Aug 29, 2010 1:45 PM by Matt Stafford

Senators push for confidential alcohol treatment at Ft. Carson

Leaders are hoping a new program, beginning Monday at Fort Carson, will break the connection between alcohol and violent crimes.

It's known as the Army's Confidential Alcohol Treatment and Education Pilot, and it's a program where soldiers don't have to notify their superiors before seeking substance abuse treatment.

Three other military sites have the pilot program running; but after seeing recent studies linking alcohol and drugs to violent crime, Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet asked to have Fort Carson included as well.

At a recent stop in Southern Colorado, Senator Udall spoke to News First 5 about how soldiers are handling the stresses of war.

"We're seeing the signs of those stresses in these increased suicide rates, divorce rates -- and sometimes alcohol is part of the problem," Udall says, adding he hopes the pilot program at for Carson will help soldiers break the grip of alcohol.

Being confidential, the plan is for soldiers to lose the fear of ridicule for seeking help -- something many are saying holds the soldiers back in the first place.

"In the civilian world, we provide a lot of opportunities for people to get a hold of ways in which they can overcome the disease, we want to do that for our soldiers as well," Udall explains.

The program begins Monday.


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