MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS --
The Behavioral Health Branch hosted a Drug Prevention Summit to inform Combat Center leadership of the status of drug use aboard the installation, as part of the Drug Demand Reduction Program, at the Frontline Restaurant, Oct. 6, 2015. The Department of Defense drug reduction program works to prevent drug abuse through education, outreach and awareness programs such as the Drug Summit.
During the summit, representatives from the Substance Abuse Control Office, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, Criminal Investigation Division, Legal Services Support Team, Navy Criminal Investigative Service, hosted classes to inform command teams of the drug trends and drug demand reduction methods being employed on base.
“We talk about the current statistics on and off base as well as trends,” said Joven Caguioa, Drug Demand Reduction Coordinator, BHB. “We go back four years to talk about where we were at that time and where we are now.”
According to Caguioa, the installation is doing exceedingly well reaching a drug misuse rate of 0.5 percent, down from 1.6 percent from last year.
“Our mission is to reduce drug use on this base and we do that in a number of ways,” Caguioa said. “I work as the program manager for the urinalysis testing of all active duty personnel on base and by working closely with law enforcement to include CID and NCIS. Currently we are testing three to four times the minimal requirement as an installation.”
Caguioa attributed much of the recent success of the program to the increased coordination with law enforcement and the role they play by investigating deeper into the root of the issue to hold, not only the users, but suppliers accountable.
“We provide a support role to the DDRP as well as provide information to the command teams to stem the tide of narcotics onto the installation,” said Special Agent Curtiss, NCIS. “Our role is investigative. We inform the commands of what to look for and when they find these things to give us a call.”
Working alongside the DDRP, law enforcement works towards the ultimate goal of eliminating drug abuse aboard the installation.
“I think the important thing is that [we] have turned this into a team effort and think the result can be seen through the urinalysis program, the numbers have been dropping significantly,” Curtiss said.