Substantive Remarks – Alcohol Screening among Veterans

Substantive Remarks – Alcohol Screening among Veterans

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Substantive Remarks – Alcohol Screening among Veterans

The article generates concerns regarding the non-recognition of never-deployed reservists as veterans, which decreases their likelihood of being screened for alcohol use than deployed/active duty veterans. Hoopsick et al. (2021) argue that the discrepancy exists despite no substantial variation in achieving dependence/abuse criteria. Consequently, the researchers recommend systematic screening for a history of serving in the military and alcohol consumption and possible dependence without considering active duty/deployment service. The remarks, therefore, reiterates the significance of paying equal attention to both never-deployed reservists and active duty/deployed veterans because alcohol consumption and dependence are among the leading causes of mortality in the U.S.

Disregarding never-deployed reservists when screening military personnel is inappropriate because emerging empirical evidence indicates that reservists who never encounter deployment are also at risk. The research findings by Hoopsick et al. (2021), who use pooled cross-sectional data sets from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2015 and 2019, indicate that whereas chances of Active duty/deployed veterans being screened are higher than never-deployed reservists, there was no dissimilarity in past-year alcohol dependence. The study findings indicate that whereas active duty/deployed veterans receive more attention, the inadequate attention never-deployed/activated reserve veterans receive creates a huge gap that could make the issue caused by alcoholism persist. Thus, there is a need to embrace a more improved systematic screening for all veterans regardless of whether they have been deployed or not. However, addressing the problem requires different parties to acquire much awareness if there are variations in the possibilities of being screened for alcohol based on one’s history. Providing clarification in this area may partially explain the observed distinctions in seeking care depending on one’s deployment status.


Hoopsick, R. A., Vest, B. M., Homish, D. L., & Homish, G. G. (2021). Differences in alcohol screening and alcohol problems among United States Veterans based on military service history. Psychological Services, 1-9.

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