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Think before you drink: April is Alcohol Awareness Month

ANDREWS AFB, Md. -- The month of April is designated as Alcohol Awareness Month and the base Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program team wants to encourage Andrews members to be mindful of alcohol abuse. 

"When many people think of an alcohol abuser, they tend to picture the stereotypical alcoholic in the movies, a middle-aged man sitting alone in a bar, drinking to escape his problems," said 1st Lt. Gerry Roy, 79th Medical Operations Squadron clinical social work resident. "People assume that if they do not fit into this stereotypical image, there cannot be a problem. In actuality, people do not have to be alcohol dependent or an 'alcoholic' to be an alcohol abuser. Alcohol abuse is prevalent across many demographic groups and touches people from all walks of life." 

"In 2007, there were 37 alcohol-related legal offenses reported by Andrews AFB Security Forces: 15 of which occurred on-base, six occurred off-base, 11 incidents of underage consumption, three were drunk and disorderly-associated and two incidents were contributing to minors," said Lieutenant Roy. "ADAPT at Andrews seeks to lower these numbers through prevention, education and early treatment before problems develop."
Services through ADAPT include 'Alcohol Brief Counseling,' briefings for commands, schools, medical and military personnel and intake, assessment and referral services. 

"ADAPT determines whether a client is in need of treatment or education services based on a thorough clinical assessment," he said. "There has been a long-standing myth that coming to ADAPT will ruin a career. In reality, Air Force wide, 80 percent of participants in the program incur no duty restrictions. Of the remaining 20 percent, only five percent have any long-term duty restrictions." 

In recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month, ADAPT has organized a "Beer Goggle Defensive Drive" at the BX parking lot on Friday, April 4, from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Goggles will simulate a blood alcohol content of .08 to .15, or the equivalent of three to seven beers. 

"Our goal is to allow people, whether they drink or not, to see how alcohol affects their ability to drive safely," said Lieutenant Roy. "The goggles simulate the visual effect, as well as the lack of coordination, judgment and driving skills that are the result of alcohol consumption." 

Participants in the defensive drive will navigate a golf cart through a driving course while wearing a set of beer goggles. Food and refreshments will be served, including non-alcoholic mixed cocktails. Alcohol screenings will be available.
For more information, call 1st Lt. Gerry Roy at 240-857-8956.