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Air Force Drug and Alcohol Abuse Program


The Air Force Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment (ADAPT) and Demand Reduction (DR) programs include substance abuse (SA) prevention, education, treatment, and urinalysis testing. SA prevention and treatment policies and programs are thoroughly integrated into every facet of Air Force core values, quality of life, and force management. These policies have been in place for over two decades and have evolved to meet changing conditions within the Air Force. Our members are held to the highest standards of discipline and behavior, both on and off duty. Individuals who experience problems related to SA will receive counseling and treatment as needed; however, all Air Force members are held accountable for unacceptable behavior.

The objectives of the ADAPT Program are to promote readiness, health and wellness through the prevention and treatment of SA; minimize the negative consequences of SA to the individual, family, and organization; provide comprehensive education and treatment to individuals who experience problems attributed to SA; and to return identified substance abusers to unrestricted duty status or assist them in their transition to civilian life.

Policy on Drug Abuse

Drug abuse is defined as the wrongful, illegal, or illicit use of a controlled substance, prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, or intoxicating substance (other than alcohol) or the possession, distribution, or introduction onto a military installation of any controlled substance. “Wrongful” means without legal justification or excuse and includes use contrary to the directions of the manufacturer or prescribing healthcare provider (prescription medication may only be taken by the individual for whom the prescription was written) and use of any intoxicating substance not intended for human ingestion (for example, inhalants such as markers, gas, paint, glue, etc.).

Illegal or improper use of drugs by an Air Force member is a serious breach of discipline, is incompatible with service in the Air Force, and automatically places the member’s continued service in jeopardy. The Air Force does not tolerate such conduct; therefore, drug abuse can lead to criminal prosecution resulting in a punitive discharge or administrative actions, including, separation or discharge under other than honorable conditions.

Air Force policy is to prevent drug abuse among its personnel. Failing this, the Air Force is responsible for identifying and treating drug abusers and disciplining or discharging those who use or promote illegal or improper use of drugs. Air Force members are also prohibited from possessing, selling, or using drug paraphernalia.

Steroid Abuse. Air Force policy on the use of steroids is clear: the illicit use of anabolic steroids by military members is an offense punishable under the UCMJ. Air Force personnel involved with steroids will be treated in the same manner as with any other illicit drug use.

Steroids are synthetic substances related to the male hormone testosterone. These substances have two effects: the androgenic, which causes the body to become more male, even if the user is female; and the anabolic, which builds tissue. There are few valid medical uses of steroids. The dangers of misuse are increased when the steroids are taken without a physician’s supervision. Steroid use has been associated with liver cancer and bleeding, high blood pressure, decreased amounts of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good cholesterol”), baldness, and increased aggressive behavior.

Use of Hemp Seed Products. Studies have shown that products made with hemp seed or hemp seed oil may contain varying levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient of marijuana, which is detectable under the Air Force Drug Testing Program. To ensure military readiness, the ingestion of hemp seed oil or products made with hemp seed oil is prohibited. Failure to comply with the prohibition on the ingestion of hemp seed oil or products made with hemp seed oil is a violation of Article 92, UCMJ.

Policy on Alcohol Abuse

The Air Force recognizes alcoholism as a preventable, progressive, treatable, and noncompensable disease that affects the entire family. Alcohol abuse negatively affects public behavior, duty performance, and/or physical and mental health. Air Force policy is to prevent alcohol abuse and alcoholism among its personnel and their family members. Air Force members must always maintain Air Force standards of behavior, performance, and discipline. Failure to meet these standards is based on demonstrated unacceptable performance and conduct, rather than solely on the use of alcohol. Commanders must respond to unacceptable behavior or performance with appropriate corrective actions.

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