Interviewer: Do you ever encounter drug dealing in the military, or is it usually just use?
Chris Cazares: It’s prevalent that it’s just drug use, it’s not as apparent, but drug dealing exists as well. I do encounter far less cases myself. Usually, establishing drug dealing is part of a larger investigation, involving just a completely different set of facts.
Is Voluntary Counseling Helpful to a Military Member Suspected of Drug Use?
Interviewer: Is it helpful all if the person involved enters counseling or do you help them get into a counseling program?
Chris Cazares: Absolutely, that would help the individual looking at charges.
Interviewer: Does it reduce the likelihood of them being discharged or court-martialed?
Chris Cazares: Yes, the likelihood that they’ll get favorable treatment, obviously, increases.
How Does the Military View Drug Use of Legally Prescribed Drugs?
Interviewer: What about people taking prescription drugs for ailments? For example, they can’t sleep or they have anxiety or an ailment that causes pain. Does the random drug testing program look for that and is there ever a conflict? If someone’s taking the therapeutic dose, will they still face charges?
The Military Will Look for Abuse, Not Just Use, of Prescription Medication
Chris Cazares: For prescription drugs, you obviously need a prescription from a doctor. As long as you have been legally prescribed to take medication through a medical provider, obviously that’s permissible.
It is against Uniform Code to abuse any prescription. It’s illegal to use the dosages outside the prescription window. It’s also a dereliction to use the drug in a manner in which it was not prescribed.
For instance, there are people who will crush up and snort oxycodone in greater amounts. They’re not using it for pain anymore. They’re obviously using it for recreational drug use.
What Occurs When a Legally Prescribed Medication Shows up on a Random Military Drug Test?
Interviewer: What might occur when a military member is just taking their prescription but it the drug shows up on a drug test?
Chris Cazares: What happens is when you test positive for a substance that is part of a screening test, for instance, on a panel that they included a component to indicate marijuana or THC, or a steroid, perhaps, cocaine, and maybe they included oxycodone or some other prescription drug.
When they get that positive result, what they do is they notify the commander and they also check with the prescribing doctor or they check the pharmacy. They check the medical records.
Military Personnel Will Ensure That You Have a Medical Prescription for the Drug
They have a doctor on staff that goes through the medical records for any presumptive positive and look for a medical reason as to why somebody would have tested positive for the substance found in the test.
If you have a prescription, obviously, no further action would be taken.