Department of Defense Makes Changes to Current Drug Testing Program
The Department of Defense is adding more procedures to their drug screening program as they follow the patterns of drug misuse and see how they are evolving. Department Director, Joe Angello, recently spoke with the Pentagon Channel and reporters from the American Forces Press Service and told them they are adding two more drugs to their screening program.
While the program currently tests for the drugs codeine and morphine, they will be adding hydrocodone and benzodiazepines to the list as well, according to a recent news article. The two new drugs are now nationally ranked among some of the most abused prescription painkiller drugs in the marketplace.
Hydrocodone is contained in a number of prescriptions such as Vicodin while benzodiazepines are included in drugs such as Valium and Xanax.
Angello says a recent memorandum indicated the Department of Defense announced the protocol for new screening procedures 90 days before it would even be effective. This was the first time that has ever happened in over 40 years of drug testing.
Angello added that service members won’t be reprimanded for using prescription drugs properly but if they are addicted they should find medical help. You don’t want to be caught up in a drug test because there aren’t any penalties related to self-referral for medical attention sought.
Angello adds a reminder not to use the expired prescriptions but to turn those over for proper disposal and says you can also turn them in to military police. In the military, drug abuse is largely lower than in our civilian population but potentially has a much greater consequence.