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WAEGWAN, South Korea — Soldiers here requiring professional substance abuse counseling no longer need to travel to Camp Henry in Taegu for help.

Those who have been ordered or wish to attend counseling now have that option at a center at Camp Carroll that opened last month.

The new center is staffed during duty hours with a soldier, and a professional counselor is made available as needed.

The center offers screening, diagnosis and counseling for servicemembers and civilians who may have a substance abuse problem. And there’s help for stress-related problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

Group therapy and meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous are available. And there’s abuse prevention training for organizations — units and agencies — at Camp Carroll.

Those wanting help can call DSN 765-8175 for a confidential appointment. Once an initial screening identifies the specific problem, a session with a counseling professional is scheduled.

In the case of servicemembers needing a treatment plan, the center must contact their commanding officer to involve them in setting it up, said Ken Welch, alcohol and drug control officer with the 20th Support Group at Camp Henry.

Servicemembers needn’t fear career damage if they seek help, Welch said, because their involvement with the center may not be turned against them by their chain-of-command.

“In the case of a soldier,” said Welch, “the commander has to be involved in the treatment plan, because among other things, he’s got to release the soldier to go to treatment. … But if a person asks for help, that information will not be used to wreck their career.”

“ … The fact that he’s volunteering for substance abuse rehabilitation cannot, by law, be used against him. And part of my job is to make sure that those laws and regulations are followed. … I would not allow that to happen and never did,” Welch said.

A communications soldier who attended a substance abuse program in Taegu said he’s glad he did. It showed him he needed to make the most of his time in South Korea, and put it toward studying for college and other constructive things.

Welch said those in Taegu seeking help can call DSN 768-7434, and in Pusan DSN 763-7251.

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