Altus’ ADAPT team shares risks and warning factors of alcohol abuse

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Cody Dowell
  • Altus Air Force Base Public Affairs

Alcohol Awareness Month is a national public health awareness campaign sponsored by the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. To contribute to this month’s campaign, the 97th Air Mobility Wing held an alcohol awareness training for base members, April 16, 2021.

This training was hosted by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program, known commonly as ADAPT. The training consisted of engaging demonstrations where the audience could participate by wearing drunk goggles, estimate standard serving sizes at pouring stations, and peddle go-carts with the drunk goggles on.

“Having events like this is important to raise awareness on how to drink responsibly and allow members to see the faces of their ADAPT team, which helps them feel more comfortable when reaching out to us,” said Tech. Sgt. Delena Ruiz, 97 Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, non-commissioned officer in charge of the ADAPT program.

The goal of the training was to educate members on the effects, risks, and warning factors associated with consuming alcohol. The pouring station showed the measurement (and alcohol content) of standard size drinks. The drunk goggles and peddle go-carts additionally simulated the difficulty of driving and performing other activities while under the influence.

“This is something they do not teach you in school,” said Capt. Benjamin Riley, 97th Air Mobility Wing chaplain. “They’re usually just like ‘you are not of legal age, don't do it.’ So this type of awareness training is good because it shows people that it’s ok at times to celebrate, as long as they do it in a healthy way.”

Ruiz and the ADAPT team’s primary objectives are to promote readiness, health, and wellness through the prevention, treatment, and minimize consequences of substance misuse and abuse. Their program provides comprehensive education and treatment to individuals who experience problems attributed to substance misuse or abuse, and addictive disorders.”

“ADAPT is important because we work to educate the members and try to help prevent incidences or irresponsible use of alcohol by equipping our members with knowledge on how to use alcohol responsibly,” said Ruiz. “ADAPT also works with members who exhibit hazardous drinking behaviors to return them back to 100 percent working capability.”

Ruiz advises people struggling with alcohol or drug abuse that the program is meant to help people, not hurt their career. The member’s commander will address disciplinary actions for issues leading up to mandatorily enrollment into the program.

“We are not a form of punishment nor do we have any say in the punishments people may get for an alcohol-related incident,” said Ruiz. “I wish more people knew we are just here to help.”