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Will you be dishonorably discharged if you have to leave the Army to enter into a long term substance abuse program?

Clarksville, TN |
Filed under: Military law

I have a family member who needs immediate help. He has already completed the Army alcohol program which did not help him AT ALL and has gone to AA. He needs detox and a long term program. He has admitted he needs help immediately, but says he would have to take a dishonorable discharge. He has never been in trouble or had any problems other than this, but things are extremely out of control and I'm very concerned of what is going to happen if he does not get help. What are the options? How would we know what type of attorney to use or if he would need to talk with attorney for this type of thing? Any input that I can get would be helpful and also the names of attorneys in my area would help me. Thank you.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

The military has inpatient alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs. Initially, he should seek help through his chain of command. If, however, he is worried that he will face punitive or adverse administrative action if he raises this issue with his command, I would advise that he speak with a military law attorney first. Most of the attorneys who post responses to questions on Avvo offer free consultations. Take advantage of this service and have him give one of us a call. Good luck.

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Posted

A dishonorable discharge is reserved for only the worst kind of offenses. ASAP (Army Substance Abuse Program) failures are usually issued General Discharges. If he gets into trouble like a positive urinalysis then he could walk himself into an Other than Honorable Discharge. This guy needs to go to the Army Trial Defense Service Office at his Post to seek advice from an Army JAG. They don't charge for their services.

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Posted

If what you are talking about is your relative leaving the Army without permission to enter into a detox/long-term program s/he would most probably put into an unauthorized abscense status - which can and probably would result in a DD Form 553 being issued. That will cause her/im to be arrested if there is interaction with the police and her/is name is run in the NCIC. Therefore, I would not recommend it, no should anyone recommend a soldier to leave without permission...it's against the law. The Army, in fact all the branches, have in-patient long term programs, both on military installations and soldiers are also sent to in-patient centers around the country. There are even places that treat soldiers who are dealing with a combonation of issues that compete with one another, i.e. PTSD and Alcohold Abuse/Dependence. It's hard to treat one without treating the other if you suffer from both. If your relative recognizes the problem, s/he can go back to the substance abuse counseling office or a mental health provider on base and discuss it further treatment.

Generally, it is better to take care of these things by voluntary referral to get the help.

If you would like to discuss it further, you can send an inquiry to my office via AVVO and I will send you my contact number, or you can look at my profile to get my number as well.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your answer it was very helpful. Do you charge for a phone consultation? We are desperate for some good information but having a difficult time finding help.

Phillip Edward Stackhouse

Phillip Edward Stackhouse

Posted

You can call me at 202577701.

Posted

I believe you asked this question previously as if the loved one were to go AWOL from Korea to do this. In that case a dishonorable discharge is a possibility as it could lead to a court-martial.

This post is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney client relationship with Mr. Cassara.

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Asker

Posted

I guess I don't understand this answer. He's not overseas. He is stationed in the states and we are trying to find out if he enlists in a treatment program through the military or seeks help through the military, will it cause him have an other than honorable discharge.

William Emil Cassara

William Emil Cassara

Posted

Ok. It has been awhile since you posted so I don't remember all the facts but if he is in a credentialed program through the military, I cannot think of any way that this would lead to him getting an OTH. I think he needs to speak to a JAG on post, because frankly his question really doesn't make sense. I mean, if they enroll him in a program, they won't discharge him.

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