Goodfellow takes active role against dangerous alcohol consumption

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- April is alcohol awareness month and Goodfellow is taking the lead on helping Team Goodfellow stay safe. 

According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, alcohol awareness month is a nationwide campaign intended to raise awareness of the health and social problems that excessive alcohol consumption can cause for individuals, their families and their communities.

In 2012, the CDC documented more than 38 million cases of binge drinking, which it defines as consuming 4 or more drinks per occasion for women and five or more for men. This averages about four times a month with the largest number of drinks averaging eight per binge.

The CDC reports that binge drinking is responsible for 80,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, and cost the economy $223.5 billion in 2006.

In order to help prevent Team Goodfellow members from becoming a statistic, the 17th Training Wing Safety Office produces squadron briefing materials on how alcohol impairs judgment and stresses the need to plan before going out for the night and consuming alcoholic beverages. The office also reports mishap statistics and how alcohol plays a role.

Another resource available to Team Goodfellow is the Alcohol Drug Abuse and Prevention Treatment or ADAPT. This program helps those who are struggling with an alcohol or drug problem and also provides briefing materials to enhance prevention. Military members who need this help can go the mental health clinic and self-admit. Commanders can also direct their service members to get help from ADAPT and the medical clinic can make referrals.

"The key points with ADAPT is solid communication with commands and outreach," said Airman 1st Class Charles Metts, mental health ADAPT technician. "If the commanders on base know how ADAPT works and how to go about referring their subordinates or students then it will ensure that anyone who may need help or counseling will get it. Our communication with commanders and first sergeants is very good."

During the month of April, ADAPT technicians will be setting up alcohol awareness tables outside the Base Exchange on Tuesdays and Thursdays during lunch and plan to set up booths at the sexual assault response coordinator sponsored boys and girls night out.

Another resource helping service members and their families stay safe is Airmen Against Drunk Driving. Every Friday and Saturday night and on extended weekends, volunteers take calls and give rides to individuals who have chosen to drink, transporting them safely home.

"I think AADD is an excellent program," said Airman 1st Class Charles Herron, AADD vice president. "It's something that can really benefit the people on this base. It's a program that everyone should know about so they have a chance to use it in case they find themselves in a situation where they are unable to drive."

Herron said AADD is a great volunteer opportunity for people who are looking for ways to get involved.

"I wanted to get involved with AADD because when I was in college I saw a lot of people I knew taking unnecessary risk by driving after they had been drinking," he said. "Some of those people were caught and got into some serious trouble. I figured if I can help make a difference by giving people the option of being picked up and brought home if it's needed."

For more information on ADAPT call the mental health clinic at 654-3122. For more information on AADD call 654-4353.