Book Military readiness risks : a study of leader experiences with mandatory addiction referrals / by Jolee Noel Darnell.
Publication year: 2007.
Call Number UH630 .D37 2007a
Media class: Book
Thesis (Ph.D) -- Capella University, 2007.
Extent: vii, 180 leaves : col. ill.
Substance abuse prevention and treatment in the U.S. Army are mandated by Public Law. National security, military readiness, and operational stress can be impacted when service members develop problems related to alcohol or drug use. Although current policies about substance abuse prevention, education, and treatment have been in place for over thirty years, information about programs effectiveness or the perceptions of military leaders in the existing system is limited. Existing data about compliance rates with mandatory substance referral requirements presented a limited picture of real practices or perspectives for military leaders in a wartime Army facing high operations tempos and high turnover rates. This study used a phenomenological qualitative research approach to gain knowledge about the experiences of military leaders with the mandatory substance abuse referral and intervention processes. The findings reflected that military leaders generally view the substance abuse referral process as a meaningful tool for preserving military readiness. Many of the leaders interviewed expressed concern about the data reports reflecting the percentage of soldiers who apparently did not get referred after an identified substance abuse incident. Most of the leaders indicated that policy or regulatory requirements carried less influence than their beliefs about personal and professional values and responsibilities, and the stated or implied focus of their chain of command. Data reflected in the interview responses indicate that military leaders use input from military ethical decision making models in their routine practice for decision making specific to choices related to mandatory substance abuse referrals. Findings of the interviews reflected a need for the substance abuse program to tailor substance abuse educational programs to include opportunities for discussion about the ethical dilemmas inherent in meeting the required standards for mandatory substance abuse
referral in a high operations tempo environment.