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A workbook lies open during a Prime for life prevention course at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., March 17, 2016. Prime for Life is an evidence-based prevention course that helps identify risks associated with alcohol and drug abuse, as well as promote skills for making low-risk choices. Prime for Life also emphasizes self-assessment, which provides guidance to individuals on how to better understand and accept the need to change personal behaviors. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Nicholas P. Baird/Released)

Photo by Pfc. Nicholas P. Baird

Prime for Life equips Marines with tools to battle alcohol, drug abuse

24 Mar 2016 | Pfc. Nicholas P. Baird Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

As a way to reduce alcohol and drug-related risks by keeping Marines informed, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Marines attended the pioneer course of a program to do just that at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, March 17.

Prime for Life is an evidence-based prevention course that helps identify risks associated with alcohol and drug abuse, and promotes skills improving decision-making.

“The course’s atmosphere is one of interaction and it utilizes participant involvement to explore a wide variety of topics and skills,” said Brenton M. Baker, an alcohol abuse prevention specialist with Marine Corps Community Services at Cherry Point. “The course discussion is tailored to specific questions and subjects that are relevant to the particular group receiving the curriculum.”

Prime for Life also emphasizes self-assessment, which assists individuals in the process of understanding and accepting the need to change negative personal behaviors.

“Alcohol and drug misuse is not confined to one particular portion of the population, making the course material relevant for Marines of all ages, ranks and positions of leadership,” said Baker. “Research shows that alcoholism and addiction occur in all types of groups regardless of nationality, race, gender, socioeconomic status, education level, occupation or religion.”

The 4-hour-long course targets all service members. The instructors provide selective techniques for prevention and intervention of potential incidents and high-risk behavior.

“One thing the program does is start by explaining the factors that will affect how alcohol affects a person,” said Col. Robert D. Curtis, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Assistant Chief of Staff for Safety, Standardization, and Aviation Training Systems. “It makes one look in the mirror and understand how these factors can affect a life.”

The structure and content of the course helps support an overall mindset of protecting and preserving what we value, stated Baker. The Protect What You’ve Earned campaign shares this similar mindset and can be applied to all areas of life, including alcohol and drug use.

“I believe this course compliments the Protect What You’ve Earned campaign because when one is not using alcohol properly or is using it in an uninformed way, decision-making is negatively affected and impaired,” said Curtis. “Decisions need to be made before drinking. It’s almost like a flight. A pre-flight needs to occur, and decisions need to be made before you take off and fly.”

The Prime for Life prevention course is available by unit request through contacting an alcohol abuse prevention specialist at (252) 466-8413.

Service members can contact the Substance Abuse Counseling Center directly at (252) 466-7568, or Behavioral Health, “One Portal of Entry” at (252) 466-3264.

Prevention and education, resources and individual assistance to those in need are available through Behavioral Health.

For more information on the Protect What You’ve Earned initiative and the common mindset shared by the Prime for Life prevention course, visit http://go.usa.gov/c7mQF.


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