MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Navy's implementation of synthetic drug testing for synthetic chemical compounds like "Spice" is helping the service close ranks on Sailors who use these prohibited and dangerous substances, officials said July 2.
"Navy has zero tolerance for drug abuse. Drug abuse, including use of designer drugs and synthetic compounds, by members of the Navy is incompatible with high standards of performance, military discipline, and readiness as embodied by of 21st Century Sailors and Marines," said Rear Adm. Tony Kurta, director, military personnel plans and policy.
Navy reviews its testing of synthetic compounds continuously, and also continually responds to production of new controlled and synthetic compounds, changing testing procedures and pacing the changes being made by producers.
Navy has analyzed more than 3,300 urine samples for synthetic chemical compounds since testing began in March, with 101 samples testing positive. Authorized testing under the synthetic drug testing program is conducted under member consent, command directed, unit and/or subunit sweep.
NCIS will be notified of every positive sample for possible further investigation with a view towards potential disciplinary or adverse administrative action by the service member's command.
Spice is a synthetic chemical compound that is sold as herbal incense and mimics the effects of the drug marijuana. A ban was placed on five synthetic cannabis compounds commonly found in the designer drug Spice, but also sold under different names.
Some of the short-term effects include auditory and visual hallucinations, painless head pressure, panic attacks, time distortion and delirium. Long-term effects from the designer drug can include permanent physical impairment, mental illness or death.
Another synthetic chemical compound, bath salts are sold under the common names: Vanilla Sky, Ivory Wave, Pure Ivory, Purple Wave, Charge+, Ocean Burst, and Sextacy. Bath salts are a potentially addictive powdered substance that is snorted, smoked or injected. They can have an adverse effect on the heart, circulation, nervous system, similar to ecstasy or cocaine, and result in lethal overdose.
The unlawful possession or use by Department of the Navy personnel of controlled substance analogues (designer drugs), natural substances, chemicals wrongfully used as inhalants, propellants, prescribed or over-the-counter medication or pharmaceutical compound with the intent to induce intoxication, excitement or stupefaction of the central nervous system is prohibited via SECNAVINST 5300.28D. Violators are subject to punitive action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 92.
Navy's Synthetic Drug Testing Operating Guide is posted on the Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Office (NADAP) website and contains procedures for commands to request synthetic drug testing and synthetic drug testing information.
The Navy's zero-tolerance policy towards drug use is a key contributor to the readiness area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine. To view the guide or for more news from NADAP, visit www.nadap.navy.mil.