Getting another shot

MOUNTAIN HOME AFB, Idaho -- Slowly waking... head pounding... bottles scattered everywhere. What happened last night? Like a slow-moving slide show, the memories of the prior evening begin to surface, a night of excessive drinking.

"I have spent the majority of this year recovering from hangovers," explained Senior Airman Joshua Hardy, 366th Component Maintenance Squadron test measurement and diagnostic equipment journeyman. "The only time I was sober was when I was at work and any free time I had. I was automatically drinking...eventually; I just got sick of it. I wanted to do something productive instead of feeling sick all the time, so one day I just walked over and signed up for the Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program."

The primary focus of the ADAPT program is to promote health and wellness through the prevention and treatment of substance abuse. As a self-identified attendee, Hardy prevented any consequences that may have occurred from substance abuse.

"There wasn't a particular moment of clarity for me," said Hardy. "I didn't have a big realization; it was the passage of a year that really made me realize I had this problem and I couldn't abstain by myself."

Hardy's leadership said they feel he is more trustworthy now, because he stepped forward and asked for help, despite fear of the repercussions.

"It takes courage to recognize and admit the need to seek help for something," said Master Sgt. Cory J. Perkins, 366th CMS test measurement and diagnostic equipment flight chief. "Hardy identified a problem and sought out the necessary treatment to make that happen. I am proud of what he did, and I feel he is better for it, as well as the Airmen around him."

Covering a variety of situations, alcohol related instances include everything from driving under the influence to public disturbances and assaults, as every day passes the number of the offenses continues to grow.

Hardy has never received an ARI and by seeking help and enrolling in the ADAPT program Hardy refused to partake in the negative consequences that were associated with drinking and took steps to turn his life around.

"I can't tell you what might have happened if I didn't ask for help," said Hardy. "Whenever you drink too much, you pretty much lose the ability to control yourself. Any situation you get yourself in, where you have been drinking, has the potential to get out of hand quickly."

Once enrolled in the ADAPT program, participants are provided with counseling, education and treatment depending on the level of problems that are attributed to substance abuse or misuse.

"The ADAPT program overall has been amazing," said Hardy. "It's great just being able to walk in and talk to someone, and have them take you seriously. It's completely changed my life."