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    Drink Responsibly Sage Advice From Gen. George Washington



    Courtesy Story


    NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - (June 23, 2019) – “An aching head and trembling limbs which are the inevitable effects of drinking, disincline the hands from work; hence begins sloth and listlessness which ends in idleness.” These are the words George Washington spoke to Thomas Green on March 31, 1789.
    Since the country’s founding, community and national leaders have grappled with the dangers of alcohol abuse in society, and Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) are reminded to drink responsibly and safely.
    “Alcohol affects the mission of the Navy when it is abused and mishandled,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman John Watkins, the command drug and alcohol program advisor (DAPA) aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). “With binge drinking, and just the misuse of it in general, causes the readiness of the crew member, the ship, and the mission overall to be impacted. If you aren’t competent, how are you going to get the job done?”
    According to the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, 81 percent of active duty Sailors in the Navy admit to heavy drinking more than two times a year. Heavy drinking or binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks in one sitting (or more than 15 drinks in a week) for males, and four or more per sitting, or more than eight drinks in a week for females.
    George Washington Sailors should be aware that irresponsible drinking comes with legal and medical consequences.
    “Underage drinking is against the [Uniform Code of Military Justice], local, and state laws, as well as federal laws,” said Watkins. “Also, it is medically not sound with the development of the human mind all the way up until your late 20s. Drinking at that earlier age prevents the synapse, the development of the mind as well as cognitive skills, and impedes upon the formation of memories, especially short term.”
    One of the common dangers of alcohol abuse involves putting lives at risk on American highways.
    “The more serious complications of drinking and driving is death, as well as the chance of severe disabilities,” said Watkins.
    Naval leaders and DAPAs recommend that Sailors who are thinking about consuming alcohol to have a plan to get home safely, whether a taxi, a rideshare program, or a designated driver. The worst decision a Sailor can make is to get behind the wheel of the vehicle while intoxicated.
    “It’s a horrible thing to do,” said Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Charles Atkinson. “You are putting yourself at risk, and others at risk. Everyone, for the most part, has someone to come home to; it is not worth it to risk it by drinking and driving.”
    Atkins said the consequences of drinking and driving vary from state to state, but regardless of the civilian penalties, a Sailor may also face additional military punishment, which could compound the cost.
    “I’ve seen DUIs at $4,000 or $5,000 before you even get to court,” said Atkinson. “That’s just on the civilian side. It’s not even counting what you are going to lose from the military. It’s the half months pay times two, and the 45 days of restriction, esspecially if you have a family to attend for. It adds up quickly.”
    Sailors that struggle with alcohol-related issues have the opportunity to talk with medical personnel, the chaplain, DAPA, deployed resiliency counselors (DRC), and Fleet and Family Services.
    “The Navy programs are mostly geared for ensuring that members are getting the help they want,” said Watkins. “Also [so] that it is reported accurately and we keep holding each member accountable.”
    Sailors should know that they are never alone and help is always available. Having a plan and being smart will ensure you can enjoy off-duty time in a responsible way.
    A quote from an article published on the Mount Vernon site was used in this story. https://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/facts/washington-stories/distilling-the-truth-george-washington-and-alcohol/



    Date Taken: 06.23.2019
    Date Posted: 07.11.2019 12:24
    Story ID: 330269
    Location: NEWPORT NEWS, VA, US 

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