December is the Air Force's Responsible Alcohol Use Month!

  • Published
  • By Maj. Lisa Tauai
  • Health Promotion Flight Commander
December is the month of giving and a time to be grateful for our many blessings. It is also a time of many holiday parties and get-togethers with friends and family which typically include alcohol. December is also the Air Force's Responsible Alcohol Use Month and a time to reflect upon the importance of responsible alcohol consumption. 

Notoriously, members who abuse alcohol are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors that put themselves and others in harm's way. National research defines heavy drinking as more than three drinks (for women) or four drinks (for men) per occasion at least once a week. Because heavy drinking and the risk of sexual assault go hand-in-hand, members needlessly place themselves in these dangerous situations that can negatively impact their lives for years to come. Planning ahead (and sticking to the plan), having a trustworthy Wingman, and always ensuring you have a designated driver are also critical steps to minimize the instance of DUIs or DWIs or other career altering/life changing alcohol-related incidents. 

Heavy alcohol use can also play a profound toll on a member's finances while also contributing greatly to total calorie intake that, in time, expands the waistline. Are you thinking calories when you drink? If not, maybe you should... 

Wine: 160 calories in a 8 oz glass; same as eating 40 hard fruit candies 

Long Island Ice Tea: 580 calories in a 10 oz glass; same as eating 10 lollipops 

Pina Colada: 655 calories in a 12 oz glass; same as eating 65 tropical gum drops 

Beer: 145 calories in a 12 oz can; same as eating 24 small jelly beans 

Martini: 275 calories in a 4 oz glass; same as eating 19 caramel-filled candies 

Margarita: 750 calories in a 12 oz glass; same as eating 86 gummi bears 

Daiquiri: 675 calories in a 12 oz glass; same as eating 34 fruit chew candies 

Fuzzy Navel: 445 calories in a 10 oz glass; same as eating 18 chocolate chewy rolls 

Heavy drinkers can easily exceed the amount of calories they need on a daily/weekly basis. With a heightened emphasis on readiness and fitness, these added calories have a negative impact on the overall health/wellness, physical fitness score, and possibly the Air Force careers of our members. It behooves each of us to understand the consequences associated with excessive alcohol use while utilizing the resources available to us. In a time of global instability, we simply cannot afford to lose any of our valued members to alcohol misuse/abuse. 

For additional information on this topic, contact one of the many helping agencies identified below. 

· Family Advocacy Program (06371-46-2370): Addresses military family violence.
· Airman & Family Readiness Center (06371-47-5100): Provides support services to families and recommendations for off-base resources.
· Mental Health (06371-46-2390): Provides counseling for active duty members for personal, work, and family-related issues and alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment services.
· Chaplains (06371-47-6148): Guidance and support for life and spiritual needs
· Military & Family Life Consultants (01522-421-2122): Provides brief, anonymous consultation for daily life stressors
· Health and Wellness Center (06371-47-4292): Provides fitness and nutritional education as well as smoking cessation classes.
· TRICARE Service Center (06371-46-2616): Information and referral services for family members and dependents. 

If you are a victim of sexual assault, whether alcohol-related or not:
· Law Enforcement Desk (06371-47-2050)
· Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (06371-47-7272)  

Additional web-based resources and information:
· Alcoholics Anonymous at  
· Parents: The Anti-Drug at