The Stress Continuum Model
Alcohol and drug abuse is often associated with distress and are often linked to a wide array of other problems that degrade mission effectiveness and personal quality of life. People undergoing stressful life events may turn to alcohol to help alleviate their distress and to cope with problems. While the Navy maintains a "zero tolerance" policy for drug use, leaders should make every reasonable effort to retain Sailors when problems with alcohol surface and help them return to full productivity, and to a healthy lifestyle.
The primary objectives of the SARP are:
Every opportunity should be taken to ensure that supervisors are trained to understand the negative impact of substance abuse on the mission, to identify the warning signs of abuse, and to know how to refer Sailors for assessment and/or treatment. Leader's suspecting alcohol problems must refer the Sailor to the Drug and Alcohol Program Advisor (DAPA) and/or SARP for an evaluation. Additionally, Sailors with alcohol problems who have not yet gotten into trouble (i.e., alcohol-related incidents) should be encouraged to voluntarily seek help without fear of negative consequences.
Primary signs of problem drinking in a Sailor include:
These signs of distress may be the result of a number of different problems, and one should not assume that they are always substance abuse related.
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The Navy provides evaluation and intervention to Sailors seeking help with alcohol problems. Limited protection is afforded to Sailors when self identifying (OPNAVINST 5350.4.D).
Any health care provider who suspects substance problems must refer the Sailor to the SARP program for an evaluation.
Commanding Officers who suspect problem drinking must refer Sailors to SARP via their DAPA.
Many Sailors who enter the SARP are identified subsequent to an alcohol-related incident, in which law enforcement or other disciplinary authority becomes involved. Examples include driving while intoxicated, underage drinking, and disorderly conduct while drunk.Commander will be notified in such instances and are responsible to initiate the referral to SARP, per OPNAVINST 5350.4.D
The Navy conducts random urinalysis to detect and deter drug use among all military personnel. Navy Drug Screening Program consist of the following components: random selection, member's consent, self referral, probable cause, unit sweep, command directed and service directed.
Drug testing through the Navy Drug Screening Program (NDSP) is a DoD mandated program. Each base has a Program Manager who is responsible for managing both the drug testing program and outreach programs. The overall mission of the program is to deter illicit drug use among all Naval personnel, and is vital to the mission readiness of the Navy.
The Navy maintains a zero tolerance for drug use and Sailors using illicit drugs are typically separated. The Commanding Officer is responsible for supporting medical assessment, stabilization and possibly treatment prior to and during the separation process. Additional support from base helping agencies may be essential during the often lengthy period of investigation and legal or administrative proceedings.
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