The Department of Defense is implementing increased drug testing for new recruits. They will be testing for an expanded number of drugs, with changes starting from April 3rd.
“Military applicants currently are tested on a small subset of drugs that military members are tested on,” Army Col. Tom Martin said.
Currently, recruits are tested for more common or popular drugs, like marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines and MDMA (ecstasy), among others.
This is set to change however, as new recruits will soon be subject to tests for heroin, codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone and other synthetic cannabinoids and benzodiazepine sedatives.
The Daily Caller reports on the new guidelines:
All military applicants will have to undergo the new drug panel, no exceptions. The shift applies to recruits coming in through military entrance processing stations and also to ROTC members and officer candidates.
According to best estimates, the expansion will flag about 450 more people. Those who test positive are allowed to test again in 90 days in case there’s been some mistake. But on the second test, if positive shows up again, that person is permanently barred from any military service.
The biggest change appears to be the inclusion of tests for prescription painkillers, particularly opiates. The DOD says this is a direct response to changes in civilian drug abuse. Heroin and synthetic drugs have indeed exploded in popularity recently.