Date of this Version
Addictive Behaviors 36 (2011) 362–367; doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2010.12.014
Background: Brief web-based alcohol interventions (BAIs) are effective for reducing binge drinking in college students and civilian adults, and are increasingly being applied to U.S. military populations. However, little is known about factors associated with binge drinking in Veteran populations and therefore some concern remains on the generalizability of studies supporting BAIs for addressing binge drinking in this population. This study sought to better understand the characteristics (e.g., demographic, coping related mental health factors, prior exposure to traumatic events, and factors assessing motivation to change alcohol use) of a predominantly male sample of binge drinking Veterans receiving a BAI from a VA provider.
Methods: A primarily male (93.5%) sample (N=554) of Veterans completed a BAI consisting of brief assessment and personalized feedback.
Results: We found that Veterans who were younger, used drugs/alcohol to cope with symptoms of PTSD and depression (e.g., nightmares and flashbacks and sleep difficulties), and had experienced sexual assault, had higher self-reported peak blood alcohol concentration and a higher likelihood for a binge drinking episode in the last 90 days.
Conclusions: BAIs may be a promising approach for addressing binge drinking in Veterans. However, binge drinking among a sample of mostly male Veterans receiving a BAI may be associated with a complex set of factors that are less prevalent in the college student population and thus studies demonstrating the efficacy of BAIs with Veterans are needed.