Underage Drinking Problems… What Can I Do?

I’m a 19 year old PFC, I never had a drinking problem before until now. I’ve been in for around a year and my drinking habit increased from drinking just beers to liquor. I drink every day. How can I solve my drinking problem without getting fucked…

Submitted by: PFC MOTO

NINJA_PUNCH’s Response:

This is honestly one of the trickiest situations I’ve come across. Let me say right off the bat that I looked over the relevant orders, and they tend to be very vague when it comes to underage drinking.

That being said, you made a smart move by coming here and asking for advice. Acknowledging that you have a problem, and asking for help are two huge steps, and the fact that were willing to do those by yourself tells me that you probably have the wherewithal to handle this problem without needing formal “Alcoholic’s Anonymous” style counseling. My advice to you is to start by trying to overcome this problem yourself, without involving your command. If you can get it under control without involving the command, then what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

Without knowing anything about you or your situation, here are a few methods I would recommend using to attempt to control your drinking:

  1. Make some new friends: Try to either meet some people off base, or maybe even try to find a non-drinker on base who you can hang out with. They can help you find things that you can do that don’t involve drinking.
  2. Go for a walk at night: It can be just around your area, or you can pick a road and just start walking until you feel like turning around. You can put in your iPod and listen to some tunes while you walk. You could easily spend over an hour walking around, discovering new parts of the base that you might’ve walked past a hundred times and I never notice before. On top of that, just getting away from the barracks and all of the people you work with, and just going for a walk by yourself can be a good way to relieve stress.
  3. Go to the movies: If you’re already spending $10-$20, why not take that money, and go get a bunch of candy at the movies and spend 2-3 hours there instead of getting drunk? Plus going to the movies is also a good way of unwinding, so you may not want to drink as much.
  4. Turn Sobriety into a Game: Keep a record of how long you go in between drinks, and how many drinks you have if you do drink. Then set a goal for how long you want to go without a drink, or how few drinks you want to have. When you meet that goal set another one. Repeat for as long as is necessary.
  • Note: If you do keep a record – whether it’s in a book or on your computer – DO NOT put any alcohol related words anywhere in the record. The last thing you need is to accidentally leave the book out or the computer open, and have the wrong person see it, and suddenly you’re getting busted for trying to improve yourself.

Granted this isn’t a comprehensive list – and I’m sure you can come up with more ways to stay sober – but those are a few ideas to get you started. If you give these an honest effort and you’re still struggling, I’d recommend trying to go to either Mental Health or SACO. Unfortunately I can’t guarantee that you won’t get burned for going to Mental Health or SACO with underage drinking. If I had to pick one, I’d try Mental Health first. They’re run by the Navy instead of the marine corps, and most of the employees are civilians so there’s less of a chance of getting burned for it than if you went to the SACO. However, going to the SACO and saying that you have a problem, is still going to be better than if you have an “alcohol-related incident” and then go see the SACO.

I hope this is helpful to you, and if you have any other questions please feel free to ask.

Safety and Peace