Ecstasy: A Real
By the Navy Wire Service
WASHINGTON (NWS) Ecstasy will not only kill your Navy career,
but it can also kill you. For this reason, the Navy has targeted
the drug ecstasy, also known as MDMA, as a hazard to readiness and
Protecting Sailors and Marines is a major component of force protection
and to succeed it requires a team effort. Preparedness and individual
personal performance are essential.
Drug use dulls the "combat edge" that military personnel
need to be able to respond effectively in an operationally intense
environment. Therefore, the Navy has "zero tolerance"
for illicit drugs.
Individuals found guilty of illegal drug use face an other than
honorable discharge in addition to reduction in grade and loss of
An adverse military discharge results in a loss of Veterans Affairs
educational benefits, including the Montgomery GI Bill. A drug conviction
can also result in a loss of other federal college fund benefits.
Sharing of drugs is distribution that most likely will end in serious
jail time and a bad conduct discharge.
Sailors and Marines who use ecstasy are under the impression that
it is a "safe" drug. This is far from the truth.
For those who chose to ignore the warning, ecstasy, also known
as "adam," "XTC," "hug," "beans"
and "love drug," has resulted in hospitalization and even
death. Medical risks associated with ecstasy use include:
- A sharp increase in body temperature that can result in dehydration,
muscle breakdown, and kidney and cardiovascular system failure;
- Psychological difficulties, including confusion, depression,
sleep problems, drug craving, severe anxiety and paranoia that can
sometimes last weeks after taking ecstasy;
- Physical symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching,
nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness and chills
- Increases in heart rate and blood pressure, a special risk for
people with undiagnosed circulatory or heart disease.
Adverse drug reactions are frequently associated with ecstasy use.
Ecstasy is often "cut" with other drugs, or drug substitutes
are sold as ecstasy. The danger is a "Russian roulette"
for a reaction to these drug mixtures, especially individuals who
are already taking other prescribed or over-the-counter medications.
What can Sailors and Marines do to combat illegal drug use? Become
knowledgeable about and familiar with the signs of drug use.
Command leadership is key. Everyone from the commanding officers
to the leading petty officers are tasked to ensure all members of
their staff are educated to the impact of drug use on unit readiness
and force protection.
There are two training packages available at the Navy Personnel
Command (NAVPERSCOM) Pers-6 Web site, http://navdweb.spawar.navy.mil.
One is Work Center Supervisor Training and the other for Ecstasy
Awareness Training. A randomization drug testing software program
is also available at http://navdweb.spawar.navy.mil.
An effective command drug-testing program also improves force protection.
The best deterrent to drug use is to raise the perceived risk of
detection through frequent random testing.
Once the risk of detection is heightened, the willingness to use
drugs drops significantly. Studies have shown that implementing
an effective program of drug testing and drug education reduces
the level of drug use.
For additional information, contact your command drug and alcohol
program advisor or go to http://navdweb.spawar.navy.mil.
NAVPERSCOM (Pers-603) can be reached at DSN 882-4240 or (901) 874-4240,
or e-mail to P603C@persnet.navy.mil.