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Army Substance Abuse Program

Stress related mental illness such as post traumatic stress disorder, being in high stress environments, and other exposures experienced by those in the military cause there to be a high risk and high level of substance abuse in the army.  For this reason there is an army substance abuse program developed for those in the armed forces who are in need of support in regards to addiction and substance abuse.  The Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) is a program in the United States Army run by the Army Center for Substance Abuse Programs (ACSAP).  It operates this as an employee assistance program (EAP).  It is absolute army policy that the entire chain of command for a soldier support his or her sobriety and the program as a whole.  This includes all the way up the hierarchy including the commander.

Army Substance Abuse Program – Mission

army substance abuse programThe mission of ACSAP, especially within the Army Substance Abuse Program, is broadly to increase the overall level of effectivness and fitness in the Army’s workforce.  This is meant to conserve manpower and enchance the combat readiness of its employees.  The solider’s overall fitness is to be improved by the objectives of ACSAP, which are as follows:

Improve the individual fitness of each soldier as well as the overall unit’s readiness for combat.
Provide preventitive and proactive help and immediate response to the needs of the Army’s soldiers in regards to substance abuse.
Deter, prevent, educate, and rehabilitate the Army’s workforce.
Reduce risk and employ prevention strategies to remove problems in thought and environment before it causes career problems.
Rehabilitate and restore to active duty those soldiers who are able to continue service.
Provide substance abuse services at all levels of command.
Provide and promote substance-free leisure activity.

Army Substance Abuse Program – Principles

The Army Substance Abuse Program principles all include an emphasis on readiness for combat and personal responsibility.  Commanders ensure that all Army Substance Abuse Program personnel abide by these rules and principles, and any deviations must be proposed to the director of the program and be approved.  The two main tenets of the army substance abuse program are prevention and treatment.

In order to accomplish these ideals, the army substance abuse program means to educate, train, and deter substance use.  Random drug testing is the primary mechanism of dettering use.  Identifying workers as current or potential abusers helps contain the problem.  This can be done through an indepth biopsychosocial evaluation.  Screening before employment is mandatory.  Soldiers may be referred to the EAP services by self-referral or comman referral.  Rehab and risk reduction keep all soldiers at fullest capacity for work and combat readiness.

Army Substance Abuse Program – Eligibility

The army substance abuse program services are available only to those who are eligible.  So what are the eligibility requirements?  The ASAP services are available to those authorized as personnel who may receive medical services from the military as active soldiers or under the Federal Civilian Employees Occupational Health Services Program.  Eligibility also includes:

U.S. citizen Department of Defense civilian employees
Foreign national employees where arrangements and agreements require providing medical services
Retired military members
Family relations of eligible employees covered under the specific provisions
Members of other military when under the administrative jurisdiction of an Army commander
Non-uniformed outside continental U.S. employees who are eligible to receive medical benefits

The army substance abuse program is a great boon to our soldiers who face great demands in battle and sadly sometimes turn to substance use for relief.  A substance abuse counselor may find employment in this program and provide amazing benefit to those in need who protect and defend our freedom.

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