Drug Demand Reduction Program succeeds with you

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- The Drug Demand Reduction Program goal is to support mission readiness and to deter and detect illegal drug use in the Air Force. The DDRP's main objective at Eielson Air Force Base is to maintain a fit, drug free, elite fighting force through randomized testing allowing us to do what we do best.

Drug use impacts mission readiness, security, safety and health. Therefore, the DDRP conducts a testing program that is accurate, efficient and minimally predictable to the testing population. Random drug testing is the predominant method of testing conducted on a regular basis.

I often hear, "this isn't random. I was just tested last week and my buddy has been here a year and has yet to be tested."

Here's how it testing works: The test uses a selection pool created by the latest personnel roster imported into computer software. Every day the software program begins to randomly select Airmen for testing. Each and every active duty member has an equal chance to be selected on any given day. If an individual is on leave, TDY or deployed, their name is held in a "to-be-tested" pool, until they return and are available for testing. When the testing day is over, all names are placed back in the selection pool. Since the computer program randomly select names, it is possible to be selected several days in a row, or go months between testing.

In addition to testing, prevention is the key to deterrence and the DDRP uses it to promote a healthier and drug-free living environment among our Airmen and their families. Many drug prevention activities are conducted throughout the year here at Eielson. However, Red Ribbon Week is the highlight of the entire prevention program.

Red Ribbon Week is the nation's oldest and largest drug prevention activity held during the last week of October. By wearing red ribbons and participating in community anti-drug events, people pledge to live a drug-free life. Red Ribbon week began following the death of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique Camarena in 1985.

What began as family, friends and neighbors pledging to lead drug-free lives to honor the special agent's sacrifice, has grown to a nationwide prevention effort that reaches millions of people. Here at Eielson, the DDRP staff and volunteers will visit schools, individuals units, the Base Exchange, and other locations to reach out to Airmen and their families. So when we give you a Red Ribbon, wear it proud and take a visible stand against substance abuse.