By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW) LaTunya Howard, Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs Office
MILLINGTON, Tenn. —‘Who Will Stand Your Watch’ is a new substance abuse prevention campaign recently launched by the Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention (NADAP) office officials said Feb 28.
The focus of the campaign is to educate Sailors on the negative impact substance abuse can have on their careers, family and shipmates.
“Sailors have a personal responsibility to consider the effect their absence will have on their unit and their shipmates if he or she is removed from duty as a result of a substance abuse incident,” said Dorice Favorite, NADAP director.
NADAP is using television public service announcements, posters and pamphlets to heighten awareness of how poor decision making by Sailors in abusing drugs or alcohol diminishes command readiness.
“A Sailor’s decision to use drugs has a bad impact on the workforce,” said Yeoman 1st Class (SW/AW) Latashia Graham, Navy Personnel Command (NPC) secretariat office. “Now you put Sailors that work for you or work with you in the position of having to do your job and theirs which makes it more stressful for everyone.”
According to Favorite, the number of alcohol incidents and Sailors testing positive for illicit drugs has decreased over the years, but substance abuse continues to put lives and missions at risk. For that reason, it benefits everyone to prevent substance abuse from occurring rather than dealing with its consequences. Prevention requires responsibility and accountability at all levels.
“The campaign is a pro-active approach to substance abuse,” said Favorite. “It forces Sailors to ask themselves who will stand my watch when I lose my career or even my life due to drug or alcohol abuse.”
Even with the emergence of new designer drugs the Navy maintains a zero tolerance policy for illegal drug use, reinforced by the separation of 1,515 Sailors in fiscal year 2011. The Armed Forces Medical Examiner Services currently tests for designer drug compounds for Navy Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) cases.
If a Sailor needs help with substance abuse, they can contact the command drug and alcohol program advisor (DAPA), contact Military-One Source for a confidential assessment and counseling at no cost to the Sailor, speak with their chain-of-command or their medical care provider.
For more information on the ‘Who Will Stand Your Watch’ campaign, visit the NPC NADAP Webpage, www.facebook.com/usnavy, www.twitter.com/usnavy, contact the NPC customer service center at 1-866-U-ASK-NPC or email at CSCMailbox@navy.mil.
For more news from NPC, visit www.navy.mil/local/npc/.