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Should I report drug abuse in my barracks?

I have watched my roommate do drugs several times during the last week in our barrack area. I know it is wrong but I am torn between reporting it and just ignoring it. Any ideas on how to handle this?

The comprehensive guide to the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP)

It is not uncommon for a Soldier to be confused when confronted with an ethical dilemma of this nature.  You know the behavior is wrong, but you fail to report it because you do not want to be a “rat” or because you fear of retribution.

You have a duty to report illegal behavior. There are several ways you can accomplish this:

  • Discuss the issue quietly with your 1SG/Commander
  • Make an anonymous phone call to the Unit
  • Contact the IG and make anonymous statement

If you trust  your chain of command, I suggest you begin there.  Typically they will keep your information under wraps and conduct an unannounced health and welfare of the entire unit. Remember that the individual using the drugs knows he is wrong. He should have never used them in the first place and he is endangering others by being under the influence. Doing the right thing is not always easy. You must decide how to handle it, but you are under an obligation to report it. How you choose to do that will be based on your level of comfort and trust with the chain of command.

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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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