Uniformed personnel under the Department of Defense need to meet the highest standards to guarantee their fitness for the role. So aside from being physically and mentally capable, it’s also important that they pass a number of tests to ensure that they can meet the challenges of their job. And that includes passing a standard drug test.
Random and routine drug tests for the federal workforce are mainly administered to employees involved in national security and law enforcement. These tests detect the most popular substances known to affect performance. And with herbs like kratom gaining prominence, it’s worth asking — do military drug tests detect kratom?
The short answer is no, they don’t. Kratom isn’t federally illegal, so there are no national laws that control its sale or use. That’s also why kratom drug tests aren’t too popular since people wouldn’t have a reason to try to look for it in the first place. Of course, the same can’t be said for states that might have banned kratom altogether.
As of writing, there are kratom drug tests in development but they’re not that easy to access. These tests can use saliva or urine as samples, but the most common ones use either hair or nail samples to detect the presence of kratom in a person’s system.
All military personnel is required to submit a urine sample once a year for their routine drug test. The actual schedule of the test is randomized throughout the year to prevent selective abstinence in order to pass the test.
As a standard, they will test for the following substances:
However, in some cases, they may extend the coverage of the test to include steroids, morphine, heroin, barbituates, and LSD.
It’s no secret that the military implements a zero-tolerance principle when it comes to the use of illicit substances. But if the specific substance in question (case in point: kratom) isn’t even tested for, should you be concerned?
Technically speaking, military personnel should be able to use kratom without having to worry about being caught since the drug tests administered by the DoD don’t test for kratom. But then again, that’s not the only consideration.
Kratom itself exists in a legal gray area. With some states allowing their locals to freely use, purchase, and sell kratom, there are others that have banned the substance entirely. So if we’re being technical, your location will also bear significance when it comes to determining whether or not you should be able to take kratom without any fuss.
If we’re looking at all the angles, however, entities like the DEA and FDA have cracked down hard on kratom because of its opiate-like properties. With the studies supporting the herb’s alleged benefits still insufficient to truly prove its advantages, local governments are wary of how far they’re willing to let their constituents experience the effects of kratom.
The FDA in particular has stated time and time again that kratom is not approved as safe for human consumption. And because most of the kratom products sold on the market require ingestion, using such products would be a direct violation of FDA guidelines.
What’s more, while the DEA has not placed kratom on the controlled substances list, the herb is not allowed for use by military members. According to an article published by the Goodfellow Air Force Base, the use of kratom by military personnel is considered a violation of the Air Force’s rules on the use of mind-altering substances. Other branches of the DoD remain silent on the matter.
It really depends on the rules of the specific branch of the Department of Defense that you work for. The Air Force for example considers the use of kratom a violation of their rules and may warrant disciplinary action or dishonorable discharge.
As uniformed personnel working for the military, it’s ideal and recommended that you set an example for the rest of the population. After all, you’re going to be in charge of security and defense. So because of the conditions that surround kratom, it might be in your best interest to avoid using the herb during your active-duty service even if your specific military branch has no specific rules on its use.
At present, the government isn’t too happy about the widespread use of kratom and of course, they want their personnel to mirror their sentiments. While anecdotal evidence might support the benefits of the herb, it might be best for military personnel to avoid its use until clearer regulations on the use of the herb are set forth by the federal government.