Preliminary examination of the confidential alcohol treatment and education program
The Army instituted the Confidential Alcohol Treatment and Education Pilot in response to concerns that stigma associated with treatment for alcohol abuse may deter soldiers from receiving services. We conducted focus group interviews with pilot participants and others to assess initial implementation experience. Findings indicate that the availability of confidential treatment reduced participants' perceptions of stigma associated with treatment seeking and treatment participation, thus encouraging self-referral to treatment. Participants reported that treatment success reduced susceptibility to stigma, to the point that many shared their treatment status with command and peers. Treatment outside duty hours was noted to have several benefits. Findings suggest areas for further assessment and opportunities for program modification before wider implementation.