"The Defense Department has expanded its zero tolerance for the use of illicit drugs to include synthetic marijuana, also known as "spice," the director of DOD's drug testing and program policy said."
Lt. Col. Tom Martin said in an interview that along with a broad range of substances being tested for, synthetic marijuana is now included.
"In 2012, synthetic marijuana products were banned through legislation," Martin said. "So we went back and did a similar study, and what we found is that the actual numbers went down," However, he added, a high number of service members are using synthetic marijuana reported the American Forces Press Service, (AFPS).
The military randomly tests service members for a variety of drugs including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, codeine, morphine, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, amphetamines, oxycodone, benzodiazepines, Ecstasy, and other drugs of abuse.
"Martin said even deployed troops are subject to random drug testing. "They are still mandated to be tested under the military's random urinalysis program; however, the frequency is determined by the operational tempo," reported AFPS.
The military has a zero tolerance policy for drug abuse, and if a service member is found to be abusing substances they will be dealt with under the Code of Military Justice as well as other actions deemed necessary by their commander.
"The Defense Department first began responding to use of synthetic drugs in the military in 2010. The department banned the compounds, and began to develop tests for them. In 2012, the military started an awareness campaign about synthetic drugs," reports drugfree.org.
If anyone is wondering if the top chain of command is also subject to random testing, yes it is. The only persons not subject to it are military nurses, and military chaplains according to the Defense Forces Handbook.
"One person dies every 19 minutes from a drug overdose in the United States and that trend is being driven by prescription (Rx) painkillers." (drugfree.org)
If you or a loved one needs help with any type of drug abuse/addiction problem, contact these sites depending on where you live. SEMCA (Wayne County residents), CARE (Macomb County residents), PACE (Oakland County residents), Drug Free Detroit (City of Detroit residents). For those residing outside the State of Michigan, contact SAMHSA for assistance. For assistance with medical marijuana issues contact The Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, Michigan Medical Marijuana Certification Center, or greentreesdetroit.com, phone number: (313) 967-9999, or (248) 677-2888.