What Drugs Does Military Test For? How Often Does The Military Drug Test 2022?

How Often Does The Military Drug Test What Happens If You Fail The Test

The military drug test is a urine test used to test for the presence of drugs in soldiers. It is a mandatory test for all soldiers and is used to ensure that soldiers are not using drugs. The military drug test is a very sensitive test, and it can detect even trace amounts of drugs.

So how often does the military drug test, and what happens if you fail the test?

Let’s be with GuardYourHealth to answer these questions and get more useful information.

What Drugs Does The Military Test For?

what drugs does military test for

Military service members are tested for the following drugs:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines (including methamphetamine and designer amphetamines): such as molly or ecstasy (MDMA) and adam (MDA)
  • Heroin
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Synthetic cannabinoids
  • Benzodiazepine sedatives

Does the Military Drug Test Before You Join?

Did you know that 2,400 candidates out of 279,400 tested positive for drugs in 2017? For this reason, the military requires a drug test of all applicants. The U.S. Armed Forces only accept the best (and drug-free) applicants after passing a military drug test.

As an entrance applicant, you get 90 days to retake the test at the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) if you don’t pass the first time. However, if you fail it a second time, you would be permanently disqualified and unable to join any armed forces branch.

How Does the Military Check Your Body for Drugs?

Does the military drug test you

They’ll perform an Army urine examination. Basically, your urine sample will be collected, and an immunoassay will be performed to screen it. The typical turnaround time for military drug tests is 3 to 5 days. Results, however, can occasionally be returned within 24 hours.

Here is the fundamental order:

  • To obtain a urine sample, you, the service member, urinate in a container.
  • The test administrator receives the sample: Although it is awkward, there is a watcher to ensure that you are not lying.
  • Your sample is organized in batches with the others.
  • Everyone involved signs a chain of custody document, including you.
  • For drug testing, the batches of containers are transported to the lab.
  • Your sample will be tested using an immunoassay.
  • If your initial immunoassay result was positive, a second screening is conducted.
  • Mass spectrometry will be performed on the sample if your second screening is also positive.

When Will You Be Subjected to Your First Army Drug Test?

How often does the army drug test

You undergo the first of several drug tests at the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) in addition to the other required exams.

The Army will also need you to submit to drug testing before, during, and after basic combat training. After that, while you’re serving, you must submit to at least one annual drug test. There are numerous ways to ask you to submit to a drug test.

1. Random Testing

As suggested by the name, this occurs when a commander randomly calls on all or a portion of his or her unit to take the exam.

2. Probable Cause Testing

The commander has the authority to request that a member provide a urine sample for a drug test if there is reasonable suspicion that the member has used drugs.

3. Medical Testing

A drug test can be required of you for medical reasons. The outcome, however, may be used against you in administrative and court-martial proceedings, even if they are administered for medical testing.

4. Consent Testing

A commander asks you if you agree to a drug test.

5. Order-Based Testing

A commander requires you to submit a urine sample for the drug test. However, absent a showing of probable cause, the outcome cannot be used against you in administrative or court-martial procedures.

What Are the Rules for Army Drug Testing?

Military drug test

The Army regulation 600-85 (2016), which is a part of the ASAP (Army Substance Abuse Program), specifies the drug test.

You are always required to abide by a military drug test order. Nevertheless, the type of testing request will determine whether the outcome will impact you in administrative and court-martial processes. A “by-order” test, as was previously stated, cannot be used against you if there is no probable cause (s).

Any failed drug test will be made public on the web for viewing by all force commanders and supervisors (if you are an already-serving member).

Challenging a Positive Drug Test in the Military

Your future in the military is not necessarily ended if a urinalysis test is positive. An adept civilian military defense attorney has various options for contesting the accuracy of your drug test findings.

Our attorneys will extensively investigate your claimed offense with the aid of reputable toxicologists. It is critical that you communicate openly and honestly with your lawyer. We will first talk about the alleged drug use you are supposed to have engaged in.

We’ll enquire about any prescriptions you use, the foods you typically eat, and recent travel destinations. Don’t withhold information that you might think will hurt your case. We will base the remainder of our research on the details you supply. Your chances of success will increase with the amount of data we have at our disposal.

We’ll look into things like:

  • Reviewing the methods used in the lab to analyze the urine sample you provided;
  • Identifying the drugs that might have caused a false-positive result;
  • Review the procedures followed in collecting, handling, storing, and protecting your urine sample; and inspecting the urinalysis results for errors and anomalies.

Why Would a False Positive on My Military Drug Test Occur?

Why Would a False Positive on My Military Drug Test Occur

Numerous factors can result in a false-positive drug test result. Drug tests frequently show a false positive for the following causes:

  • Use of over-the-counter medications;
  • Use of painkillers;
  • Use of antidepressant or antianxiety medications;
  • Eating specific meals;
  • Manufacturing errors;
  • Improperly kept samples;
  • Misapplication of testing techniques;
  • Misapplication of testing parameters;
  • Improperly labeled samples.

It is crucial to be completely honest about whatever medications you do use. Your military drug test could return a false-positive result because of the legal drugs you use. If you are honest about your routines, your attorney can assist you in defending against any claims of military drug use.

What Happens If a Military Drug Test Is Failed?

What Happens If a Military Drug Test Is Failed

The military has a strict no-tolerance stance when it comes to drug testing. However, failing a military drug test may not always have a negative outcome. Your service, rank, and the drug found in your test will all be factors. A court-martial accusation is the worst scenario.

Typically, you’ll:

  • Suspended immediately
  • A rehabilitation facility
  • Then endure a MAST or NJP(a non-judicial punishment)

Lastly, be dismissed in disgraceful circumstances: as a result, you won’t be eligible for any military benefits, such as health care, education, housing, or insurance.

When You Fail a Military Drug Test, What Should You Do?

Army drug test

False positive results on military drug tests can occur. Typical offenders for these include:

  • Unintentional components in vitamins, supplements, and some foods have been found
  • Incorrectly labeled or stored samples, as well as manufacturing mistakes
  • Inappropriate behavior while performing the test or using the test settings
  • Unintentional component identification in prescription pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medicines

This indicates that you may still be able to contest your negative military drug test result. To accomplish this, you must demonstrate that the drug was not intentionally consumed or that errors were made during the drug collection and/or testing process. You could need the assistance of a reputable lawyer in either situation.

Make sure you are as honest and open about what you eat, drink, and put into your body if you are certain that you have not used drugs intentionally. Then and only then will you be able to refute the test’s negative results and defend yourself.


FAQs about Military drug test

How Often Does The Military Drug Test?

At least once a year, all military members who are on active duty provide a urine sample for drug testing. These tests look for the use of cocaine, amphetamines, and marijuana. The urinalysis may occasionally do a drug screening for the presence of other substances such as steroids, morphine, heroin, barbiturates, and LSD.

How Long Do Army Drug Test Results Take?

3-5 days

Within 1-3 days after the lab receives the sample, the program managers can typically find negative results on the web portal. The portal typically posts the positive results within 3-5 days after the lab receives the specimens.


The military drug test is a way to ensure that soldiers are not using drugs. This is important because drugs can impair a soldier’s ability to fight and can also lead to addiction. The military drug test can be given at any time and is usually given before a deployment. But it often occurs once a year.

We hope that you can find it valuable in this blog post. Thanks for reading!