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What can I expect if I self refer for Substance Abuse?

What can I expect if I self ID for Substance Abuse. I want to end my Substance Abuse but I dont want to be discharged. Any advice?

The Evaluator - Army Evaluation & Counseling Guide

Self Referral

Is covered under AR 600-85.   I would also encourage you to read AR 600-85 as it pertains to self-referral and the limited use process. See Chapter 8 of the regulation and paragraphs 7-3 and 7-10.

How Does It Work?

The First time you refer there usually are no consequences.  Self Referral is considered by the regulation to be the best option. It must be done before the next unit urinalysis.  If you self refer after a unit urinalysis and before the results come back, you can still be punished and processed for separation.  A self-referral has to be on the Soldier’s own accord, not because they know a unit test is going to come back positive.

 Chain of Command

Usually the Chain of Command is very supportive of Soldiers seeking assistance to end abuse. As long as you follow the treatment plan and stay out of trouble there should be no issue.  If you test positive after the first test you can be punished under the UCMJ.

 The Process

Depending on your relationship with the chain of command you might want to inform your squad leader or PLT SGT that you are going to go self-refer so they are aware.  However, if you are not comfortable, there is no requirement to do so. However you cannot just absent yourself from your place of duty without permission either to go to self-refer.  If you choose to tell your leadership ahead of time, tell them the same day you are going to ASAP and have a battle buddy present when he tells them.  This prevents the unit from deciding to have a “random” drug test before he self-refers.

Separation Action Extract of AR 600-85

Failure or recurring issues can result in separation from the service.  Specifically:

3-2k Rehabilitation failure includes Soldiers with a subsequent alcohol or drug-related incident of misconduct at any time during the 12-month period following successful completion of the ASAP or during the 12-month period following removal from the program.
3-3a Commanders will process all Soldiers for separation, in accordance with paragraph10–6 of this regulation, who are involved in two serious incidents of alcohol-related misconduct in a 12-monthperiod; any Soldier who is convicted of DWI or DUI two times during his or her career will be processed for a separation.

10-6 Soldiers determined by the commander as a rehabilitation failure, as determined in paragraph 8-13, will be processed for separation in accordance with separation regulations; in addition, Soldiers with a subsequent alcohol- or drug-related incident of misconduct at any time during the 12-month period following successful completion of the ASAP or during the 12-month period following removal from the program, for any reason, will be processed for separation as an alcohol or drug abuse rehabilitation failure. The term “process for separation” means that the separation action will be initiated and processed through the chain of command to the separation authority for appropriate action.

Hope this Helps!

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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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