• Published
  • By Maj. Denise Sweeney
  • 161ARW/EO
Staff. Sgt. Angela heard how her friend's Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medicine was making her less hungry. Because Angela was worried about her weight, she started asking her friend to give her a couple of pills every few days.
1st Lt. Todd found an old bottle of painkillers that had been left over from his wife's operation. He decided to try them to ease the pain of a minor fall on his bicycle. Because a doctor had prescribed the pills, Todd figured they must be ok.
Both Angela and Todd are taking risks. Prescription painkillers and other medications may help people live more productive lives, but that's only when they're prescribed for a particular individual to treat a specific condition. Taking prescription drugs in a way that hasn't been recommended by a doctor can be more dangerous than people think.
In fact, it's drug abuse. 

The Air Force conducts drug testing of personnel according to AFI 44-120, Drug Abuse Testing Program. Drug testing is most effective as a deterrent if it reaches each Air Force member; thus, all military personnel are subject to testing regardless of grade, status, or position. In fact, in the Air National Guard, we are required to test 13 percent of available strength each quarter and 100 percent (each FY) of all security police, all members required to have a flight physical, counterdrug personnel, personnel who routinely carry a weapon and all Active Guard Reserve.

Prescription drug abuse is an increasing problem that endangers public health and safety. Some people experiment with prescription drugs because they think the medicine will help them lose weight, stay awake to study more effectively or just help with pain control.

The possession or use of prescription drugs that are not prescribed to you are strictly prohibited by law. Legal consequences for the possession and criminal sale of prescription drugs may include fines and imprisonment. 

It is important to ask yourself why you would take such a risk with your health and career; perhaps you are experiencing difficulties with mood, stress, motivation/concentration or lifestyle. These problems can be better addressed or permanently resolved in some other less dangerous way, for example with counseling/psychotherapy or a legitimate medication that is prescribed uniquely for you. 

Please don't take the risk! 

At the 161st, we have a, strictly enforced, ZERO TOLERANCE policy. It's not worth your health and your career. 

If you have any questions related to this article, please stop by the Equal Opportunity office or call 2-9142.