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ADAPT: combatting substance abuse correctly

U.S. Air Force Maj. Candee Berck, 39th Medical Operations Squadron Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program manager, left, and Staff Sgt. Aidan Vela, 39th MDOS mental health technician, pose for a photo, July 18, 2019, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. ADAPT is one of the entities that fall under the mental health flight and is in place as a preventative and rehabilitative program to get Airmen focused on their mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Wisher)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Candee Berck, 39th Medical Operations Squadron Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program manager, left, and Staff Sgt. Aidan Vela, 39th MDOS mental health technician, pose for a photo, July 18, 2019, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. ADAPT is one of the entities that fall under the mental health flight and is in place as a preventative and rehabilitative program to get Airmen focused on their mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Wisher)

Reading material sits on a table at the mental health treatment facility, July 18, 2019, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. These books, along with other educational information, are provided by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment clinic to educate Airmen on healthy and responsible drinking habits. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Wisher)

Reading material sits on a table at the mental health treatment facility, July 18, 2019, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. These books, along with other educational information, are provided by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment clinic to educate Airmen on healthy and responsible drinking habits. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Wisher)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --

When you are faced with an internal battle, the Air force provides many avenues to seek help. Whether this avenue is mental health or a wingman, the tools provided to keep Airmen at their best are available 24/7.

One resource provided is the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program, commonly known as ADAPT. This is a program used to not only help Airmen when an alcohol-related incident occurs, but to also provide tools to curb habits before they start.

“Our job is to meet people where they are and get them back in the mission as soon as possible,” said Maj. Candee Berck, 39th Medical Operations Squadron ADAPT program manager. “The easiest way to do that is to get into treatment and learn something from the program that enables them to get back to their jobs.”

The ADAPT program provides outreach through educational booths at events, reading materials and the option for anonymous calls to help Airmen get better at responsible drinking.

Though command or medical referrals are the more common methods to begin treatment, the option to self-identify is the preferred and encouraged method.

“Often our program is looked at with stigma,” said Staff Sgt. Aidan Vela, 39th MDOS mental health technician. “We are trying to give insight on behaviors and understand why the patient is here to get what they need before a problem can get worse.”

Even with the stigma associated with the program, the ADAPT flight echoes the necessity of having the mentality of being wingmen when it comes to taking care of each other, both in and out of the workplace.

“Look out for each other,” said Berck. “If you have a good wingman who is going to hang tight with you and make plans, that helps avoid situations that could turn out bad.”

Whether you just want knowledge about drinking responsibly or hands-on help with drinking habits, ADAPT is a tool that can help keep Airmen sharp and focused on their mission, without negatively affecting their career.