Army realigns substance-abuse services
June 8, 2010
- "This is the right move at the right time for our Soldiers and Families and it's a mission IMCOM is proud to take on"
- "[Intergration] will make a vital program even more effective in helping the Army Family thrive and maintain its resiliency"
ARLINGTON, Va. (June 9, 2010) - The Army has implemented improvements in the way it delivers alcohol and drug-abuse services on its installations, combining all clinical services with testing, education, counseling, prevention and training under the oversight of the Installation Management Command.
Known as ASAP, for Army Substance Abuse Program, since 1994 it has been a divided function with clinical services residing with the Army Medical Command and all the other services consigned to Human Resources under the garrison command and ultimately IMCOM. This previous non-unified command and control approach created challenges, such as communication and coordination issues between the clinical and non-clinical services.
ASAP offices are located at all IMCOM-managed installations. In addition to serving Soldiers and units with substance abuse prevention services, ASAP provides federally mandated drug testing to civilian employees.
To address the problems associated with the previous way of doing business, the new integration of services and command and control was directed by the Secretary of the Army to make ASAP more effective in addressing a surge in substance abuse, domestic violence and suicide by Soldiers and Family members brought on by the stresses of nine years at war. It became effective May 1.
"This is the right move at the right time for our Soldiers and Families and it's a mission IMCOM is proud to take on," said Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, IMCOM commander. "Integrating ASAP at the installations will make a vital program even more effective in helping the Army Family thrive and maintain its resiliency."
IMCOM has already borne much of the ASAP mission for many years, so the change may not be immediately obvious to customers and even staff. Yet adding the clinical services to the ASAP office's existing workload is a significant realignment that will move people, equipment and facilities on the garrisons and ensure the resources are properly matched up against the Soldier and Family requirements.
This major movement is Phase I of the realignment operation that will proceed through January 2011. Garrison commanders will provide the facilities and equipment, recruit and train staff where needed, and carry out effective communications to ensure ASAP customers and stakeholders understand the changes and can find an ASAP office if it's relocated. IMCOM will be further refining and improving the program over the next couple of years as lessons are learned and clinical research experiences are studied.