Drug testing in the armed forces in all types of the wings (Army, Navy and Airforce) is a must for each and every personal as the military has a zero-tolerance policy for illegal drug use. The military services conduct several types of no-notice urinalysis drug testing. Positive results on most of these tests can be used for court-martial and discharge procedures.
Department of Defense, which is more popular as DoD is attacking the problem on the two fronts of supply and demand. Education and deterrence are the key aspects of reducing demand for illegal drugs in the defense forces.
Military Drug Tests:
To combat the rising health concern of drug abuse in the defense forces, DoD uses more sensitive tests to detect ecstasy during routine urine testing. Active duty service members must undergo a urine drug test annually. Reserve component members must be tested at least every two years. DoD labs test more than 60,000 urine samples each month, but it would be next to impossible for a mistaken positive result to affect a service member’s career.
The Drug Testing Procedure:
There are several protections built-in to the system to ensure accurate results. There is always a written record of who those individuals who access the sample. People who come in contact with each sample and what exactly they do to the sample are written on the document.
After arrival at the lab, samples undergo an initial immunoassay screening (using the Olympus AU-800 Automated Chemistry Analyzer). Those that test positive for the presence of drugs at this point undergo the same screen once again. Finally, those that come up positive during the second screening test are put through a much more specific gas chromatography/mass spectrometry test. This test can identify specific substances within the urine samples.
Even if a particular drug is detected, if the level is below a certain threshold, the test result is reported back to the commander as negative. DoD labs are equipped to test for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, LSD, opiates (including morphine and heroin), barbiturates and PCP. But not all samples are tested for all of these drugs. Every sample gets tested for marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines, including ecstasy.
Tests for other drugs are done at random on different schedules for each lab. Some laboratories do test every sample for every drug. Commanders can request samples be tested for steroids. In this case, the samples are sent to the Olympic testing laboratory at the University of California at Los Angeles.