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Goggled go-kart challenge opens eyes to dangers of alcohol abuse

Staff Sgt. Danyelle Saboy, 36th Medical Support Squadron, tries on impaired vision goggles at The Exchange at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, April 24, 2015. The 36th Medical Operations Squadron Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program put on a drunken Mario Kart competition and a drunken golf cart obstacle course for participants to maneuver while wearing impaired vision goggles to show Airmen and their families the effects of alcohol on motor skills in recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

Staff Sgt. Danyelle Saboy, 36th Medical Support Squadron, tries on impaired vision goggles at The Exchange at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, April 24, 2015. The 36th Medical Operations Squadron Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program put on a drunken Mario Kart competition and a drunken golf cart obstacle course for participants to maneuver while wearing impaired vision goggles to show Airmen and their families the effects of alcohol on motor skills in recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

Capt. (Dr.) David Shwalb, 36th Medical Operations Squadron Mental Health Flight commander, drives the wing commander’s golf cart with impaired vision goggles at The Exchange at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, April 24, 2015. The 36th MDOS Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program put on a drunken Mario Kart competition and a drunken golf cart obstacle course for participants to maneuver while wearing impaired vision goggles to show Airmen and their families the effects of alcohol on motor skills in recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

Capt. (Dr.) David Shwalb, 36th Medical Operations Squadron Mental Health Flight commander, drives the wing commander’s golf cart with impaired vision goggles at The Exchange at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, April 24, 2015. The 36th MDOS Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program put on a drunken Mario Kart competition and a drunken golf cart obstacle course for participants to maneuver while wearing impaired vision goggles to show Airmen and their families the effects of alcohol on motor skills in recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

Children play Mario Kart with impaired vision goggles at The Exchange at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, April 24, 2015. The 36th Medical Operations Squadron Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program put on a drunken Mario Kart competition and a drunken golf cart obstacle course for participants to maneuver while wearing impaired vision goggles to show Airmen and their families the effects of alcohol on motor skills in recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

Children play Mario Kart with impaired vision goggles at The Exchange at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, April 24, 2015. The 36th Medical Operations Squadron Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program put on a drunken Mario Kart competition and a drunken golf cart obstacle course for participants to maneuver while wearing impaired vision goggles to show Airmen and their families the effects of alcohol on motor skills in recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The 36th Medical Operations Squadron Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment members invited Airmen and family members to participate in two unique events in recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month April 24 at The Exchange at Andersen Air Force Base.

The ADAPT volunteers challenged participants to a simulated golf cart obstacle course and   Mario Kart video game competition  utilizing vision goggles that mirror the effects of blood alcohol  intoxication.

The goggles simulate the usual effect of blood alcohol content levels range from .07 BAC to .25 BAC, which far exceeds the legal limit. At this level, drinkers risk becoming disoriented, confused, dizzy and having exaggerated emotional states. Their vision deteriorates, as does perception of color, form, motion and dimensions. The affect is so severe that some Airmen could barely walk to the golf cart wearing the .25 BAC goggles.

In addition to this event, 1st Lt. Jessica-Lynn Stanley, ADAPT program manager, said ADAPT personnel have been going to commander's calls to spread the message about Alcohol Awareness Month. 

"Outreach in ADAPT is an essential part of our mission. It is an opportunity for Airmen to connect with ADAPT staff and learn about the Air Force standards on responsible drinking."
Staff Sgt. Carlo Santiago, 36th MDOS ADAPT technician, highlighted the moto ADAPT members go by to prevent drinking and driving under the influence.

"ADAPT promotes the concept:  'One alcoholic drink equals no driving,'" Santiago said.  "This ensures the safest way to avoid a DUI." 

The ADAPT team also recommends Airmen and their families pursue alcohol-free and drug-free activities.

"Have alternate activities to do," Santiago said. "There are a lot of things to do on the island, like hiking or snorkeling."

To help those interested in preventing a substance-use disorder, ADAPT offers educational classes on alcohol and its effects on the body.

"People can come in even if they don't think they have a problem," Stanley said. "They could be turning 21 wanting to learn how to drink responsibly."

ADAPT promotes readiness, health and wellness through the prevention, evaluation and treatment of substance abuse. This is done through prevention, treatment, and aftercare programs.

Seeking help from ADAPT can significantly enhance a person quality of life.

"It's not a career ender," Stanley said. "Our goal is to get people back to their jobs."

Stanley also cautioned that it is easier to help Airmen if they seek the help they need before their problem is noticed by others.

"We promote the Wingman concept," Stanley said. "If you think someone might have a problem with alcohol, ask them about it, and be straight forward. Voice your concerns. If you think you might have a problem with alcohol then come into ADAPT to seek help as a self-referral." 

For more information, contact ADAPT at 366-5125 or visit them at the base clinic.