Possession, use of mood-altering substances banned

American Forces Press Servicce

WASHINGTON — Air Force officials issued guidance banning the knowing use and possession of any substance, other than alcohol or tobacco, that is ingested to alter mood or function.

On June 8, the Air Force published an Air Force guidance memorandum revising Air Force Instruction 44-121, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program, said Lt. Col. Elizabeth L. Schuchs-Gopaul, a judge advocate with the Air Force Judge Advocate General Action Group.

The revised language makes punitive the prohibition in the current Air Force Instruction regarding the ingestion of any substance, other than alcohol or tobacco, for the purpose of altering mood or function. The possession of any intoxicating substance, if done with the intent to use in a manner that would alter mood or function, is also prohibited, she said.

The guidance cited the designer drug “spice,” salvia divinorum, inhalants, household chemicals, solvents and prescription drug abuse.

Schuchs-Gopaul said the new AFI provisions are punitive. Violators will be punishable as violations of a lawful general regulation under Article 92 of the UCMJ.

“This revision is an addition to the already existing tools used by commanders to address the abuse of otherwise lawful substances such as salvia, inhalants, propellants, solvents, household chemicals, and others substances used for ‘huffing,’” Schuchs-Gopaul said.

Violating this new punitive memorandum is punishable by a dishonorable discharge, confinement for two years, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, the colonel said. Enlisted members also face reduction to the lowest enlisted grade.