The well-being of former serving members of the Armed Forces has been at the centre of policy and research for some time. There is evidence from clinical practice and academic research showing that veterans can encounter difficulties dealing with the impact of their service experience after leaving the forces as well as challenges moving from military life to civilian life.
The moderate consumption of alcohol for pleasure and relaxation undoubtedly has an important role in
our society. The UK armed forces, like many other nations, have traditionally used alcohol as a means
of mediating stress although cultural influences are likely to be further contributing factors.
Evidence suggests that military personnel consume considerable amounts of alcohol which may have both medical and occupational implications. Studies of UK veterans found excessive alcohol consumption to be more common when compared to the general population (13% v 6%) even after taking age and gender differences into account. Such high levels of drinking are likely to have both short-term and long-term global health effects with a proportion of veterans eventually finding themselves involved in the Criminal Justice System.