All new recruits in the Air Force undergo airforce drug testing upon joining. The recruiter will undergo a urinalysis test within 72 hours of arriving on Air Force Base Military Training (AFBMT). Generally, this test is taken on the second day of your arrival.
The basic training command takes about two to three weeks to recover results. If you fail your urinalysis test, you will be immediately taken to the commute, where you will perform busy work for two weeks while the Air Force handles your discharge. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Types of drugs tested for in Airforce drug testing
There are many drugs tested and the military up-to-date on the street. Here is a list of several drugs that have been tested in military drug testing laboratories:
- Opiates: morphine, codeine, oxycodone, oxymorphon, hydrocodone
- Amphetamines: methamphetamine (meth)
- PCP / LSD
- Synthetic cannabinoids
Once you become a member of the military, regardless of service branch, the drug will be tested again. Drug tests are usually random drug tests that collect a random sample of the unit being tested. For example, all people must be tested in a unit where the last number in their Social Security number is six they must be tested on that day. Random drug testing should be random and cannot have any effect on who is tested. However, a commanding officer with a probable cause could test the entire unit within his command, or an individual could also be searched with a military search order after knowing the drug test results.
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Zero tolerance in the airforce drug test
The Air Force has a zero-tolerance policy for the misuse of illegal drugs. No member of the military may refuse to test for drugs. Whether it’s illegal drugs or prescription drugs, military drug testing labs will find what’s lately in your system. Drug tests are mandatory, and if you fail the drug test in basic training, you will be discharged and will never be allowed to join the Air Force, Air Force Reserves, or Air National Guard in the future. If you fail a drug test at any time in your career, you will be laid off and possibly prosecuted.
Zero tolerance means zero tolerance. If there is a possibility that you may be legally prescribed any of the listed medicines due to a medical procedure, this should be recorded in your medical record. Getting a drug illegally without a prescription is just as illegal as buying medication on the street from a drug dealer.
You may be able to join one of the other branches (except for the Coast Guard) if they grant you a waiver, and after a mandatory waiting period (ranging from six months to two years, depending on the service).
The harsh truth is that drugs are a major societal problem in the United States and are usually among the elderly in military service. The military is a cross section of society, so having people in the military that have prior drug problems or drug-related problems while in service is common. A robust anti-drug program within the military helps prevent already dangerous jobs from becoming more dangerous.
What happens if I fail an Air Force military drug test?
A positive military drug test result can affect their military lives and may even lead to military charges. Any member of the military who shows a positive urinalysis test should consult an experienced military attorney immediately. A lawyer can help them understand their rights and learn more about the potential actions their chain of command will take as a result of a positive test.
A positive urinalysis result can affect an individual’s military career and may even lead to military charges. The result of a failed urinalysis test will vary by grade, service, and type of medication. However, any service member who proves positive will be in a battle to save his military life.
What type of discharge is used for drugs?
- Marine Corps / Marine Corps members will usually face the mast / NJP then administrative discharge procedures
- Military and Coast Guard personnel of all ranks often face a non-judicial penalty pursuant to Article 15 and an administrative dismissal.
- Members of the Air Force who have tested positive for cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, ecstasy (MDMA), or other “strong” drugs and who are non-commissioned officers or officers will likely face a court martial.
- Pilots who test positive for marijuana or lower-ranked enlisted members often face a non-judicial penalty pursuant to Article 15 and layoffs.
Can you still save your military career if you test positive for Airforce drug testing?
Yes. A positive drug test does not necessarily mean that your military career is over; You have rights and options. Some common paths to saving your career are:
- First-time offenders who intentionally used drugs and have already confessed: Your best option is to prove to your chain of command that you meet the retention criteria. To fulfill the criteria, you’ll need to demonstrate (among other things) that:
- It was an experimental (one-time) drug use
- It was a complete deviation from normal behavior
- It will not happen again
- It better serves the military interest by holding you on the basis of your past service and your future potential
- A drug test error: Evidence that there is an error in the drug testing process. Errors occur in collecting urine samples. These errors can lead to a false positive or a false label.
In the past few years, multiple mistakes have been made by the Great Lakes Naval Laboratory. This resulted in the samples being incorrectly reported as positive. Every positive test result must be carefully reviewed by an experienced attorney to identify potential errors. We successfully retain service personnel with this defense and forensic challenge
- Accidental Medication: If you think you have taken the drug by mistake, you may be able to save your career by raising the bar for innocent or unaware ingestion. Innocent ingestion occurs when a military individual eats, drinks, or smokes something and is not aware that it contains a controlled substance.
Unknown ingestion is when a member of the military does not know the potential source of a drug in his system but argues that they have not intentionally used any illegal substance.
These two arguments could be successful if the military member and their attorneys present a strong case consistent with current research and drug levels are consistent with accidental or unknown exposure. In my career, I have been a part of vacuum plates as we have successfully demonstrated that the source of the medicines was cough syrup, brownies, cigarettes and beer.
What should you do if you test positive in the Airforce drug testing?
Military personnel who have tested positive for a drug test must ensure they understand their rights. You have the right to remain silent (Article 31), the right to consult a lawyer of your choice, and the right to fight to save your career throughout investigation proceedings, Mast, NJP, military court, or discharge proceedings.
Do not lose hope. Although a positive drug test can spell the end of your career, there is no need for it! With the right approach and correct legal guidance, you will have the opportunity to defend yourself. You can beat the positive urinalysis test and continue to defend our country.