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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Nov. 9, 2022

New policy: Military Substance Abuse and Behavioral Addiction Program has many new features 

By Martin Berman-Gorvine, MyCG Writer  

The Coast Guard announced the Military Substance Abuse and Behavioral Addiction Program, which replaces the former Military Drug and Alcohol Policy. All Coast Guard members and commands should review the new, completely revised program in its entirety.  

Among the major changes within the program are: 

  • Members of the reserve are now covered and subject to policy on and off duty;  
  • The conditions for separation after a second incident involving alcohol have been revised to create equity between active duty members, reservists, commissioned officers, and enlisted members; 
  • A positive drug test is now considered a Drug Incident for all Coast Guard members, a change that is applicable to reservists as well, regardless of duty status; 
  • The section on drug testing in conjunction with training now requires all recruits, cadets, officer candidates, and direct commission officers to be drug tested within 72 hours of reporting to active duty, and all A-school students to be tested within 96 hours of reporting to training;
  • The new positions of program manager (PM) and Major Drug Testing Coordinator (MAJCOM) have been added to reduce urinalysis error rates and ensure oversight of the Coast Guard Urinalysis Program;
  • Other new positions and authorities are Drug Testing Coordinator (DTC), Alternate Drug Testing Coordinator (ADTC), Second Verifier (SV) and Specimen Collector (SC); 
  • Hair Specimen Testing (HST) and Oral Fluid Testing (OFT) have been added as a supplemental approved drug testing methods; Coast Guard prohibition of hemp, cannabidiol (CBD), and marijuana establishments is outlined in a new chapter; and 
  • Wrongful possession, use, promotion, or distribution of drug paraphernalia by Coast Guard service members is now explicitly prohibited. 

Please direct your questions to the Office of Military Personnel