The Expeditionary Substance Abuse Program

Wednesday September 10, 2008

What is it?

The Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) supports readiness through prevention, education, deterrence, risk reduction, identification, screening, targeted intervention and rehabilitation services for Soldiers, their family members and civilian corps members. The need for the services offered in a garrison environment with regard to drug and alcohol issues does not go away when a unit deploys. We are an expeditionary Army and the Army must ensure that services to support commanders and their Soldiers are in place.

What has the Army done?

After a year-long Department of the Army Inspector General inspection, an Expeditionary Substance Abuse Program (ESAP) Action Plan is being implemented to address the findings and recommendations. The initial effort for the deployed force is on their ability to deter drug use through an active, aggressive, properly executed drug testing program. The key is ensuring units have at least two Unit Prevention Leaders (UPLs) trained and certified at their home installation, state, or Regional Readiness Command before they deploy. Because of the high rate of specimens arriving at the Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing Laboratories (FTDTL), which are untestable (more than 10%), Former Vice Chief of Staff, Gen.(Ret.) Richard Cody, directed, through the DCS G-1, that deployed UPLs retrain and retest on the quality assurance aspects of their responsibilities. This retrain/retest capability is available at

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The Army Center for Substance Abuse Programs (ACSAP) continues to move forward with the ESAP action plan to ensure the full range of ASAP service are available to commanders, Soldiers, and civilian corps members while deployed anywhere in the world. Additionally, the ACSAP ensures sufficient services are available for family members of deployed personnel.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army Substance Abuse Program is in place to enhance the readiness of our Army. Not only is illicit drug use by Army personnel illegal, it is inconsistent with Army values and the standards of performance, good order and discipline, and readiness necessary to accomplish the Army mission. We have an obligation to help Soldiers and their families prevent and if necessary, address drug and alcohol abuse problems.


ACSAP application suite page



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"Commanders ensure proper preventive maintenance checks and services (PMSC) are conducted on their equipment prior to moving out on a mission. Consider the Army Substance Abuse Program, specifically drug testing, a part of Soldier PMCS."

- Col. Mike Amaral, chief, Army Drug Testing Policy, Army Center for Substance Abuse Programs


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