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Air Force Drug & Alcohol Abuse Program

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Drug Testing. The Air Force conducts drug testing of personnel according to AFI 44-120, Drug Abuse Testing Program. Drug testing is most effective as a deterrent if it reaches each Air Force member; thus, all military personnel are subject to testing regardless of grade, status, or position. Inspection testing is the best method to achieve the deterrent goal. Commanders must have the flexibility to select the most appropriate testing method, but inspection testing should be the primary method used, with probable cause and a commander’s request as supplements. Military members may receive an order or voluntarily consent to provide urine samples at any time. Military members who fail to comply with an order to provide a urine sample are subject to punitive action under the UCMJ. Commanders must refer individuals identified positive as a result of drug testing for a SA assessment.

Medical Purposes. Results of any examination conducted for a valid medical purpose including emergency medical treatment, periodic physical examination, and other such examinations necessary for diagnostic or treatment purposes may be used to identify drug abusers. Results may be used to refer a member for a SA evaluation, as evidence to support disciplinary action under the UCMJ, or administrative discharge action. These results may also be considered on the issue of characterization of discharge in separation proceedings.

Self-identification. Air Force members with SA problems are encouraged to seek assistance from the unit commander, first sergeant, SA counselor, or a military medical professional. Following the assessment, the ADAPTPM will consult with the treatment team and determine an appropriate clinical course of action.

  • Drugs. An Air Force member may voluntarily disclose evidence of personal drug use or possession to the unit commander, first sergeant, SA counselor, or a military medical professional. Commanders will grant limited protection for Air Force members who reveal this information with the intention of entering treatment. Commanders may not use voluntary disclosure against a member in an action under the UCMJ or when weighing characterization of service in a separation. Disclosure is not voluntary if the Air Force member has previously been:

    • Apprehended for drug involvement.

    • Placed under investigation for drug abuse. The day and time when a member is considered “placed under investigation” is determined by the circumstances of each individual case. A member is under investigation, for example, when an entry is made in the security forces blotter, when the security forces investigator’s log shows an initial case entry, or when the AFOSI opens a case file. A member is also considered under investigation when he or she has been questioned about drug use by investigative authorities or the member’s commander, or when an allegation of drug use has been made against the member.

    • Ordered to give a urine sample as part of the drug-testing program in which the results are still pending or have been returned as positive.

    • Advised of a recommendation for administrative separation for drug abuse.

    • Entered into treatment for drug abuse.

  • Alcohol. Commanders must provide sufficient incentive to encourage members to seek help for problems with alcohol without fear of negative consequences. Self-identification is reserved for members who are not currently under investigation or pending action as a result of an alcohol-related incident. Selfidentified members will enter the ADAPT assessment process and will be held to the same standards as others entering SA education, counseling, and treatment programs.

Supervisor Responsibilities

The supervisor’s role in the treatment process does not end with identifying and referring members. Though the supervisor is not charged with providing treatment, daily interaction with his or her personnel and the treatment team (TT) can have a significant impact on the success of the treatment efforts. Identifying individuals who need treatment is a critical first step in helping them break free of the tremendously potent cycle of denial, negativity, and increased SA. However, entering treatment is only a first step. A member’s SA problem did not develop overnight—it took time—as will treatment and recovery. The supervisor must remain focused on the member’s duty performance, attendance in the program, and maintenance of standards. One of the most critical components to a member’s treatment is the treatment team meeting (TTM). Commander or first sergeant and supervisor involvement in the TTM at key points in the patient’s treatment and recovery ensures the member and the mission are supported.

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