Service members beware! The Navy recently expressed its intention to launch a new campaign this summer to prohibit the use of synthetic drugs including bath salts and spice.
It will be recalled that about two years ago, bath salt use was first noticed in the military after a handful of sailors and Marines were admitted to the medical center’s psychiatric ward with various types of psychosis. But while the Navy and Marine Corps have earlier began random testing for prescription drugs and synthetic cannabinoids, the chemical compounds in spice products, they are yet to find a way to screen for bath salts use.
Bath salts are powdery substances that that can be snorted, smoked, inhaled, consumed or injected. They are marketed as providing “legal highs” that remain undetected in urine tests.
Lt. George Loefflerr, chief psychiatry resident at Naval Medical Center San Diego, said “It’s one of the reasons why these substances appear so popular in the military, vice in the civilian community. They actually market it to the fact that that they don’t pop positive on the standard urine drug screen.”
Due to the growing popularity of bath salts, Navy health officials have recently articulated their concerns given that there isn’t a specific regulation restricting bath salt use; thereby, making it more difficult to prevent and police bath salts use.
Lt. Loeffler adds, “For bath salts, there isn’t a specific regulation restricting bath salt use. However, use, sale and transport of bath salts could fall under the Uniform Code of Military Justice as “mind-altering substances.”