More than 1,500 Sailors are being separated by the United States Navy in fiscal year 2011, as it continues to strictly implement a zero-tolerance policy for substance abuse. The Sailors are being discharged due to Spice use, as well as use of other illicit drugs.
Lanorfeia Holder, deputy director of Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention (NADAP), shared: “Currently, we are discharging a number of Sailors for use of synthetic chemical compounds also known as Spice, sighting failure to obey a direct order… Those that are tested by our Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AFMES) are discharged under an Article 92 misconduct or an Article 112A which is drug abuse.”
The Navy implemented a ban on five synthetic cannabis compounds that are commonly found in Spice on March 1, 2011. If probable cause is found, AFMES can test for these five compounds through the Navy Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS), at the request of unit commanders.
Holder shared further: “We have Sailors who are having mental conditions that they will never recover from… Using synthetic chemical compounds is like playing Russian roulette; you never know what is in the package. As detection catches up with manufacturers, makers alter the ingredients in an attempt to avoid detection.”
A Sailor who is battling drug abuse and synthetic chemical compound abuse may reach out to Military-One Source, where they can avail of free confidential assessment and counseling, according to Holder.