September is National Recovery Month, and the theme is “Hope is Real. Recovery is Real.” The road to recovery is not easy, but there is help to getting there. The Marine Corps offers prevention and support services for mild to moderate substance use at the Substance Abuse Program (SAP). SAP non-medical counseling centers are located on all major Marine Corps installations. While some substance abuse services or treatment options are very expensive, there are some affordable or no-cost options, especially for service members.
Many people believe that living at a rehab center is the only treatment option. Most people who recover from substance use problems do not go to inpatient rehab centers. Local SAP counselors can provide recommendations based on the level of use and may assist with referrals to a Navy Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program (SARP), or local resource if SARP services are unavailable in your area.
Some people may return to alcohol or drug use after going to treatment and experiencing recovery. This is called a relapse and is not a failure. Recovery is a process, and it is not uncommon for people to require multiple treatment episodes.
People often believe that those struggling with substance use problems do not attain recovery until they hit rock bottom. This is false. People are often dissuaded from getting help because of stigma or shame, but guidance from a trusted friend or family member may help a Marine begin his or her recovery.
Prevention classes are offered through SAP as well as non-medical support services for mild to moderate substance use. No one needs to hit rock bottom before getting help. For more information about SAP, visit https://www.usmc-mccs.org/substance.