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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

United States Military Tests for Synthetic Drugs

English: The so called "incense blend&quo...
The use of synthetic drugs is a major concern throughout the United States; synthetic marijuana like K2 and Spice have sent a number of people to emergency rooms and have even caused fatalities. The appeal for synthetic marijuana and “bath salts” is the fact that they are difficult to screen for in standard drug tests, but that will no longer be the case.

The U.S. Defense Department will start randomly testing service members for synthetic marijuana, the Air Force News Service reports. People who serve in the military were attracted to synthetic drugs because, unlike traditional drugs, they did not show up in their random drug screens.

“The message we’re getting out now is that when you participate in our random urinalysis program, synthetic marijuana products or synthetic marijuana will now be tested along with our other drugs,” Army Lt. Col. Tom Martin, who heads the department’s drug testing program, said in a news release. “It’s been known in the general population, both in the medical community and various media reports, that synthetic marijuana drug use is a serious health concern.”

Drug use is not as prevalent in the military as with the general public, but, he said synthetic marijuana, “still poses a significant risk to both the safety and readiness of our force.”

“Any service member who tests positive for either an illicit drug or misuse of a prescription drug falls under any actions deemed appropriate under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as well actions that are appropriate as deemed by their commander,” Martin said.

The U.S. military has been educating soldiers about the dangers of synthetic drugs since 2010. Now, with improved drug testing, in conjunction with education programs, they are starting to see a drop in usage, the Navy Times reported in November.
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