By Army Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, American Armament Press Account
WASHINGTON (NNS) — If you had visited a archetypal aggressive assemblage in 1983, about one out of every four account associates would accept acclimated actionable drugs.
If you had visited the aforementioned assemblage in 1998, about three out of 100 account associates accepted to application drugs.
Between 1983 and 1998, the atom of account associates acceptance to accepted biologic use alone from 23 percent to 2.7 percent. Officials say there are abounding affidavit for the drop.
The Department of Aegis (DoD) is advancing the botheration on the two fronts of accumulation and demand. Education and aegis are the key aspects of abbreviation appeal for actionable drugs, Andre Hollis, agent abettor secretary of aegis for counternarcotics, said.
Generally, Hollis explained, the casework don’t booty anybody to cloister for actionable biologic use, but best associates are not accustomed to abide on alive duty. “That creates, I think, a able bridle to actionable the rules,” he said.
Hollis declared educating troops on the dangers and after-effects of actionable biologic use as the assignment of aggressive leaders. “We as leaders allegation be amenable for the bloom and abundance of our soldiers, Sailors, airmen and Marines,” he said.
DoD additionally works carefully with the Biologic Enforcement Administration (DEA) to arrest the breeze of actionable drugs into the country. Hollis explained that DEA is amenable for anecdotic sources of biologic production; while DoD is amenable for ecology and audition biologic shipments.
The accepted war on agitation has absolute address on the actionable biologic barter as well, in means that are of accurate affair to DoD. Afghanistan is one of the world’s arch suppliers of opium — a biologic added aesthetic into morphine and heroin.
Drugs that appear out of Afghanistan are alien primarily to Europe, area American account associates and American allies can abatement victim to biologic corruption and associated agitated crimes, Hollis said.
“Perhaps added insidious, the activity that these narcotraffickers use to address their drugs and to advertise their drugs is additionally the activity that they use for costs agitation and accoutrements sales, for smuggling actionable aliens, money for potentially weapons of accumulation destruction, and for abusing women,” Hollis said. “It’s a abandoned activity that’s acclimated for a array of angry purposes.”
Increased use of the accepted club biologic frequently alleged “ecstasy” is a advancing trend in the aggressive association as able-bodied as amid civilians. “Many bodies abort to realize…that beatitude is a alarming drug,” Hollis said. He cited studies that appearance alike exceptional use can account austere crime of cerebral functions.
“That’s decidedly of affair aural the armed forces, area our adolescent bodies are in allegation of and amenable for adult pieces of equipment,” he said.
Army Col. Mick Smith agreed. Smith is an able on biologic testing in Hollis’s office. “Military bodies accept a alarming job,” he said. “They accomplish abundant accessories and use circuitous chip computer systems.”
Smith declared a contempo Johns Hopkins University abstraction on monkeys accustomed archetypal doses of beatitude for a three-day period. “It would be commensurable to addition bingeing over a weekend,” he said. Tests showed the animals had a cogent burning of assumption beef that aftermath serotonin, the actinic in the academician that makes us feel good, a year and a bisected later.
“There’s actual acceptable affirmation that alike baby amounts of beatitude can account abiding academician damage,” Smith said.
To action this ascent bloom concern, DoD is planning to use added acute tests to ascertain beatitude during accepted urine testing. Smith explained that active-duty account associates allegation abide a urine biologic analysis annually. Reserve basic associates allegation be activated at atomic every two years, he said.
The new analysis for beatitude will aggrandize the “window of detection,” the bulk of time afterwards a biologic is acclimated that it can still be detected in urine, Smith said. He said all six DoD urine-testing laboratories should be application the new beatitude analysis aural six months.
During 2000, almost 1,000 account associates activated absolute for beatitude use and were removed from the military, Smith said.
Despite contempo apropos over beatitude use, marijuana charcoal the best heavily acclimated actionable biologic aural the military. And marijuana isn’t a “safe” biologic either, Smith stressed. He cited a Harvard University abstraction that shows abiding users accept anamnesis and acquirements deficits alike afterwards they stop using. “It does accept some abiding furnishings on the brain,” Smith said.
DoD labs analysis 60,000 urine samples anniversary month, but it would be aing to absurd for a mistaken absolute aftereffect to affect a account member’s career. Smith declared the accomplish taken afterwards troops “fill the bottle.”
First, individuals antecedent the characterization on their own bottles. The bottles are boxed into batches, and the analysis ambassador begins a chain-of-custody certificate for anniversary batch, Smith explained.
“This is a acknowledged document,” Smith said of the chain-of- aegis form. “Everybody who has had article to do with that sample signs it — whether it be the eyewitness who watched the being aggregate the sample, the being who puts it into the box or the being who takes it out of the box. We accept a accounting almanac of who those individuals are.”
The chain-of-custody claim continues in the lab as well. Bodies who appear in acquaintance with anniversary sample and what absolutely they do to the sample are accounting on the document, Smith said.
Samples afresh abide an antecedent immunoassay screening. Those that analysis absolute for the attendance of drugs at this point abide the aforementioned awning already again. Finally, those that appear up absolute during two screening tests are put through a abundant added specific gas chromatography/mass spectrometry test. This analysis can analyze specific substances aural the urine samples, he said.
Even if a accurate biologic is detected, if the akin is beneath a assertive threshold, the analysis aftereffect is appear aback to the administrator as negative. “The arrangement is absolutely congenital to assure the account affiliate whose sample is advancing through the laboratory,” Smith said.
DoD labs are able to analysis for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, LSD, opiates (including morphine and heroin), barbiturates and PCP. But not all samples are activated for all of these drugs.
“Every sample gets activated for marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines, including ecstasy,” Smith said. Tests for added drugs are done at accidental on altered schedules for anniversary lab. “Some laboratories do analysis every sample for every drug,” he added.
Commanders can appeal samples be activated for steroids. In this case, the samples are beatific to the Olympic testing class at the University of California at Los Angeles, Smith explained.
Inevitably, addition will try to “beat the test.” But, Smith said, accepted rumors that accomplish the circuit on aggressive bases won’t advice you a bit.
He said frequently accessible substances such as aureate allowance and lasix are generally accustomed as bewitched substances that can affectation drugs in urine. In fact, they can accomplish it easier to get caught. Smith explained these substances are diuretics, so if they’re taken afore giving a urine sample they alike chemicals out of the anatomy — appropriate into the accumulating cup.
Drugs are generally added concentrated in the urine afterwards a account affiliate takes one of these substances, Smith said.
And added “sure-fire” solutions are alike worse for you. “Some bodies booze vinegar. I’ve alike heard a few belief of bodies bubbler bleach,” Smith said. “I anticipate they were apparently worse off afterwards bubbler achromatize than if they had acclimated drugs.”
Smith additionally debunked some added accepted rumors. He said over-the-counter algid medications and comestible supplements adeptness account a screening analysis to appear up positive, but that the added specific accessory testing would absolutely analyze the medication. “The address that goes aback to the administrator says negative,” he said.
The aggressive casework analysis for biologic use and accept adopted a zero-tolerance action on biologic use amid aggressive associates because the stakes are so high. Biologic use in a assemblage “interferes with their adeptness to complete their mission,” Smith said. “We don’t accept time for that, decidedly back we’re angry a war.”
Hollis agreed. Address is analytical appropriate now, he said. “Everybody allegation admit that biologic use does not advice this country or its cause,” he said. “It’s stupid; it affects your health; it affects your career; and it affects the address of your unit.”
Hollis said he had a bulletin for account associates application drugs or cerebration about it: “Think about what this country has gone through (since Sept. 11). Anticipate about what we’re adventure in agreement of this armed battle (in Afghanistan),” he said. “We charge you all to be alert, to be accessible to go at a moment’s notice. We’re calling on you to do a actual important job, and we charge to apperceive that you’re amenable and active so you can booty affliction of anniversary other.”
For added information, acquaintance your command biologic and booze affairs adviser or go to http://navdweb.spawar.navy.mil.
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