The station Drug Demand Reduction Program created a new curriculum to supplement Marine leadership with information regarding drug abuse and safety.
Uppers, Downers and All-Arounders is modeled after the battalion alcohol skill intervention curriculum. Yuma is the first, and so far only, installation to have a drug program equivalent to BASIC.
“Education is key to prevention,” said Virgil Tapispisan, the DDRP coordinator who designed the curriculum.
The program covers the well-known grounds of stimulants, depressants and hallucinogens while also educating Marines on outliers such as the synthetic cannabis known as Spice and bath salts.
The curriculum also touches upon kratom, a natural herb imported from Asia and used as a dual opiate and stimulant. Six cases of poisoning from the plant were reported in Pehonix.
Drug tests are also now being used to stifle prescription abuse, in particular the painkillers hydrocodone and hydromorpone.
“Prescription drug abuse issued are mostly what we have to contend with,” said Bill Cady, the substance abuse counseling center director.
Uppers, Downers and All-Arounders comes on the heels of the center’s 2011 award of being the top program in the Marine Corps.
“MCAS Yuma is has .1 percent of the drug problem compared to the Marine Corops,” said Tapispisan.
“We’re lower than the Marine Corps in general,” said Cady.
While the curriculum is designed for those in leadership positions, Tapispisan noted that everyone is invited to look into receiving information about substance abuse.