In Finding 6-1,1 the committee identified the extent to which military policies and programs fall short of incorporating best practices in the field of SUD prevention. The most effective universal, population-based environmental prevention strategies increase the price of and reduce access to alcohol and other drugs. Successful environmental prevention strategies that DoD and the branches should adopt include consistent enforcement of regulations on underage drinking, a reduced number of alcohol outlets, and limited hours of operation for those outlets. Availability on bases can be reduced by controlling the types of alcohol sold, the days and hours of sale, and the amount of purchase per sale and by enforcing the minimum legal purchase age. While each of these measures is relevant, working with communities to reduce availability by enforcing the minimum legal drinking age is particularly important given that a considerable proportion of military personnel are between the ages of 18 and 20, or under the legal age for drinking. Efforts such as the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) program (reviewed in Chapter 6 and Appendix D) should be expanded and investigated more broadly across military sites as part of efforts to stem underage drinking. With respect to availability off base, Commands can work actively with local authorities in surrounding communities to ensure that existing controls on availability are implemented and to develop control measures where such measures are not already in place. The committee sees partnerships with local authorities and hospitality-related businesses (e.g., bars, hotels, casinos) as critically important, and their absence is a missed prevention opportunity. Commands should undertake partnerships with local communities and businesses as a rule rather than as an exception. Commands, especially those on large bases, have considerable control over access to a large population of consumers important to the local economy. Thus, they can influence the level of enforcement of alcohol control laws, as well as help with such enforcement. Commands should also work with local authorities to make sure that driving under the influence (DUI) prevention measures are implemented and enforced consistently in communities surrounding military bases.
Similarly, as a universal prevention strategy, DoD and the individual branches should proactively prevent the misuse and abuse of prescription medications by limiting access to controlled medications. On this latter point, DoD currently participates in Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-approved prescription drug take-back programs, which can reduce the amount of unused medications in the community that otherwise could be diverted and abused. DoD’s participation in drug take-back events should continue to be promoted at all military sites. A recent change in