US Navy to Start Testing for Synthetic Chemical Compounds
The Navy announced March 12 that it will begin random testing of urine samples this month for synthetic chemical compounds like Spice.
Commanders may take appropriate actions related to health, safety, and security based on a positive result. Every positive sample will be sent to NCIS for further investigation with a view towards potential disciplinary or adverse administrative action by the service member’s command.
“There is zero tolerance for the use of drugs – synthetic or otherwise – in our Navy,” said Vice Adm. Scott R. Van Buskirk, chief of naval personnel. “Synthetic chemical compound drug use impacts a Sailor’s career, their family life and overall well-being while also impacting Fleet readiness. If a Sailor makes a poor choice and uses these types of drugs, they need to know that there will be consequences.”
The initial testing will be conducted by a contracted laboratory, with Navy Drug Screening Laboratory capable of conducting in-house testing later this year.
The Navy has been testing urine samples seized from suspects during criminal investigations for nearly a year. Navy and Marine Corps commanders can have urine samples tested for several of the compounds found in Spice-like products at the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AFMES) when the sample has been collected in conjunction with an ongoing investigation.
The capacity for testing for designer drugs will continue to expand. During fiscal year 2012 the Navy will invest $1.73 million to test for synthetic chemical compounds and expects to increase that amount to $2.9 million in fiscal year 2013.
The Navy continues to educate Sailors on the dangers of drug use to include new and designer drugs through targeted awareness campaigns and continues to work closely with local governments to identify users and distributors.
This program is a key element of the readiness area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Department of the Navy.
Naval Today Staff , March 13, 2012; Image: navy