Alcohol Testing in the Australian Defence Force

The Australian Defence Forces have hit the headlines again, with Minister Stephen Smith weighing in on various conduct issues and alcohol fuelled incidents by a small proportion of its members. The Minister has already announced that there will be reviews of a number of facets of the Defence Force including further review of “alcohol and binge drinking within defence.”[1]

In ADF policy, alcohol misuse is defined as that “which leads to an individual’s misconduct, unacceptable social behaviour, impairment of health, financial responsibility or personal relationships, or interferes with performance of duty or with safety or security.”[2] Media focus on the issue is pronounced at present, largely due to a Northern Territory incident involving Skype taping and sexual misconduct on the part of a group of male soldiers. While this stands as an appalling incident requiring further investigation, there is also no doubt the Australian Defence Force had already begun a detailed and thorough address of issues pertaining to alcohol and drug use and misuse by its members. As part of its approach, it had developed the ADF Alcohol Outpatient Treatment Program, which includes self-report auditing as well as outpatient programs and psychology/mental health support services aimed at the appropriate and responsible management of alcohol usage.[3]

As a core part of its approach The Defence Force also sanctioned random and routine testing for alcohol misuse, as well as the introduction of the Prohibitive Substances Testing Program in 2005. The random and routine testing programs are undoubtedly a core component of the Australian Defence Force’s approach to alcohol and drugs, and have been successfully underway across the board in the army, navy and air force.

CMM Technology currently supplies government personnel with testing products and supports the fact that “alcohol misuse severely impacts on ADF strategic and operational capability.[4] With a high degree of accuracy, CMM Technology stands at the forefront of testing procedures, and supply saliva, urine and breathalyser products. CMM Technology even supplies adulterant test strips as well as Intermediary Chain of Custody forms as a paper trail accompaniment to non-negative samples.

CMM Technology experts are available for you to discuss your industry’s testing needs and requirements. Phone 08-9204-2500


[1] http://www.news.com.au/features/adfa/defence-force-cadet-scandal-senior-officers-accused-of-male-rape/story-fn8eum6d-1226036914555#ixzz1JMMq5aSy

[2] ADF Alcohol and Other Drugs Program. PowerPoint Presentation. Australian Defence Force Mental Health Strategy. www.defence.gov.au/army/UNSWR/docs/Alcohol_and_Drugs.ppt

[3] Australian Defence Force Mental Health Strategy.ADF Outpatient Alcohol Treatment Program pamphlet (OATP.)ATIENT

[4]Ibid.

Tags: , , ,