ADAPT focuses on National Alcohol Awareness Month

Drunk goggles are used to simulate just how impaired an individual can be under alcohol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st class Michael D. Mathews)

Col. Christine Barber, 459th Aerospace Medical Squadron commander, tries on "drunk goggles" April 12, 2018 at the Buckley Chapel on Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado. Drunk goggles are used to simulate just how impaired an individual can be under alcohol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st class Michael D. Mathews)

Alcohol Awareness Month was
founded by The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD).  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael D. Mathews)

Staff Sgt. Christopher Durkin, 460th Medical Group mental health supervisor, explains the importance of alcohol awareness April 12, 2018 at the Buckley Chapel on Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado. Alcohol Awareness Month was founded by The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD). (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Michael D. Mathews)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado --

Alcohol Awareness Month was established in 1987 to help reduce the stigma often associated with alcoholism. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease and can be fatal if not treated. Regardless of the hardships alcoholism brings, people can and do recover. In fact, nearly 20 million individuals are living normal lives right now from recovery.

Alcohol Awareness Month is meant to dismantle the barriers between treatment and recovery. The belief that an individual should only be treated if they reach the point of critical offenses, such as drunken driving, is one that this observance aims to get rid of.

At Buckley Air Force Base, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program, also called ADAPT, was put in place to help individuals who struggle with alcohol and drug abuse. ADAPT is often misperceived as a program only for people who got in trouble for misusing drugs or alcohol. Although ADAPT does in fact treat these cases, the program does much more.

“We are not the ones there to separate someone, we are there to help and educate whoever needs it,” said Tech Sgt. Jared Hogue, 460th Medical Group ADAPT NCO in charge.

Self-referral plays a huge part in what ADAPT can do to help an individual recover from alcoholism. Most cases of alcoholism are the ones that have not yet been reported.

“Someone that contemplates coming in usually had a significant event happen such as a fight with someone they love and realize they might have a problem,” said Hogue. “We want to help them before something like that happens.”

ADAPT offers numerous resources for those who want to seek their own treatment such as the chaplain, counseling and off-base programs. ADAPT also follows limited confidentiality rules and has other counterparts that ensure full confidentiality on whatever an individual may be going through.

“Our main goal is to get folks back on their feet,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Durkin, 460th Medical Group mental health supervisor. “If you have tried to manage the problem on your own and it hasn’t worked then you should definitely reach out to someone for help.”

For Alcohol Awareness Month, ADAPT will be around base and at multiple events spreading awareness and educating individuals.

For more information about the program, call ADAPT at 720-847-6451.