Military News

Thursday, December 03, 2015

ADAPT helps members achieve a substance-free life

by Senior Airman Areca T. Bell
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs


12/3/2015 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Team Aviano members sometimes turn to drugs and alcohol for a release or escape from everyday life.

For these Airmen, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program is available to help them regain control of their lives.

"ADAPT's job is to educate, treat and get Airmen back on the right track," said Staff Sgt. Juan Padua, 31st Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician. "We educate members about substance use, the short- and long-term effects, build responsible [use] and abstinence plans, and help members assess their situation."

ADAPT aims to promote readiness, health and wellness through prevention and treatment, to help ensure each member can perform their mission duties.

"Our goal is to minimize the negative consequences of substance misuse and abuse to the member, their family and the Air Force and to restore function and return them to [a healthy lifestyle.]" Padua explained."

The program offers treatment and prevention outreach services to all units and members in need of help.

"We offer counseling for members who don't necessarily meet medical diagnosis, but need education on substance abuse, in order to minimize possible negative consequences," said Padua. "For members who have met a medical diagnosis, we offer individual and group treatment services. We also [host education] activities to advertise safe and responsible drinking."

With these available resources, Airmen should remain alert of risk factors and warning signs exhibited by their wingmen. These can include mood changes, becoming more withdrawn, focusing on activities that revolve around alcohol, personal life challenges and poor work performance.

"Have a conversation with the person and express your concern," said Padua. "This may motivate the person to seek help on their own before they have more problems. If speaking with the member doesn't work and you still have significant concerns, seek guidance from supervision or a first sergeant."

Padua also encourages those who think they may have a problem to seek the help needed.

"The vast majority of people who seek ADAPT treatment have zero career impact," said Padua. "Being proactive and identifying a problem on your own tends to be seen as a sign of strength by leaders. The only time people may have a negative career impact is if they are not compliant with program requirements."

To receive help, members can visit ADAPT in Bldg. 108 on Area 1, or call the office at 632-5321 to make an appointment. The clinic is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

"It's difficult to make major life changes without some assistance," said Padua. "ADAPT provides support and teaches skills so substance abuse doesn't become a social or workplace problem."

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