faq hero

This information is subject to change based on updated policies and regulations. Please refer to the appropriate regulations, DODIs and Army policies on ASAP procedures.

What is the Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP)?

    The Army Substance Abuse Program, or ASAP, is a comprehensive program that combines deterrence, prevention and treatment to strengthen the overall fitness and effectiveness of the Army. ASAP also enhances personnel and unit combat readiness by eliminating alcohol and/or other drug misuse. (ASAP mission and objectives are listed in paragraphs 1-30, AR 600-85.)
How often will I be drug tested?

    All Army component Soldiers are required to test at least once a year. Other instances that may require a drug test include:
  • Medical testing
  • Probable cause
  • Consent to search
  • Inspection
  • Commander-directed testing
What happens if I test positive?

    A positive test will result in administrative and/or disciplinary action, a referral to Substance Use Disorder Clinical Care (SUDCC) and the two-day ADAPT class.
How is my drug test evaluated?

    After the sample arrives at the lab, it undergoes an initial immunoassay screening to detect illicit substances. If the screening detects illicit substances, there will be a confirmation test to verify the substance.
Is there such a thing as a false positive?

    With any immunoassay screen, there is always a chance of a false positive result. Positive results are further tested for chemical compounds and amounts. If an initial screen is a false positive, the following test would not be positive.
    Ingestion of poppy seeds can cause a false positive due to contamination with codeine. Service members should avoid poppy seeds, according to a Feb 2023 DOD memo.
What is the unit commander's role in the ASAP?

    Unit commanders must observe their Soldiers' behavior and intervene early if they suspect alcohol and/or drug misuse. Unit commanders would refer Soldiers to trained medical personnel for evaluation, recommend enrollment in treatment programs and process Soldiers for separation if necessary. (Find more information on the unit commander's role in ASAP in paragraphs 1-31, AR 600-85.)
What are the keys to ASAP success?

    Actions that prevent, deter and reduce alcohol and drug misuse are the most important keys to ASAP success. At each post or installation, the ADCO will develop an installation prevention plan where the unit commander can access information, programs and ideas.
    There are many prevention strategies. Unit commanders should educate and train Soldiers on the effects and consequences of alcohol and drug misuse and provide information about treatment services available at the installation. Commanders and first sergeants must take steps to deglamorize alcohol and make sure alcohol is never the focus of an event.
What specifically must a unit commander do?

    There are three major actions a unit commander must complete:
  1. Appoint a unit prevention leader (UPL) to conduct the unit's ASAP activities.
  2. Establish a unit testing program.
  3. Implement prevention and education initiatives.

How is a Soldier referred to SUDCC?

    There are five ways Soldiers are referred to SUDCC:
  1. Self-identification (voluntary): A Soldier goes to their chain-of-command and requests to see a counselor for an issue with alcohol/drugs.
  2. Commander/supervisor identification: A Soldier can be referred this way if their commander observes or suspects that Soldier is misusing alcohol/drugs.
  3. Biochemical identification: A Soldier who gets a positive urinalysis result or tests positive on a breath/blood alcohol test will automatically be referred to the counseling center for an evaluation.
  4. Medical identification: Health care providers may refer a Soldier after an examination that confirms a Soldier is misusing alcohol/drugs. The referring health care provider will notify the Soldier’s unit commander immediately.
  5. Investigation and/or apprehension: After military or civilian law enforcement identify a Solider involved in an alcohol- or drug-related incident, the Soldier’s unit commander will refer them to SUDCC for counseling within 72 hours of the incident.

What form do I use to refer a Soldier to SUDCC for evaluation/counseling?
Will I get into trouble if I self-refer to SUDCC?

    If you are using drugs or misusing alcohol, YOU ARE ALREADY IN TROUBLE; you just haven't been caught. But if you want to avoid long-term problems, self-referral is the way to go.
Why is the unit commander's participation critical to the success of the rehabilitation process?

  • They evaluate and provide periodic feedback to the counselor about Soldiers’ duty performance during care.
  • They review ongoing evaluations of Soldiers’ progress and participation as reported by SUDCC counselors and talk to Soldiers about evaluations.
  • They participate in rehabilitation team meetings with the SUDCC clinical staff. (Chapter 4 of AR 600-85 addresses the rehabilitation process.)
  • They make final determinations on whether a Soldier’s rehabilitation was successful. Unit commanders usually make final determinations within three to six months of initial enrollment.

Why does it seem like some people never get selected to give a urine sample, while others seem to get picked all the time?

    All personnel give urine samples for testing annually. However, there is no schedule for this. The Drug Testing Program randomly selects personnel after a UPL inputs their unit's personnel roster. For example, if a unit has 135 personnel assigned, everyone in the unit has a 1 in 135 chance of being selected. The software does not discriminate against anyone it selects for the urinalysis.
Who is eligible for our services?

    All ID card holders can receive authorized medical services in a military medical facility. All civilian personnel are eligible for services under the Federal Civilian Employees Occupational Health Services program.
What drugs are tested for on a urinalysis?

    Every urine sample is tested for THC, cocaine and amphetamines. Tests for opiates, barbiturates, LSD and PCP are done on a random rotation.
    Tests for steroids are done only as a probable cause test. If you suspect a Soldier is taking a substance not regularly tested for, notify the drug testing coordinator (DTC) or the urinalysis lab when your UPL turns in the unit's samples for testing.
Will over-the-counter drugs give a positive urinalysis result?

Can I report someone anonymously?

What happens if I am hungover for work?

    A Soldier with a Breathalzyer test result above the limit is referred to SUDCC. Commanders may take UCMJ or administrative action against the Soldier.
I want to quit smoking. How can I get help?

    Your health care provider can refer you to smoking cessation classes.
Can I use marijuana in states where it is legalized?

    No. The Drug Enforcement Agency still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance, which is illegal according to the federal government.
Are medical marijuana cards recognized by the Army?

What kind of rehab programs are available?

    Intensive outpatient program (IOP) and inpatient programs.
Is my career path in the Army affected if I have a drug, alcohol or mental health problem?

    Not necessarily. Click here for more information or speak to your first line supervisor.
What happens if I use a drug that is legal in the country I’m in?

    The same rules apply internationally if it’s illicit in the U.S.
What’s binge drinking?

    The CDC defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 g/dL or above. This typically happens to men who consume five or more drinks within two hours and women who consume four or more drinks within two hours. (Source: CDC)
How long will a positive test result be on my record?

    It will remain a part of your permanent record.
I’m a high-ranking Soldier. What happens if I test positive?

    The same policies and procedures apply to everyone, regardless of rank.
I have an untreated medical issue. What do I do?

    Please schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible to address any and all concerns.