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US Navy Invests Millions in Online Addiction Recovery Program for Sailors on Deployment

US Navy Invests $3.25 million to provide sailors on deployment with access to an online addiction recovery program

In partnership with the non profit Hazelden Foundation, The US Navy is investing significant resources in an online recovery program that’s designed to keep on-deployment sailors more connected with recovery resources – no mater where in the world they may be.

The US Navy has long recognized how substance abuse problems impair the health and service performance of its personnel. In 2005, a military study showed that service men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 were more likely to abuse alcohol than the general public and that 17% of sailors consider themselves very heavy drinkers – consuming alcohol at binge drinking quantities at least once a week. At present 10 000 sailors are enrolled in the Navy's Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation Services, and most are in active service in locations around the world.

One of the most important components of any addiction treatment program is the continuing care segment of the initial months and years of recovery, yet because sailors are frequently deployed to locations without access to conventional treatment programs, many have had their treatment programs interrupted or prematurely curtailed.

Capt. Richard D. Bergthold, a Navy clinical psychologist commented on the need for an online program, saying, "We know it's the investment in the continuing care that makes or breaks a successful treatment. We recognize more and more the importance of maintaining continuous engagement with an individual's recovery plan.”

Nick Motu, vice president of Hazelden echoed Bergthold’s sentiments, adding, "One of the main reasons for relapse is the loss of that connectivity during early recovery," We believe that if you can maintain a real solid recovery platform for the first 18 months, the chances of your success and long-term recovery are much higher."

The online program will provide service personnel with access to online group recovery meetings, 12 step meetings real time connection to substance abuse counselors, access to a wide variety of substance abuse topics and programs for PTSD and the services of a personal recovery coach.

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