WASHINGTON (NNS) -- An aggressive policy of zero tolerance coupled with a vigorous random drug testing program is helping the Navy reduce drug usage among Sailors. Despite its successes, the ever changing illegal drug culture also means an ever changing approach to battle the use of illegal drugs.
In March, the Navy established new guidelines in NAVADMIN 108/10 with the same zero tolerance approach, but with a new effort to battle the increasing popularity of designer drugs.
"Any drug use puts the lives of our Sailors at risk and endangers the success of our missions," said Master Chief Scott Benning, fleet master chief of Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education, during a recent podcast.
Designer drugs are just as dangerous and deadly as well known narcotics on the street today such as heroin, cocaine and oxycontin. They may not have the stigma as their well known counterparts, but the results can be just as deadly.
"We never want to lose a Sailor because of a destructive decision," Benning said. "Education, enforcement and eradication of illegal drugs have to work together in order to have a strong Navy and stronger Sailors to meet the needs of our nation today and in the future."
In fiscal year (FY) 2009, the Navy separated nearly 1,400 Sailors for drug abuse and more than 300 Sailors have been separated since the beginning of FY 2010.
"We realize our Sailors are under more stress today with deployments and the operational environment needed to maintain our security," Benning said. "The Navy is committed to helping those in need before their decisions turn into life changing events."
To listen to the complete podcast, visit http://www.navy.mil/media/audio/cnp/CNP_Zero_Tolerance_100422.mp3
For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp/.