Is there an Army Substance Abuse Program?
Yes, there is an army substance abuse program. The Army Center for Substance Abuse created the program to help prevent and treat any substance abuse issues that might occur while a soldier is in service. According to The Army Substance Abuse Program, Regulation 600-85, are the two basic principles that all of their practices fall under.
Prevention of Substance Abuse Problems
The Army Center for Substance Abuse established several practices relating to the prevention of substance abuse by military personnel. These practices are:
- Education and Training – focuses on developing the knowledge and skills soldiers need to understand and prevent substance abuse in themselves and others.
- Deterrence – drug testing and threats of discipline with clear consequences to dissuade soldiers from engaging in drug use and other drug related actions.
- Identification and Detection – programs to identify and detect substance abuse in soldiers by themselves, others, investigations, or other means.
- Referral – how soldiers are to access the services provided by the substance abuse agencies and programs.
- Risk Reduction – this is a record keeping endeavor that analyzes and correlates data, to reduce identify high risk soldiers and high risk behaviors to help prevent substance abuse.
The Army Center for Substance Abuse designed these practices to prevent substance abuse before there is a problem. It is important to have these in place before soldiers enter other countries. Drug laws differ around the world and some soldiers suffer frequent exposure to drug use by simply due to their location in specific countries. Preventative programs help to make sure that drugs in their surroundings do not endanger them or their fellow soldiers.
Treatment of Substance Abuse Problems
Since no organization is safe from substance abuse, The Army Center for Substance Abuse also focuses on treatment of substance abuse disorders. The organization established several practices to help with the treatment of substance abuse among soldiers. These practices are:
- Targeted Intervention – This motivational program looks at the adverse effects and consequences of alcohol and substance abuse. Targeted intervention may be preformed regardless of whether a soldier is in treatment or not.
- Screening – soldiers suspected of substance abuse should undergo a biopsychosocial evaluation to see if they need to participate in a treatment program.
- Rehabilitation – this is a treatment form designed to treat the substance abuse, the cause, and return soldiers to full duty or to identify soldiers that did not successfully complete rehabilitation.
The treatment principles of the Army Substance Abuse program are all designed to make sure that the soldier or soldiers dependent return to full functioning as soon as possible. In the case of soldiers, they are evaluated and treated according to the Army’s regulations.
Principles of the Army Substance Abuse Program
As with any substance abuse program the Army Center for Substance Abuse outlines several directives that they base their program on. These directives are:
- Drug use is against the Army Values and Warrior Ethos,
- Unit Commanders will intervene when drug use is suspected,
- Soldiers who abuse drugs or alcohol will be referred to the substance abuse program,
- Soldiers who abuse drugs or alcohol will be automatically enrolled in the substance abuse program after evaluation or recommendation,
- Soldiers who fail to complete the substance abuse program are processed for administrative separation,
- All alcohol and drug abuse is addressed in a single program,
- Rehabilitation is short term,
- Unit commanders can make decisions that pull people away from the substance abuse program if it is mission related,
- Supervisors are to inform civilian corps members that the employee assistance program is available to them if they exhibit signs of drug or alcohol abuse.
- The Army Substance Abuse program is available for those in the civilian corps, if the is room.
- Civilian corps substance abuse treatment is confidential.
- The Army Substance Abuse Program may not be infiltrated by military police or Criminal Investigation Command.
These directives are the main portion of the rules regulating the Army Substance Abuse Program.
Who can use the Army Substance Abuse Program?
According to the United States Army website, there are several groups of individuals who can take advantage of the Army Substance Abuse Program. These are:
- Active duty members of the Army,
- Dependents of soldiers,
- Civilians affiliated with the Army,
- Members of the Army reserves, and
- Members of the National Guard.
Although others may be eligible depending on their status these are the basic groups that this program services.
Goals of the Army Substance Abuse Program
The goals of the Army Substance Abuse Program are:
- to help soldiers and their families to overcome their addictions by providing the best possible care,
- to address addition among the soldiers with dignity and compassion,
- to provide a flexible system to help those in need.
Each of these goals is accomplished through the Army Center for Substance Abuse, officers and other personnel are required to both provide information on the program and access to the program.
Substance abuse is a widespread problem among everyone including service members. The Army Center for Substance Abuse has substance abuse treatment available to any army service member as well as civilians associated with the military. If you are in the army and have a substance abuse problem there is help available. For more information call 800-895-1695, we can help.