Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a pattern of using any kind of substance in amounts or through methods which cause physical or mental harm. Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can all be abused in this way. If you or a loved one can’t get through the day without the help of a substance, or if substance use is the origin of personal or legal issues, we can help you understand the problem and begin to fix it.

Common Signs of Substance Abuse:

Basic responsibilities are ignored at school, work, or home
Use of substances is causing relationship problems
Denial or guilt around the frequency or amount of substances being consumed
Words or actions under the influence are constantly regretted
Injury or legal trouble occurs under the influence of a substance
Financial troubles exist due to use of a substance
A noticeable increase in high-risk behavior such as driving under the influence

Talk to a Counselor:

252-466-3264

Programs for Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse Counseling Center (SACC)

252-466-7568
The Substance Abuse Counseling Center provides both out-patient and intensive out-patient treatment. Treatment includes, case management (to include referrals to inpatient care if needed), counseling, treatment planning and aftercare/continuing care recommendations. Treatment is abstinent based, uses an individualized continuum of care approach and is coupled with emphasis on personal responsibility and 12-Step self-help programs. Treatment is primarily offered to active duty personnel. All treatment services are based on the individuals’ needs and have a variable length of stay, based on these needs.

Also provided are similar services to retired military, dependents of military personnel (18 years and older), on a space available basis. Treatment is usually arranged by the individual’s primary health care provider.

Out-Patient (OP) treatment is aimed at patients who have a substance use disorder, (pattern of misuse of alcohol) and meet the placement criteria for such treatment. The goal of OP treatment is to reduce problematic use of alcohol through an education and counseling approach that focuses on increasing the member’s awareness of his/her relationship with alcohol, motivating positive attitude and behavioral changes in that relationship, increasing the patient’s ability to make responsible decisions about the use of alcohol in their life, assisting in the development of plans to avoid further alcohol incidents, and referring to other resources for assistance when indicated. OP requirements are not to exceed nine contact hours per week.

Intensive Out-Patient (IOP) treatment is designed for patients who have a substance use disorder, which requires a more intensive treatment program while still meeting the placement criteria for such treatment. The goal of IOP treatment is to assist the patient’s acceptance and adjustment to having a substance use disorder. Introducing life skills surrounding choices and responsibility while keeping in mind the treatment goal of each patient using a bio-psycho-social model delivered in an outpatient setting. IOP requirements call for more than nine hours, but not greater than 20 contact hours per week.

Screening/Assessment – The Substance Abuse Counseling Center primarily provides active duty military personnel with alcohol or drug screening assessments and subsequent referrals. Screenings are scheduled through the active duty members command Substance Abuse Control Officer/ Drug Alcohol Program Advisor (SACO/DAPA). Military dependents (18 years and older) are welcomed and screenings will be held depending on eligibility.

Dependents (18 years or older) and retirees can be screened for alcohol/drug abuse or dependents on a space available basis. Requests to this center for screenings are normally made through the requester’s primary health care provider.

For additional information please contact us at commercial (252) 466-7568 or DSN 582-7568.

Drug Demand Reduction (DDR)

The Drug Demand Reduction Program primary responsibility is to support the Marine Corps illegal drug use prevention activities. The Drug Demand Reduction Coordinator and Specialist are responsible and available for the ongoing assessments of tenant commands illegal drug use prevention needs.Per MCO 5300.17, “The use, distribution and possession of illegal drugs are contrary to the effective performance of Marines and to the Marine Corps mission, and WILL NOT BE TOLERATED”. Every attempt will be made to prevent drug abuse through PROACTIVE measures. The most effective and long term program is one that promotes an attitude of OVERALL RESPONSIBILITY on the part of the individual. This effort with the assistance of the Drug Demand Reduction Team requires total leadership of all Officers, Staff Noncommissioned Officers and Noncommissioned Officers.

In addition, the Drug Demand Reduction Team is available to support our local community in the battle against illicit drug use.

Alcohol Abuse Prevention Specialist (AAPS)

The Alcohol Abuse Prevention Specialist primarily seeks to support MCAS Cherry Point efforts in preventing alcohol related problems and issues that affect Marines and their families. AAPS works off a model that promotes prevention and proactive efforts as a way to teach responsible alcohol use that protects what we value most in life. By putting the focus on alcohol abuse prevention, AAPS and MCAS Cherry Point help maintain Marines and families that are healthier and more mission ready. AAPS services are available to those stationed at MCAS Cherry Point, as well as individuals and organizations within the local community. AAPS can provide general support for unit prevention efforts and serves as the principal advisor for development and oversight of various alcohol abuse prevention training programs.

AAPS also offers the following:

  1. PRIME for Life 16 hour and 4.5 hour courses
  2. Monthly Alcohol Abuse Prevention course
  3. Alcohol Awareness Training and Briefs
  4. Interactive Alcohol Awareness Demonstrations
  5. Event Support and Table Displays
  6. Prevention Materials and Educational Resources

To request services or assistance from the AAPS, please call (252) 466-8413.

Looking for fun in and around MCAS Cherry Point? Check out this list of for great local attractions, entertainment, and recreational opportunities.


Groups & Classes

Category Group/Class Description Date/Time
Substance Abuse
Prime for Life This course is provided to all Service Members and Dependents 18 years of age or older that has been screened by the Substance Abuse Counseling Center (SACC) for Alcohol Related Incidents (ARI) or if an individual feels he or she is a self- referral for their alcohol consumption concerns. 16 hour course conducted in two days once per month. Call 252-466-7568 to register.
Military Drug Awareness Course (MDAC) Course covers military regulations and drug use, testing procedures, physiological effects, drug identification, and stages of addiction. 4 hour course. Call 252-466-7568 to register.

See All Counseling & Prevention Classes