MCPON Message to the Fleet: No Second Chances for Drug Abuse


Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON)(SS/SW) Rick D. West, released the following message on drug abuse, which focuses on “Spice,” herbal products and other designer drugs, to the fleet, Feb. 11:


There has been an alarming rise in the number of Sailors who are choosing to use ‘Spice,’ herbal products and other so-called designer drugs; and this must come to an immediate stop.

More than 150 Sailors are currently being processed for ‘Spice’ use, possession or distribution, and this is UNSAT.

Overall, the Navy has separated 1,374 Sailors in FY09; 1,308 Sailors in FY10; and 302 Sailors during the first quarter of FY11, for drug abuse. These unexpected losses negatively affect our commands’ manning levels, which in turn affects the commands’ operational and warfighter readiness. The Navy’s policy on drug abuse is simple and clear zero tolerance, and there are no second chances.

NAVADMIN 108/10 states the following on drug abuse:

‘Drug abuse includes the wrongful use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of a controlled substance. Drug abuse also includes the unlawful use of controlled substance analogues (designer drugs), natural substances (e.g., fungi, excretions), chemicals (e.g., chemicals wrongfully used as inhalants), propellants and/or prescribed or over-the-counter drugs or pharmaceutical compounds with the intent to induce intoxication, excitement, or stupefaction of the central nervous system, and will subject the violator to punitive action under the UCMJ and/or adverse administrative action.’

Some examples of substances mentioned above where the wrongful use constitutes drug abuse includes, but is not limited to the following:

– Products that contain synthetic cannabinoid compounds, such as “Spice,” genie, blaze, dream, ex-ses, spark, fusion, dark knight, yukatan fire, and K2.

– Natural substances such as salvia divinorum and mushrooms.

– Common items abused by inhaling or huffing, such as Dust Off, glue, paint thinner and gasoline.

– Over-the-counter products such as Robitussin and Coricidin HBP.

– Prescription medications such as Oxycodone, Vicodin, Adderall, and Valium.

If you didn’t know, ‘Spice’ is a mixture of natural herbs and synthetic cannabinoids, that when smoked, produce a marijuana-like ‘high’ that decreases motor skills, impairs coordination and concentration, and effects short-term memory and senses. The effects of these substance is unpredictable when combined with alcohol, and since the chemical blends are continuously manipulated and the strength of the synthetic chemical used is unknown, there is no way to know what you are getting in the drugs nor what the long-term health risks are if used.

Some of the side effects from these drugs included uncontrolled vomiting, excessive sweating, flushed skin, increased heart rate and high blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. If this sounds like a good time to you, then go ahead and hand over your rank and paycheck, and possibly your life.

Bottom line: The use and even just the possession of ‘Spice,’ herbal products, designer drugs, chemicals used for huffing, salvia divinorum, or products containing synthetic cannabinoid compounds are prohibited. Leadership, along with Naval Criminal Investigative Service, is aggressively working to catch personnel who are possessing, using, or distributing drugs; and when you get caught, your career will be over.

Drug abuse goes against our Navy’s core values and ethos, and it is a threat to lives, unit and mission readiness and morale. It is every Sailor’s responsibility to deter drug abuse. If you do the crime, you will do the time remember zero tolerance and no second chances.


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