FORT LEE, Va. (April 29, 2010) – Of all of the things that we wake up planning to do on any given day – buy groceries, e-mail a friend, complete a project at work or prepare for a deployment – becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol is typically not on the list.

Addiction is a process that occurs over time and is normally only discovered through the accumulation of negative consequences in one’s personal and professional life. By increasing awareness of personal risk factors, by gaining knowledge about the cycle of addiction and by actively taking steps to intervene, it is possible to obtain assistance with a substance abuse problem.

Along the continuum of substance use disorders are those who misuse drugs and alcohol, those that abuse drugs and alcohol and those who have become dependent on substances. These problems can occur with a variety of substances including alcohol, illicit drugs, over the counter drugs or prescription drugs.

Besides the well-known symptoms of tolerance and withdrawal, there are other warning signs. Those include continued use of drugs or alcohol in spite of social or other problems, use in situations that are physically hazardous such as driving, desire to cut down or unsuccessful attempts to control or stop using. Other signs of addiction include increased amounts of time spent engaged in activities related to using and decreased time spent engaged in important social, work or recreational activities.

The Fort Lee ASAP is a command-sponsored clinic that offers a range of outpatient services to assist military members, retirees and Family members who find themselves somewhere on the continuum of substance use disorders. The ASAP clinic provides education, individual and group counseling services.

The clinic is staffed by civilian master’s and doctoral level licensed, independent providers including social workers, marriage and family therapists, and an art therapist.

The clinic also works closely with military and local community resources to ensure that the needs of the individual are met.

Whether the concern is for oneself or a friend, Family member or co-worker, the Fort Lee ASAP Clinic can provide assessment, information, referral and treatment options necessary to aid in intervening in the addiction process.

The ASAP is located inside the Kenner Army Health Clinic. Hours of operation are from 7:30 a.m. - noon and 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Military members, retirees and family members are encouraged to call or stop by to get more information on how the Fort Lee ASAP clinic may be able to assist in intervening in the process of substance use and addiction.

For details, call (804) 734-9601.