US Navy to Add Two More Prescription Drugs for Testing
Effective May 1, the Navy will add two more commonly abused prescription drugs to the standard testing panel during random urinalysis, according to NAVADMIN 130/12, released April 20.
The prescription drug families tested will now include benzodiazepines and hydrocodones (i.e. Xanax and Vicodin).
“These drugs are highly addictive and their use outside of medical supervision places the Sailor, their family and shipmates at risk,” said Dorice Favorite, director, Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Office (NADAP).
Military members should ensure their prescriptions are properly documented in their health records prior to May 1.
Navy medical treatment facilities are ready to assist any Sailor or family member who self-refers for prescription drug misuse or abuse.
“Adding the benzodiazepine and hydrocodone drug families to the standard test panel will provide a more comprehensive and meaningful understanding of overall prescription drug abuse in the Navy,” said Favorite.
While overall drug abuse among military personnel is significantly lower than in the comparative civilian population, Navy leaders remain concerned.
“We are concerned about service members who are using prescription drugs without proper authority and potentially addicted,” said Favorite. “Substance abuse puts lives and missions at risk, undercuts unit readiness and morale, and is inconsistent with our Navy ethos and core values of honor, courage, and commitment.”
According to Favorite, the Navy’s policy on substance abuse is zero tolerance.
Per OPNAVINST 5350.4D, Sailors whose urinalysis samples are identified positive for controlled substances for which they do not have a valid prescription may be subject to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and processed for administrative separation from the Navy.
“We recommend members seeking substance use counseling talk with their doctor, chain-of-command or self-refer to a substance abuse rehabilitation program,” said Favorite.
Naval Today Staff, April 23, 2012; Image: navy