DDR increases detection, deterrence measures

by Airman 1st Class Adarius Petty
36th Wing Public Affairs

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, GUAM  -- Andersen is expanding the drug testing program to meet Department of Defense objectives.

Airmen can expect to see more testing as the main focus of the DDR program, like a recent whole unit sweep, on action that was rarely done here in the past but will become more common, said DDR officials

"A unit sweep is when we bring an entire unit in without notice and get them tested," said Capt. David Shwalb, 36th Medical Group Drug Demand and Reduction officer in charge.  "The supplies cost the same amount of money, it actually is a lot more effective in terms of utilization of resources because you can catch more at one time."

Unit and gate sweeps are being added into the drug demand's process of meeting the programs, quotas for the year.

If any Airman is struggling with a drug issue it is highly encouraged they seek help before being selected for a urinalysis, Shwalb said. The option for a self-referral would be best as the only people allowed to report is the individual with the issue, first sergeants and commanders. 

"Self-identification is really rare, but those who self-identify have a greater confidentiality on what is reported to commanders," said Staff Sgt. Carlo Santiago, 36th Medical Group, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Treatment technician. "It also shows commanders that you are confronting the problem rather than being a problem"

Self-identifying can be beneficial because it shows taking an initiative and lets commanders know that the person is trying to correct the problem. Therefore consequences will most likely be different for someone who has gotten help versus someone hasn't. 

For more information about the DDR program or treatment options contact the 36th Medical Group mental health at 366-5125.

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