25 Mar Navy to Undergo Drug and Alcohol Testing
Testing for drug and alcohol is not isolated to the civilian world. A recent report indicates that the Navy will start administering breathalyzer and drug tests as soon as this month for sailors. The efforts are part of the military’s readiness plan.
The drug tests will be specifically for synthetic drugs, including Spice, which is comparable to marijuana in its effects on users. The military’s decision comes as a result of several soldiers and seamen getting discharged after testing positive for drug and alcohol use while deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
To have either of these substances in a soldier’s bloodstream can impact their decisions and reactions during times of combat and the military does not want to take any chances with their safety and the safety of others.
It will be interesting to see how the military will be able to adjust the testing for synthetic drugs as they continue to administer these tests to their soldiers. With synthetic drugs it is difficult to determine what is in their chemical makeup, so a test to indicate whether someone was using this type of drug would have to be fairly sophisticated.
Military officials may have to handle these types of tests like law enforcement do and will have to learn as much as possible about potential side effects. This could mean that the detectors may have to be altered as they learn more about these types of drugs.
While it is a move in the right direction to deter soldiers from using drugs and alcohol, it may also be a game of catch-up with those who administer the tests in the form of how the substances are detected.
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