Virtual Driver Interactive, Inc. Works with Army Substance Abuse Program
October 16th, 2017 - by Virtual Driver Interactive, Inc. | Share on:
Commanders and leaders from brigades across Fort Campbell came out Wednesday to the Army Substance Abuse Program office to learn about all the ways the program can help them help their Soldiers make good choices.
"We've developed some initiatives to help give commanders more tools to help them keep some of the high risk behaviors down," said Matthew Younger, Fort Campbell ASAP prevention branch chief.
Younger said ASAP partnered with Fort Campbell's Criminal Investigation Command to transform some ASAP office space into a drug and paraphernalia display room and a mockup of a barracks room to educate leaders on what to look for.
ASAP staff provided visiting brigade leaders information about how to conduct a health and welfare search, as well as instructions on performing home visits.
"They can go from education room to an actual simulated barracks room and actually conduct a search if they want to to see where Soldiers typically hide [drugs and paraphernalia]," Younger said.
Health and welfare searches are often conducted in conjunction with random drug testing as part of a unit's anti-drug program.
"You can't really set this stuff up in all the barracks because the barracks are valuable, you can't make a Soldier sleep somewhere else to develop a room," Younger said. "In this way, having it in a centralized location, we can keep it updated. It'd be hard to update 30 barracks rooms around the installation, but one room we can keep it as relevant as we can."
ASAP is partnered with CID to maintain the room displays. "When you're talking paraphernalia, it's really up to the imagination," Younger said. "There's new drugs that move in. There's new ways they have to use them. There's new packaging. In conjunction with CID, we can keep things as updated as we can and keep commanders as updated as we can to make sure their Soldiers are ready to deploy and train and everything we need them for."
It also provides ASAP specialist the opportunity to show commanders and leaders the other equipment and programs ASAP has to educate Soldiers about substance abuse.
Outside the ASAP building Wednesday, the Military Police had a drunk driving simulator. The simulator includes virtual reality goggles and SUV rigged to allow participants to drive without the car actually moving. The ASAP specialists had two tricycles, two remote control race cars and impairment goggles to simulate everything from a .06 blood alcohol level to the affect of psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs like LSD for participants to wear while operating one of the vehicles.
Inside, the main classroom was filled with demonstration materials.
"We have a brand new (Virtual Driver Interactive) driving simulator that can simulate drunk driving, distracted driving," Younger said. "We can take that to the units."
Also on display was the intoxiclock, that uses a person's weight and gender to determine how quickly he or she will become intoxicated and how long he or she will stay that way. Also available were mixology kits, that allow participants to see how much alcohol he or she is actually consuming when he or she believes he or she is only having one drink.
"Of course we have training and power points...[that are] a good way to give information," Younger said. "But we also have things that the Soldiers can have some fun [with] and try different things, learn in different ways."
Sergeant First Class Estela Saulter, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, Master Resilience Trainer, attended the open house to see what ASAP had to offer to the different units in her brigade.
Saulter learned how alcohol impairs abilities while attempting to ride the tricycle wearing drunk goggles, but she learned the most from the health and welfare rooms, she said.
"The barracks room was very well set up," Saulter said. "I learned a lot. I was looking at this stuff looking at how these Soldiers really [hide drugs and paraphernalia]. It's just very interesting to discover these things."
Saulter was pleased that the new driving simulator can be transported to the units for training.
"These Soldiers now are into video games, so it's kind of like it is meeting up with what they like, what they're into," she said.
It is important for leaders and commanders stay up-to-date in the arena of substance abuse.
"They bring it down to their Soldiers to the lowest level and let them know that we care, that ASAP cares, that theyâ€™re there for us," Saulter said.
Younger said that any commander or leader who is interested in learning more, may contact their brigade's ASAP specialist.
"All they have to do is get a hold of the ASAP specialist and they can coordinate the training or come out there, whatever they need to do, even come out to the units and do the training for them," Younger said.
Originally published by Fort Campbell Courier.