If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line or call 911: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 or Text 838255

What do the Policies Say About Substance Use?

It’s no secret that substance use can impact not only military readiness, but also military careers. As a Service member, it’s important to be informed about the DOD and your Service branch’s policies on substances including prescription, illicit and prohibited drugs.

The policies state that Service members cannot possess, dispense, sell or use illicit and prohibited substances including marijuana, hemp and CBD. Also, Service members should not use prescription drugs in a way that does not follow the directions of their health care provider or take prescriptions that were given to others. All of this is considered problematic substance use and can result in serious consequences, including loss of a career.

What does the DOD policy say about marijuana?

What does the DOD policy say about hemp and CBD?

Find out more about how to protect yourself and your career from marijuana and other prohibited substances like CBD and hemp.

What do the Service policies say?

It’s also important to be familiar with your Service branch’s specific policies and to talk with your local alcohol and drug personnel if you have questions or concerns.

Air Force

  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program (AFI 44-121) [PDF 808KB]
    • Defines drug abuse as “the illegal, wrongful or improper use, possession, sale, transfer or introduction onto a military installation of any drug defined in this instruction.” The instruction defines drugs as controlled substances Schedules I-IV or any inhaled, injected or consumed substance other than alcohol that alters mood or function.

Army

  • The Army Substance Abuse Program (AR 600-85)
    • Defines drug abuse as “the use or possession of controlled substances, or illegal drugs or the nonmedical or improper use of other drugs (for example, prescription and over the counter drugs) that are packaged with a recommended safe dosage. This includes the use of substances for other than their intended use (for example, glue and gasoline fume sniffing or steroid use for other than that which is specifically prescribed by competent medical authority).”

Coast Guard

  • Military Drug and Alcohol Policy (COMDTINST M1000.1A) [PDF 323KB]
    • Defines drug abuse as “the use of a drug or substance for other than its intended legal use.” A drug incident consists of the intentional use of drugs for non-medical purposes; wrongful possession, use or trafficking of drugs; and the intentional use of substances including over-the-counter or prescription medications to get high outside of their intended use.

Marine Corps

  • Marine Corps Substance Abuse Program (MCO 5300.17A) [PDF 749KB]
    • Defines drugs misuse as the “use of any substance, with or without a prescription, with primary goal to alter one’s mental state (i.e., alter mood, emotion or state of consciousness) outside its medically prescribed purpose – includes medications, illicit drugs or use of commercial products outside of intended purpose (such as inhalants, synthetic cannabinoids, etc.).”
  • Prohibition on the Use of Hemp Products Updated (ALNAV 074/20)

Navy

  • Navy Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Control (OPNAVINST 5350.4D) [PDF 3.78MB]
    • Defines drug abuse as “wrongful use, possession, manufacturing or distribution, or introduction onto a military installation, or other property or facility under military supervision, of a controlled substance, prescription medication, over-the-counter medication or intoxicating substance (other than alcohol). “Wrongful” means without legal justification or excuse, and includes use contrary to the directions of the manufacturer or prescribing healthcare provider, and use of any intoxicating substance not intended for human ingestion. For purposes of this instruction, this includes consumption of any substance for other than their intended purpose, e.g., glue, air freshener, gasoline fume sniffing (sometimes referred to as “huffing”) and steroid usage other than that specifically prescribed by a competent medical authority.”
  • Prohibition on the Use of Hemp Products Updated (ALNAV 074/20)

Keep up to date on what the policies say so you can keep yourself and your career safe.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Military Crisis Line or call 911: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 or Text 838255