So far in 2013, 12 Dyess Airmen have been convicted of using the drug 'spice'.
The use of these harmful substances is continuing to increase among Airmen, which not only result in disciplinary actions but also serious health risks.
"Marketed and sold as incense, and closely resembling potpourri, spice is mistakenly perceived by some Airmen as a legal or safe alternative to marijuana," said Dr. Aaron Jacobs, Air Force Drug Testing program manager. "It is among many 'designer drugs' banned under the Department of Defense directive 1010-3.4 and Air Force Instruction 44-120 [Drug Abuse Testing Program]."
Side effects of spice can include panic attacks, hallucinations, delusions, vomiting, increased agitation and dilated pupils.
"Additional harmful effects are still unknown, so individuals are taking significant risks to their health when they use spice," Jacobs said. "It is an uncontrolled substance, meaning they will be illegal to possess, distribute or manufacture in the United States.''
The Air Force is mounting a robust education and awareness campaign to ensure all Airmen understand the risks of possessing or consuming these dangerous products.
In 2012, Dyess had numerous incidents in which spice was involved, however, if an Airman is found with the drug, the consequences are still the same: punishment at the commanders discretion, Article 15, court martial and or punishment under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The use of spice is a serious health risk and carries the real consequences of jail time, federal conviction and administrative discharge, which is mandatory for drug use.
"Bottom line is, every Airman knows that the use and possession of intoxicating substances, other than alcohol and tobacco, is prohibited in the Air Force," said Col. Don Christensen, USAF, Chief, government trial and appellate counsel. "This added capability will provide an important tool to deter use of these dangerous drugs and to identify those who put themselves and others at risk by abusing them. Every Airman is now potentially subject to urinalysis testing for spice."
Dyess Air Force Base released a statement Monday regarding the increased number of Airmen caught using the drug "Spice," and warning fellow Airmen of the negative effects on both the career and health of any Air Force member who chooses to use the drug.
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