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News > Commentary - Meth user sentenced to four months confinement
Meth user sentenced to four months confinement

Posted 8/20/2008   Updated 8/20/2008 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Capt. Leah Watson
60th Air Mobility Wing Assistant Staff Judge Advocate

8/20/2008 - TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- We have heard it all of our lives, Just Say No, D.A.R.E., Winners Don't Use Drugs, Above the Influence and hundreds of other phrases meant to make us aware that using drugs can have a huge negative impact on your life. As members of the military, we have also heard of the ''zero tolerance'' policy for drug users, but what does that really mean? For one Senior Airmen that means a sentence of four months confinement and reduction to E-1.

His crime is a violation of Article 112a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Wrongful Use of a Controlled Substance. The Senior Airman had given almost six years of good service to his country in the United States Air Force. He was only two months away from his term of service when he decided to use meth at a party. He took five hits of methamphetamine on a glass pipe while on leave earlier this year. He submitted to a random urinalysis a few days later and tested positive for amphetamines D-Amphetamine (DAMP) and D-Methamphetamine (DMETH).

Both substances are commonly referred to as meth. The Airman's urine tested positive with a concentration level at DAMP 260 ng/mL and DMETH 737 ng/mL. The Department of Defense cutoff for DAMP is 100 ng/mL and DMETH is 100 ng/mL. The Senior Airman was sentenced at a special court martial to four months confinement and reduction to E-1. 

Drug use affects the user's health. It impacts their family and children who are often abused or neglected as a result of the user's preoccupation with drugs. It impacts the Air Force because drug abusers put other's at risk when working in positions where even a minor degree of impairment could be catastrophic; maintainers, pharmacists, pilots, nurses, fuelers and doctors are just a few examples. Impairment causes the drug user to falter and the mission to fail. The Air Force has a zero tolerance policy for drug use because drug use is incompatible with the Airman's Creed. 

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