MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
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.
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.