The Defense Department announced this week it is expanding its drug testing program to include hydrocodone and benzodiazepines. The program already tests for codeine and morphine. The new screenings were announced 90 days before they would take effect, giving service members who are addicted to prescription drugs time to seek medical help.
Hydrocodone and benzodiazepines are being added to the list of testable substances because they are among the most abused prescription drugs on the market, according to Joe Angello, the Defense Department’s Director of Operational Readiness and Safety. “You’re not at your peak mental acuity when you’re using drugs,” he said in a news release. “The military has some of the finest men and women this nation has to offer; we cannot have people in the business of arms with drug impairments.”