Undercover Investigation Finds Synthetic Drug Use at ‘Epidemic’ Levels in the US Marine Corps


An undercover investigation from National Geographic found that for members of the U.S. Marine Corps, synthetic drugs are both prevalent and easy to find. These dangerous, more powerful drugs mimic the effects of known hallucinogens but have a slightly altered chemical structure in order to evade traditional methods of detection.

Use of synthetic drugs in the military is at “epidemic” levels, according to one marine.

For marines, the most accessible drugs are “spice”, which produces experiences similar to marijuana, and bath salts, which creates response similar to amphetamines. One marine told ABC News, “I would probably say 50 to 70 percent have tried or currently do spice or bath salts. Over my career, that’s what I’ve seen.”

The Navy does not release official statistics on synthetic drug use, so it’s difficult to verify any single percentage. But marines interviewed said one thing is clear — the drugs are not hard to find.

Marines took a reporter to downtown San Diego, where the reporter recorded the illegal transaction taking place in the open. The two marines said drugs are kept hidden from most customers at that shop, but if your appearance suggests you are a service member, it’s not hard to make a transaction.

The Department of Defense banned these synthetic drugs for all military personnel in 2010. But the drugs continued popularity could be because synthetic drugs don’t show up on the standard urine tests all Marines are required to take routinely, according to ABC News.

The Navy recently launched an awareness campaign about the dangers of synthetic drugs. With this campaign, it’s clear that synthetic drugs are a growing concern in other branches of the military as well.

Last Updated on April 22, 2020 by Aimed Alliance


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