Substance Abuse Section I Identify A Suspected Substance Abuser 11 General

a. Alcohol and drug abuse, commonly called substance abuse, is an ever increasing problem in the military services as well as in the civilian sector. Substance abuse is not limited to narcotics addition. It can also include abuse of food, solvents, alcohol, aspirin, drugs, and nicotine (figure 1-1).

Figure 1-1. Substance abuse

b. Substance abuse can affect combat readiness, job performance, and the health of military personnel and their families. It can also cost millions of dollars in lost time and productivity. More importantly, it can destroy the individual abuser.

c. As a medical specialist, you should be aware of your fellow soldier's suspected substance abuse. This lesson will include terminology commonly associated with substance abuse, signs and symptoms of substance abuse, categories of commonly abused substances, and procedures for reporting and referring suspected abusers.

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