Trouble in Black & White
Wayne Johnson, USAG-RC Alcohol and Drug Control officer, holds up news clippings about real people getting into real trouble during a drug and alcohol abuse training session April 25 at Red Cloud's Education Center. Jack Loudermilk

USAG-RED CLOUD-Only time can sober up a person...not black coffee, cold showers, exercise, or any other common "cures." Alcohol leaves the body of virtually everyone at a constant rate of about .015 percent of blood alcohol content per hour. Thus, a person with a BAC of .015 would be completely sober in an hour while a person with a BAC of 10 times that .15 would require 10 hours to become completely sober. This is true regardless of sex, age, weight, and similar factors, said Wayne Johnson, director, USAG-RC Alcohol and Drug Control Office.

The above fact is one of several that a group of American and Korean civilian employees from USAG-RC learned while attending part one of a two part class about substance abuse April 22 in Camp Red Cloud's Education Center.

"This is our first time to break up the annual three-hour training into two sessions of one-and-a-half hours," Johnson explained. "We're trying to make it easier on the employees because of other commitments. They will wait one week before attending part two to complete their annual three-hour training requirement."

ADCO provides direct supervision, management, and administration over all nonclinical personnel and programs; program management and customer service issues; guidance on alcohol and drug related regulations and policies; and conducts command briefings and reports.

"All civilians must be trained during the fiscal year," Johnson said. "The training is spread out over the course of several months in order to be as user friendly as possible."

Annual training is conducted for three distinct groups. In addition to civilian employee training now underway, supervisors will get their own version with some of the same information, but we focus on different methods for supervisors to use for intervention, deterrence and prevention," Johnson said.

Training for the Soldiers is very different, he added. The training is usually conducted by the unit's prevention leaders. When ADCO is invited to provide education to the unit, it is usually geared to a specific audience, underage drinking.

Annual training is more than 'checking the block'. It is not just a way of saying 'you don't have an excuse because you attended the training.' "Classes are intended to raise awareness and reduce substance abuse," he said. "We're being proactive; putting up the guard rail before the car runs into the ditch. People will always have excuses. The guard rail had no lights."

Another reason substance abuse training is important to people living and working in Korea, is Korean law. "The laws and the culture of Korea are unique," Johnson said. "For example, when appearing before a Korean judge, it's important to show remorse. You cannot be remorseful if you claim you cannot remember your actions. The mind set of the culture and laws appear to go hand in hand; something we as Americans take for granted."

The main information to take away from part one of the training, Johnson said, is recognizing a problem and knowing what to do about the problem.

"If a civilian believes they need help for themselves or a friend, they should start by calling the Employee Assistance Program, at 730-4144. Obviously, it is better to self-refer. For USAG-RC, we usually have five to 10 self-referrals a year. It is nothing to be ashamed of nor should you be afraid to ask for help. The challenge is getting help for someone who refuses to accept they have a problem," Johnson said.

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, stated that, "It has long been recognized that the problems with alcohol relate not to the use of a bad thing, but to the abuse of a good thing."

Page last updated Thu May 1st, 2008 at 02:29