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New Army Substance Abuse Program expert hopes to prevent abuse before it starts

One of the best ways to help stop substance abuse is to work to create awareness and help prevent problems from developing in the first place.

That’s where Rick Gross, the new Prevention Coordinator for the Army Substance Abuse Prevention program, comes in.  

“Much of what we do during the day has to do with the habits we have developed,” he said. “By definitions, these habits are unconscious; we don’t think about them too much because we have done them so much.”

He said that he hopes to get people thinking about whether the habits they have developed around alcohol use, as well as other issues, such as cell phone, internet use, video games, exercising, eating, that are helpful or not so helpful.

“We all have something we can work on,” he said. “Taking one small step toward a very specific goal is the first domino toward much larger successes.” 

Gross is no stranger to Carlisle Barracks, having worked here as a counselor in ASAP in 2010, before departing for Ansbach, Germany with his wife, where he worked for five years. Prior to working for the Army he worked for the City of Alexandria doing substance abuse treatment, and at a non-profit agency in Washington, DC called Community Connections doing community mental health case management.

“Working at Carlisle Barracks is a pleasant experience,” he said. “The post itself is fairly serene and lovely.  And the surrounding community with ample opportunity for hiking and other outdoor activities are perfect for me and my family.”