EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - Your vision is blurred, making it hard to see what is in front of you. All that is on your mind are the zombies closing in and how many drinks you had at the bar. Gravestones line the pathway, but they seem as if they are jumping out of nowhere, slowing you down and letting the zombies nearly get you.
Although an unlikely scenario, Eielson’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment team made it a reality with a zombie-themed alcohol awareness event at the Baker Field House April 18, 2013.
ADAPT offered several activities to include an over-sized tricycle obstacle course through a graveyard, walking a straight line and video game boxing while wearing drunken goggles, and a questionnaire to test alcohol awareness knowledge.
“(The activities) show you in a sober state of mind what (alcohol) is actually doing to you because I think when you’re drunk you don’t really understand,” said Senior Airman Phillip Mathews, 354th Operations Support Squadron weather technician.
Master Sgt. Allison Weeks, 354th Medical Operations Squadron mental health flight chief, explained using zombies with a “think before you drink and don’t drink brainlessly” lesson was a way to approach alcohol awareness from a different angle by making it fun.
“We are trying to increase the knowledge of responsible drinking and educate folks on what irresponsible drinking looks like,” said Weeks.
Some of the short-term effects of drinking alcohol are blurry vision, anxiety, sweating, slower heart and breathing rates, confusion, slurred speech and dilated pupils, making individuals feel as if they were zombies themselves.
According to research from National Clearing House for Alcohol and Drug Information, the DEA and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, alcohol is often used to cope with stress, boredom, loneliness and the lack of other recreational activities.
“If you only drink once a month and every time you drink you get into a fight, then there is an issue with the alcohol,” said Weeks. “If you drink one or two drinks a day and it is not impairing your ability to function at work, it’s not having a negative impact on your family and you’re not driving or putting yourself in dangerous situations, it’s not an issue.”
Drinking alcohol may worsen individuals’ judgment, meaning they may be more likely to try risky behavior than they would if sober. For those who have trouble resisting peer pressure, alcohol can be a recipe for disaster.
“If people get referred to us, it isn’t because they are getting punished - it’s because we’re here to help,” said Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Goldston, 354th MDOS ADAPT program noncommissioned officer in charge. “Our number one goal is to get people back out into their duty sections and fit for duty, so recovery is what we are focused on.”
For more information or questions on ADAPT, call 377-3071.