Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. --
to recovery can be a long and difficult one. Once the problem is identified,
the next step is to seek the right help. One place in the Tri-Command sits at
the top when it comes to helping those who desire to walk on the path to
The Substance Abuse Counseling Center Beaufort,
with its 9-member staff, treated more than 200 cases this year dealing with
substance abuse. Through their dedication of providing the best services and
safest environment for clients and staff, the facility earned an accreditation
in the top three percent by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation
Facilities Nov. 18. This is the second consecutive time the facility has earned
the high level accreditation.
“It’s very meaningful to get that level of
achievement,” said Don McRae, the clinical supervisor of SACC. “I think this speaks
volume regarding the professionalism of the counseling staff here.”
CARF International is an independent,
nonprofit accreditor of health and human services. The group of companies
currently accredits more than 50,000 programs and services at 23,000 locations.
More than 8 million persons of all ages are served annually by 6,800 CARF-accredited
service providers. CARF accreditation extends to countries in North and South
America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, according to its website.
One area of the survey involved a physical
inspection of the facility’s safety. This area proved to be challenging due to
the building’s age which was built in the late 1890s. Small but significant
improvements were made to ensure the safety of the clients and the staff. The
addition of a light at the entrance for when it is dark, railing and signs at
the steps, and additional emergency lighting were some of the safety upgrades.
always looking to make improvements,” said Carol Beasley, the health and safety
officer for SACC. “It’s better for everyone, the staff and the clients, because
we're providing them with a safe facility.”
The center exists to provide treatment
services to maximize force preservation and readiness through prevention,
deterrence, identification and early intervention, of substance misuse, and
substance use disorders according to SACC mission statement.
Over the fiscal year period there have been
more than 200 substance related screenings conducted by the center. Eighty
percent of the screenings were alcohol related, 18 percent were drug related,
and two percent were for other reasons, according to SACC annual substance use
“Alcoholism is a problem that gets worse as it
goes on as it goes untreated,” said McRae. “Alcoholism is considered a medical issue
just like diabetes or any other disease.
The target for of the substance abuse
treatment program is to have no more than 10 percent readmission within a
fiscal year. Of the total persons served for the fiscal year 2015, 21 were
re-admission clients bringing the recidivism to nine percent- a decrease from
the previous year in which the center was nearly double the target goal,
according to the screening statistics.
“The leadership involvement is crucial,” said
Jose Lugo, the program director for SACC. “We offer education on substance
abuse prevention to the units. Those commands that utilize it see an
The majority of screenings SACC receives are
from command referral, meaning a problem was identified by the Marine or
sailor’s chain of command or substance abuse control officer. Very few clients
are self-referred but the SACC staff encourages those who need help to seek it early.
The alcohol prevention specialist and the drug
demand coordinator offer outreach and education programs tailored to meet the
need of individual commands. Prime for Life 4.5 is the four and a half hour class
offered to commands on their installations to educate the Marines and sailors.
“Don’t wait for something to happen to get
help,” said Lugo. “The command has to be informed about the referral because
they have to sign off on it but that doesn’t mean trouble necessarily. Most of
the people who are walk-ins get discouraged when they find this out and end up
coming back under other circumstances.”
Also, SACC offers an outpatient treatment and
intensive outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment is offered to individuals
who have been diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder. Intensive outpatient
treatment is offered to individuals who need a higher level of care.
“We like for them to figure out the solution
and we want to empower them,” said Lugo. “They could do it. We’re just an
avenue that they could use. We are here to help.”
For more information on substance abuse
education contact the unit SACO or visit SACC located in the Behavioral Health
Branch located next to the Lyceum aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris