Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

3D campaign — ASAP raises impaired driving awareness

By Cpl. William Smith

4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

The Fort Carson Army Substance Abuse Program is conducting its annual Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Campaign to increase awareness about the dangers of driving while impaired.

The 3D Prevention Campaign runs Nov. 23-Jan. 2.

“The goal of the Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Campaign is to increase awareness about not just the dangers of drinking and driving, but also the dangers of driving while impaired on other substances,” said Robert Whitaker, assistant prevention coordinator, ASAP. “Whether it’s a prescription medication, over-the-counter medication or illegal drugs; we’re focusing on all things that can impair someone and their ability to drive.”

Chap. (Maj.) James Lester, 4th Infantry Division Family Life chaplain, said the campaign will help Soldiers.

“I like the idea of informing our Soldiers about the dangers of driving under the influence, helping them be more aware that there are people out there who can hurt them because they may be under the influence,” Lester said.

The 3D campaign tries to accomplish this using various methods.

“We set out to raise awareness in a few ways: Through community events like (an information table in the Exchange Nov. 30) where we make ourselves available for any questions people have about the substance abuse program, and by organizing events with guest speakers to come in and give their personal expertise and experience with impaired drivers,” Whitaker said.

If someone has a problem with drugs and alcohol, there are many options to seek help.

“They can go through their chain of command by letting them know that they are having a substance abuse problem and they would like to receive help for it,” he said.

Soldiers can also seek help outside the chain of command.

“We have a program called Confidential Alcohol Treatment and Education Pilot Program,” Whitaker said. “If a Soldier is having a problem with alcohol specifically, they can come into our office, speak to a counselor and get an evaluation. If they qualify for the CATEP program, they can receive 100-percent confidential alcohol treatment.

“We don’t tell anyone that they don’t want to know,” Whitaker said. “The command doesn’t know about it. We keep things confidential.”

Soldiers can also avoid appointments during work hours.

“We have counselors who stay after hours until 7:30 p.m. in order to make sure Soldiers don’t have to make up an excuse for an appointment,” Whitaker said. “They can come in before or after the work shift, depending on when they work, and seek out help there.”

ASAP is located in building 6236 on Mekong Street, behind the Family Readiness Center.

ASAP is not limited to helping Soldiers; it also has resources available to Family members and employees.

“We have the Employee Assistance Program where employees as well as Family members can come speak to an Employee Assistance

Program coordinator,” said Edgardo A. Menjivar, prevention coordinator, ASAP.

Whitaker said it is important to make sure everyone is more aware of these particular dangers.

“We are trying to reach the entire Fort Carson community,” Whitaker said, noting ASAP personnel also go to the units to visit with Soldiers on a regular basis.

Call ASAP at 526-2862 for more information.

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