SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES IN THE MILITARY 4
SUBSTANCEABUSE SERVICES IN THE MILITARY
Substance Abuse Services inthe military
Provisionof substance abuse treatment and prevention is an important aspect ofpromoting healthy workforce for civilian employees and militaryforces alike. The military is a sensitive institution that needseffective treatment and prevention programs to ensure its readiness.Most treatment and prevention programs for substance abuse in theMilitary utilize the constructive confrontational approach inprohibiting members from engaging in the unacceptable behavior. Whilethis approach has been found to be effective, great collaboration isrequired from drug abusers and the personnel offering advice forbehavioral change.
Thedevelopment of substance abuse treatment programs in the military wasa significant move in evaluating the severity and mode ofintervention on drug abuse among the military personnel. Theseprograms were important in that, they eliminated the discretionaryreferral by the military commanders and ushered in the mandatoryreferral for diagnosis this move was essential in eliminating biasassociated with misdiagnosis by the military commanders (Newsome,1999).
Inaddition, these programs were essential in enhancing prevention ofpotential cases of developed substance abuse problems. The programchanges were effective in that, they benefitted the individuals,their families and also the military in general. The introduction ofprofessional requirement for counselors engaged in substance abuseand treatment improved the status of service delivery. These programshave enhanced more radical changes on the approach of drug abusetreatment and prevention than when military commanders had thediscretional powers of addressing drug abuse in the Militaryinstitutions (Newsome, 1999).
However,the military commanders’ still play significant roles in fightingdrug abuse among the military officer through early detection andapplication of punitive disciplinary actions on the offenders. Unlikethe old the Limited Privilege Communication Program (LPCP), the newlimited privilege Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Control(ADAPT) program did not include treatment by the Air force for casesof illegal drug abuse.
Overall,the introduction of these drug abuse treatment and preventionprograms led to reduction in drug abuse cases. Survey studiesconducted in the military indicated reduction in levels of drug abuseunlike it was the case prior the programs. Indeed this indicates theeffectiveness of such programs in addressing the issue of drug abuseamong the Military personnel (Newsome, 1999).
NewsomeRichard, 1999, ‘Military Social Work Practice in Substance AbusePrograms,’ United States Army.