ADAPT offers help
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Military life comes with an array of challenges, which often include long work hours, separation from family, and a multitude of additional stressors. In Korea some of the more common stressors are high operations tempo, and relationship difficulties due to separation. Financial difficulties may also be at the top of your list, or I'm sure you can fill in the blank with the very thing that is causing you the most stress. Drinking to combat such stress is a recipe for disaster and will only make your stress level rise.
Whether you are new to the military or you have been in for a while, you have worked hard and have sacrificed much to be where you are today. Before you drink, ask yourself, "Why am I drinking? How much am I going to drink? Am I safe? Do I have a responsible drinking plan which includes positive accountability?"
Stress will be there after the buzz is gone. Our ability to deal with problems steadily diminishes with the consumption of alcohol--not only are the problems still there, but they are set in motion of becoming progressively worse. Each time we decide to drink instead of dealing with our stress constructively, we become less resilient.
Did you know judgment is impaired after just one drink? In FY13, Osan Air Base yielded 214 mandated command Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) referrals which included alcohol-related incidents such as underage drinking, duty impairments (late for work, hung over), curfew violations, drunk and disorderly incidents, and alcohol-related injuries. Many of these referrals reflect poor choices made due to impaired decision making while intoxicated.
As we have all heard drinking and driving can be fatal. One difference between our Osan community and other permanent duty stations is that most of our personnel do not have cars, making this predominantly a walking base. One false assumption people tend to make is that since they won't be driving, it is ok to drink more than they normally would. If you become so inebriated that you need assistance walking you may be brought in for a medical evaluation subsequently being referred to ADAPT.
Joan Bauer in Rules of the Road mentions, "It isn't the problems along the way that make us or break us. Its how we learn to stand and face them that makes the difference."How do you handle life stressors? Choosing alcohol is counterproductive as it never addresses the stressor in a constructive manner. Some ways to deal with stress are: Change the stressful situation when possible, change your reaction when you can't change the situation, stay organized, prioritize and take care of yourself by exercising and eating right. The healthier you are psychically the better you will be able to deal with stress.
Per AFI 44-121: Para: 3.7.2.: Alcohol. Commanders must provide sufficient incentive to encourage members to seek help for problems with alcohol without fear of negative consequences. Find out if it is in your best interests to self refer to ADAPT for a free comprehensive evaluation. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is an excellent tool that may be used to help identify if you are at risk for alcohol abuse. Knowing what your risk level is will help you learn whether your drinking habits are good or if your health and livelihood are at risk. Here is a link where you can take the AUDIT for free. It is completely anonymous: http://www.drinkcheck.nhs.uk/
For more information contact the ADAPT clinic at DSN 315-784-2149. Our hours are from 0700-1700.