Service members who might be struggling with substance abuse can visit the Substance Abuse Counseling Center, located on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River to find help in getting the proper care they need.
The SACC, managed by Marine Corps Community Services, provides screening, assessment, early intervention, counseling and education through the substance abuse program. Through the program, Marines and Sailors are able to maintain readiness through multiple avenues such as deterrence, prevention, non-medical counseling and early intervention.
The Drug Demand Reduction Program (DDRP) is one form of deterrence with the drug testing program to allocate and approve urinalysis supply requests. SAP staff members work collaboratively with unit Substance Abuse Control Officers (SACO) to assist military members in accessing appropriate services according to Paula Bonney, the branch manager for the SACC.
Recently, Marines with 2nd Maintenance Battalion participated with interactive activities during the “Rethink That Drink Tour” at Camp Lejeune, Sept. 25, where they used impaired driving simulators to encourage Marines to provide perspective and promote good decisions that protect their future.
“We are here to bring awareness among Marines and Sailors in avoiding substance abuse and to build resiliency,” said Samuel Lewis, an alcohol and substance abuse prevention specialist.
The prevention service focuses on deterring the onset and development of more significant substance-related problems. It is also where the low risk briefs and different events to spread awareness come into play. The low risk brief is a one-to-two-hour informational and interactive meeting highlighting the dangers and potential consequences of substance abuse on personal and mission readiness. Events such as the Rethink That Drink use local resources and interactive activities to encourage Marines to make no risk or low risk choices.
“The biggest thing about prevention is that you have to be responsible,” said Barbara Russell, the drug demand reduction coordinator at the SAP. “The question is, who is going to teach you how to be responsible?”
The SAP’s staff of professionals are experts in the field of addiction. Staff members include a licensed psychologist, licensed clinical social workers, licensed mental health and professional counselors and certified substance abuse counselors.
Bonney urges those experiencing substance abuse to seek help.
“Overall we want to increase the readiness of Marines and support them in their mission so they can stay at work, and be able to go and do their jobs,” Bonney said. “We want to prevent bad incidents from happening and provide education to the risk factors.”
There are three ways eligible beneficiaries can seek help from the SACC: self-referral, medical referral or command referral. To self-refer, one can simply call the center or conduct a walk-in visit.
For more information about the program, visit the Camp Lejeune SACC located at Building 14 on McHugh Boulevard or call (910) 451-2865. On Marine Corps Air Station New River, eligible patrons can visit the SACC branch located at AS-213, Room 205 on Bancroft Street, or call (910) 449-5249.