keywords: PTSD; alcohol; depression; police; stress; traumatic

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, Kent State University at Stark, North Canton, Ohio, USA 2: Center for the Treatment and Study of Traumatic Stress, Department of Psychiatry, Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio, USA 3: Department of Sociology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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