GI Rights Hotline

Military Discharges and Military Counseling

Call 1-877-447-4487


Comments: To view or download the complete regulation, click on the the link to it in the box above these comments.


d. Military members determined to be using drugs, in violation of applicable provisions of the UCMJ, Federal, State or local statutes, or who unlawfully engage in the trafficking of drugs or drug abuse paraphernalia, or who are diagnosed as drug dependent, shall be disciplined as appropriate and processed for administrative separation. Additionally, military members who incur a subsequent alcohol incident after entering a prescribed treatment program (successful completion notwithstanding) precipitated by a prior alcohol incident, shall be disciplined as appropriate, and processed for administrative separation. Members who are found to be physically dependent on alcohol and/or drug(s) shall, prior to separation, be afforded treatment by an appropriate facility based on a medical officer's or Department of Defense (DOD) authorized licensed practitioner's opinion. Members who have received treatment for alcohol and/or drug dependency and are in a prescribed command-approved aftercare status may not be eligible for another treatment period prior to separation.

e. Military personnel who abuse alcohol but are determined to have a high probability of successful treatment shall be disciplined as appropriate. They shall be provided counseling and/or treatment in order to be restored to full duty under enclosure (2). ...


1. Policy. It is Department of the Navy policy that no person who is alcohol and/or drug dependent, who currently abuses alcohol and/or drugs, whose pre-service abuse of alcohol and/or drugs indicates a proclivity to continue abuse in the service, or who has a record of any drug trafficking offenses, be permitted to enter or be retained in the Naval Service.

a. Some people have clear potential to adhere to a substance abuse-free military service despite past substance use. Preservice use/abuse, as long as the substance use/abuse is completely discontinued upon entry into the Naval Service, is not necessarily disqualifying. Therefore, persons who have abused alcohol or drugs prior to application for military service, but who are not substance dependent, may be considered for entrance on a case-by-case basis. However, the overall record must show the applicant is qualified in all other ways and displays the potential to meet acceptable standards of performance and conduct.


b. Enlisted Separation Policy

(1) Enlisted personnel who refuse to consent to testing or evaluation during IEAD or whose drug test is confirmed positive for cocaine shall be discharged.

Comments: "IEAD" is Initial Entry on Active Duty.

(2) Enlisted personnel whose drug test is confirmed positive for cannabinoids alone shall be discharged unless a waiver is granted under criteria established by the CNO and CMC following an individual assessment of the particular case.

Comments: "CNO" is the Chief of Naval Operations; "CMC" is the Commandant Marine Corps.

(3) Enlisted personnel whose alcohol test indicates a 0.05 percent blood alcohol level or greater and who are determined not alcohol dependent shall be discharged unless a waiver is granted under criteria established by the CNO and CMC following an individual assessment of the particular case.


4. Post Enlistment Disclosure of Pre-service Alcohol and/or Drug Abuse. Military personnel who as applicants disclaim pre-service alcohol and/or drug abuse and subsequently admit to pre-service use which could have disqualified them from entry into the service specified above at time of entry, and who have demonstrated a potential for further useful service, will be evaluated on a case by case basis at the time of such admission. Those who would have met the acceptance criteria for future useful abuse-free service may be retained under criteria established by the CNO and CMC. All others should be processed for separation.

5. Pre-service Drug-Related Offenses. For purposes of this enclosure, the phrase "convicted of a drug offense" will not include civil arrests or judicial action involving drug use when the charges were dropped or the individual was adjudged not guilty, unless such judgment or dismissal was the result of an agreement or deferral of prosecution conditioned on entry into the Naval Service. Persons with substance abuse-related convictions identified by the recruiter's local police check and on their entrance national agency check should normally be considered ineligible for Naval Service.

6. Pre-service Alcohol-Related Offenses. Individuals who have been convicted of an alcohol-related offense may also be considered within the guidelines for acceptance provided for in paragraph 2a. However, persons with multiple alcohol-related civil convictions (DWIs, etc.), should normally be considered ineligible for Naval Service.

7. In-Service Drug-Related Offenses

a. Drug trafficking incidents mandate disciplinary action, as appropriate, and processing for separation under references (i) and (j) due to their detrimental effect on military readiness, reliable mission accomplishment and the health and welfare of naval personnel.

b. Drug use by members of the Naval Service is inconsistent with the high standards expected of all personnel. Members will be disciplined, as appropriate, and processed for separation in accordance with references (i) and (j).




6. Voluntary Self-Referral for Rehabilitation for Drug Abuse

All Navy and Marine Corps active duty and reserve personnel who self-refer for drug abuse to qualified representatives shall be screened for drug dependency at a medical facility. Those who are officially confirmed as valid self-referrals shall be exempt from any disciplinary action, processed for administrative separation, and offered treatment as outlined in reference (a). Those personnel who are subsequently screened as "not drug dependent" will be ineligible for exemption from disciplinary action.