Navy Cyberspace Surface Ship Website Header

Drugs and the Navy Do Not Mix

MEPS Drug and Alcohol Testing (DAT) Program

Written by
Published: July 9, 2008
Updated: June 3, 2019

We have heard it all of our lives, stay away from drugs, just say no and hundreds of other comments and phrases meant to make us aware that using drugs and abusing alcohol can have a huge negative impact of your life. Many of the reasons are health related – use and abuse of drugs and alcohol can lead to deep psychiatric problems and damaged organs not to mention the fractured relationships and self esteem issues you’re bound to encounter.

It is sometimes mentioned, but rarely accentuated, that your use and abuse of drugs and alcohol can have a profound negative effect on your future – let’s take a close look at how it might affect the Navy.

When you go to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) to process for the military, one of the very first things you are going to do (shortly after filling out some forms) is to take a drug and alcohol test. The Military Drug and Alcohol Testing (DAT) Program is actually two tests; The alcohol test will be a breath test which is approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the drug test will be a traditional urinalysis following the procedures set forth by the Secretary of Defense for Health affairs. The test results are considered final – if you even THINK you may produce a positive result DO NOT go to MEPS!

If you test positive at the MEPS for even a trace of marijuana, opiates, cocaine, or methamphetamine you would be ineligible for enlistment. If you were preliminarily enlisted pending receipt of drug test results you must be discharged from the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) when the result is annotated in you record. Keep in mind if you test positive for marijuana, cocaine or methamphetamine on your initial test you are permanently barred from reprocessing for the Navy. Note: Oxycodone/oxymorphone (synthetic opiates) are key ingredients in the drugs Percodan, Percocet, and Tylox, which are commonly prescribed to relieve pain after medical or dental surgery. These drugs are part of the DAT screen panel.

If it was a positive for alcohol on the initial DAT you are ineligible for military service for a period of 45 days from the date of the DAT. You can only retest on or after their 46th day following the initial test. You produce a positive result on your second test you are then permanently ineligible for the Navy.

Also, if you had a previous MEPS positive DAT for drugs, regardless of service processing for, you are permanently ineligible for enlisting in the United States Navy.

Within your first 72 hours at Recruit Training Command (boot camp), you will be given a urinalysis. If you test is positive, you will be immediately discharged based upon fraudulent enlistment.

More and more companies across the U.S. and the world are adopting the zero tolerance position on the use of illegal drugs and the abuse of alcohol – heed this and the other warnings you are hearing and just in case let me say it one more time for the people in the back row – Stay away from drugs; just say NO!

Alcohol abuse or illegal or improper use of drugs during your enlistment could result in possible administrative separation with less than honorable conditions and loss of all veterans benefits. To further illustrate the Navy’s position on drug use and abuse, I highlighted a couple of points from NAVADMIN 108/10, as an applicant for the Navy you had better understand, that was recently sent by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO);


Begin NAVADMIN 108/10


R 251705Z MAR 10
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N00//
TO NAVADMIN
BT
UNCLAS N05355//
NAVADMIN 108/10
MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO/WASHINGTON DC/N00/MAR//
SUBJ/DRUG ABUSE ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY AND PROHIBITION ON POSSESSION OF CERTAIN SUBSTANCES//

REF/A/DOC/SECNAVINST 5300.28D/5DEC05//
REF/B/DOC/OPNAVINST 5350.4D/4JUN09//
NARR/REF A IS SECNAVINST 5300.28D, MILITARY SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION AND CONTROL. REF B IS OPNAVINST 5350.4D, NAVY ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION AND CONTROL.

RMKS/1. THIS NAVADMIN REEMPHASIZES NAVY POLICY ON DRUG ABUSE AND PROHIBITS POSSESSION OF THE SUBSTANCES DESIGNATED IN PARA 5. THIS MESSAGE CONSTITUTES A LAWFUL GENERAL ORDER APPLICABLE TO ALL UNIFORMED PERSONNEL IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY. THE PROHIBITION CONTAINED IN PARA 5 WILL BE INCORPORATED INTO THE NEXT REVISION OF REF B.

2. THE NAVY SEPARATED 1,374 SAILORS AS A RESULT OF DRUG ABUSE IN FY09 AND 303 SAILORS DURING THE FIRST QUARTER OF FY10. DRUG ABUSE PUTS LIVES AND MISSIONS AT RISK, UNDERCUTS UNIT READINESS AND MORALE, AND IS INCONSISTENT WITH OUR NAVY ETHOS AND CORE VALUES OF HONOR, COURAGE, AND COMMITMENT.

3. NAVY POLICY ON DRUG ABUSE IS SIMPLE AND CLEAR – ZERO TOLERANCE. NAVY PERSONNEL DETERMINED TO BE UNLAWFULLY USING, POSSESSING, PROMOTING, MANUFACTURING, OR DISTRIBUTING DRUGS AND/OR DRUG ABUSE PARAPHERNALIA SHALL BE DISCIPLINED, AS APPROPRIATE, AND PROCESSED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE SEPARATION.

4. PER REFS A AND B, DRUG ABUSE INCLUDES THE WRONGFUL USE, POSSESSION, MANUFACTURE, OR DISTRIBUTION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. DRUG ABUSE ALSO INCLUDES THE UNLAWFUL USE OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ANALOGUES (DESIGNER DRUGS), NATURAL SUBSTANCES (E.G., FUNGI, EXCRETIONS), CHEMICALS (E.G., CHEMICALS WRONGFULLY USED AS INHALANTS), PROPELLANTS AND/OR PRESCRIBED OR OVER-THE-COUNTER DRUGS OR PHARMACEUTICAL COMPOUNDS WITH THE INTENT TO INDUCE INTOXICATION, EXCITEMENT, OR STUPEFACTION OF THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, AND WILL SUBJECT THE VIOLATOR TO PUNITIVE ACTION UNDER THE UCMJ AND/OR ADVERSE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION. EXAMPLES OF OTHER SUBSTANCES, THE WRONGFUL USE OF WHICH CONSTITUTES DRUG ABUSE, INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING:
A. PRODUCTS THAT CONTAIN SYNTHETIC CANNABINOID COMPOUNDS, SUCH AS SPICE, GENIE, BLAZE, DREAM, EX-SES, SPARK, FUSION, DARK KNIGHT, YUKATAN FIRE, AND K2.
B. NATURAL SUBSTANCES SUCH AS SALVIA DIVINORUM AND MUSHROOMS.
C. COMMON ITEMS ABUSED BY INHALING OR HUFFING, SUCH AS DUST OFF, GLUE, PAINT THINNER AND GASOLINE.
D. OVER-THE-COUNTER PRODUCTS SUCH AS ROBITUSSIN AND CORICIDIN HBP.
E. PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS SUCH AS OXYCODONE, VICODIN, ADDERALL, AND VALIUM.

5. POSSESSION PROHIBITED. NAVY PERSONNEL WHO WRONGFULLY POSSESS CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ANALOGUES (DESIGNER DRUGS), SALVIA DIVINORUM, OR PRODUCTS CONTAINING SYNTHETIC CANNABINOID COMPOUNDS (INCLUDING THE PRODUCTS IN PARA 4.A ABOVE) MAY BE SUBJECT TO PUNITIVE ACTION UNDER THE UCMJ, ADVERSE ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION, OR BOTH.

6. DETERRENCE. TO DETER DRUG ABUSE, WE MUST ELIMINATE ANY PERCEPTION AMONG POTENTIAL DRUG USERS THAT THEIR USE MAY GO UNDETECTED. THIS REQUIRES A RIGOROUS URINALYSIS PROGRAM WITH FREQUENT, RANDOM, OBSERVED, AND UNANNOUNCED URINALYSIS TESTS. REF B REQUIRES THAT ALL COMMANDS HAVE AN AGGRESSIVE URINALYSIS TESTING PROGRAM THAT RANDOMLY TESTS AT LEAST FOUR TIMES PER MONTH. A MINIMUM OF 15 PERCENT OF ASSIGNED PERSONNEL MUST BE TESTED EACH MONTH.

7. CONSULT YOUR STAFF JUDGE ADVOCATE OR REGION LEGAL SERVICE OFFICE FOR ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON SPECIFIC CASES.

8. ALCOHOL AND DRUG CONTROL OFFICERS (ADCOS) CAN PROVIDE COMMAND LEADERSHIP WITH INFORMATION ON CURRENT SUBSTANCE ABUSE TRENDS.

9. CONSISTENT COMMUNICATION OF THE NAVY’S ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY, EDUCATION OF SAILORS AND COMMAND LEADERS, EFFECTIVE EXECUTION AND COMPLIANCE WITH URINALYSIS TESTING, AND ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO ABUSE DRUGS WILL DETER DRUG ABUSE. DETERRING DRUG ABUSE IS EVERY SAILOR’S RESPONSIBILITY. JUST AS SHIPMATES DON’T LET SHIPMATES DRINK AND DRIVE, SHIPMATES DON’T LET SHIPMATES DO DRUGS.

10. RELEASED BY ADMIRAL G. ROUGHEAD, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS.//
BT
#0000
NNNN


End NAVADMIN


The DoD guidelines include the following confirmatory test cutoffs for the specified drug/metabolites:

Cocaine metabolite (benzoylecgonine): 100 ng/mL
Heroin metabolite (6-AM): 10 ng/mL
d-Methamphetamine: 100 ng/mL
d-Amphetamine: 100 ng/mL
Marijuana metabolite (THCA): 15 ng/mL
MDMA (Ecstasy): 500 ng/mL
MDA (Ecstasy): 500 ng/mL
Codeine: 2000 ng/mL
Morphine: 4000 ng/mL
Hydrocodone: 100 ng/mL
Hydromorphone: 100 ng/mL
Oxycodone: 100 ng/mL
Oxymorphone: 100 ng/mL
Nordiazepam: 100 ng/mL
Oxazepam: 100 ng/mL
Lorazepam: 100 ng/mL
Temazepam: 100 ng/mL
Nordiazepam: 100 ng/mL
Alpha-Hydroxy-Alprazolam: 100 ng/mL
Synthetic Cannabinoids (SYCAN): Various compounds; See NAVADMIN above and AFMES for updates.


Begin NAVADMIN 125/19


UNCLASSIFIED//
ROUTINE
R 031653Z JUN 19
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
TO NAVADMIN
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC
BT
UNCLAS

NAVADMIN 125/19

PASS TO OFFICE CODES:
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1//
MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N1/JUN//

SUBJ/NOTIFICATION OF DRUG TESTING PROGRAM REVISIONS – INITIATION OF FENTANYL AND NORFENTANYL TESTING//

REF/A/DOC/DOD/29MAR19//
REF/B/DOC/OPNAV/4JUN09//
NARR/REF A IS DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) NOTICE OF THE EXPANSION OF DOD PANEL OF TESTED DRUGS TO INCLUDE FENTANYL AND NORFENTANYL.
REF B IS OPNAVINST 5350.4D, NAVY ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION AND CONTROL.

RMKS/1. This NAVADMIN announces the expansion of the Department of Defenses ability to conduct random drug testing for the manufactured opiates Fentanyl and Norfentanyl. Members determined as abusing drugs face punitive action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 112a. Effective immediately, Navy Drug Screening Laboratories will add Fentanyl and Norfentanyl to the standard drug testing panel for urinalysis samples submitted for testing as announced in reference (a).

2. Navy policy remains clear with regards to substance abuse: zero tolerance. Sailors determined as using drugs shall be disciplined as appropriate and processed for administrative separation and may receive an Other than Honorable characterization of service which could affect their veteran benefits and employment opportunities.
Additionally, the Navy reports unlawful drug users to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which impacts the ability to purchase firearms or ammunition. It is the responsibility of every Sailor to ensure that he or she is diligent in avoiding intentional or accidental exposure to federally-prohibited substances.

3. Point of contact is Mrs. LaNorfeia Parker, Director, Navy Drug Detection and Deterrence, OPNAV N17, at (901) 874-4249/DSN 882 or via e-mail at lanorfeia.parker(at)navy.mil.

4. Released by Vice Admiral John B. Nowell, Jr, N1.//

BT
#0001
NNNN
UNCLASSIFIED//




375 Responses to “MEPS Drug and Alcohol Testing (DAT) Program”


  1. NCCM(Ret) says:

    CJ,

    With a positive MEPS drug test, he is banned from joining the Navy under its current policy. The other branches may entertain a waiver after the 90 days, but the Navy will not.

  2. Cj [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    You have already responded to me about the positive results on a drug screen, but after talking to my brother, he never failed a test during DEP when he arrived to leave he disclose his use and that’s when they told him to reenlist in 90days, so I guess my new question is, can he still join the navy if he disclose his use but never failed a drug screen. Hope I made my question clear.

  3. NCCM(Ret) says:

    CJ,

    If he did not fail the MEPS drug test, then a waiver may be possible. It would be up to the command to run it; they are not restricted from doing so.

  4. Steven says:

    Hello sir! I just would like to know what do they check for when you take a blood test at meps? Thanks!

  5. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Steven,

    The drug test is via urine, and not blood. The list of substances that is tested for is listed in the article.

  6. L says:

    Hello,

    I have been meeting with Navy recruiters on the Officer and Enlisted side for a week now as I am seeking a career within the Navy Fleet after graduating University in Mechanical Engineering. I have found that an abundance of mental health history can disqualify me. Please allow me to explain. In my early 20’s I drank alcohol as a social lubricant many too times and as an immature 21 year old decided to enjoy alcohol rather than finishing college. Fast forwarding a few years, my parents forced me to attend two rehabilitation centers, one outpatient when I was away at college and one inpatient, as I pissed them off on one night from a drinking episode. My parents are hard core southern Baptists that don’t believe in drinking, smoking and dancing and demanded these things of me in order to continue receiving college tuition payments. I later received a DWI in the state of Texas and was demanded to attend AA meetings and another outpatient rehab as part of the probation requirements. I followed the instruction of the court system to attend rehab, AA meetings, and seek a psychiatrist in case of possible diagnosis of x,y,z symptoms that I may or may not have. After receiving my DWI 3 years ago and serving probation and following all requirements of me by the court and of my loving parents to continue again caring for me as I was slow to mature and rebellious to grow up, I have finally grown up. I no longer require any form of medications and haven’t taken any for some time as I am able to move through life as a regular human being. I just don’t drink alcohol.. I don’t require it, and I don’t need it. Alcohol affects many people many different ways. I don’t believe I was ever dependent, but I did drink a lot in the past. It’s been 3 years since my last drink and don’t ever plan to touch it again. My question for you is, will MEPS review the information I give them and consider walking the fine lines to waiver after waiver as it may require it to process me for a fruitful career within the Navy while holding a Mechanical Engineering degree???

  7. NCCM(Ret) says:

    L,

    Theoretically, waiver consideration for alcohol rehab can happen after a minimum of two years post all treatment (counseling, medications, etc.). If all treatment has completed and two years have passed, you would need to gather any and all medical and treatment records related to your alcohol issues. MEPS will review the records and disapprove you for processing. It will then be up to the Navy to decide whether or not they would consider telling MEPS to provide a physical and psychiatric consultation. If they do, then after the physical is completed (you will remain disqualified on MEPS records), the physical and consultation records would be sent to CNRC N3M (medical) for consideration of the waiver. If the Navy refuses to direct MEPS to complete the physical, then you would need to try another branch of service.

  8. Chuck says:

    About a month ago I started the recruitment process by calling a recruiting office and asking to be put in contact with a recruiter. Over the phone I told him that I have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and have been treated with medication for it in the past. He told me “don’t even worry about it, we won’t write it down.” When I went in to meet him we talked for an hour and a half before starting some paperwork and what I believe is the pre screening test for MEPS. That’s when I brought up the ADD/ADHD again and he told me not to worry about and called the Chief over to talk about and even the Chief said “don’t open that can of worms.” Unfortunately I trusted them and signed the paperwork saying NO to an ADD/ADHD diagnosis. However I slept on it and called him the next day and told him we had to discuss the fact that I was told to lie on paper and that I wanted to change that NO to a YES even if I meant I was disqualified from service. He now wants my treatment records and I’m in the process of obtaining them. My big question is, does it jeopardize my chances of getting in that I’m changing the NO to a YES. My mom is a witness to them telling me to lie. I fully understand the steps that need to be taken with my diagnosis. Thank you

  9. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Chuck,

    You are MUCH better off being honest. By ensuring your application is accurate and the proper steps for enlistment are followed, you are doing the absolute right thing.

  10. Jen says:

    Hey there!

    I am planning to apply to Navy OCS after I graduate from college (I am 20, college junior). I have good grades, leadership, and test scores, and I am in excellent physical shape. When I was 17 I was given a citation for misdemeanor larceny and it was dismissed and expunged. I still get a pit in my stomach thinking about my juvenile mistake because it was completely out of character and not like me. I have read that this is eligible to be waived. However, I have also used marijuana a few times awhile ago and tried cocaine once. I was a very impressionable teen and trying to figure out the world and I did this by experimenting. Also not like me which I quickly realized and snapped out of it…. I live an extremely healthy lifestyle and will continue to do so the rest of my life. No drugs, no alcohol, nothing. Oh what I would do to go back now! Do you think all of this can be looked past since I am now a level-headed and extremely viable candidate for OCS?

    Thanks in advance for your time and advice.

  11. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Jen,

    A waiver for both the drug use and police involvement is possible; whether or not you are selected will depend on how you stack up against the other candidates being boarded for the same officer designator which you applied.

  12. Hank says:

    I swore in on Monday , but I don’t leave for boot camp until Jan. I had an abscess on one of my tonsils last year and the ENT suggested I remove them to prevent it from happening again. I never had the surgery. If it flares while in boot camp and I have to have surgery am I kicked out, or just have to redo once I am recovered ?

  13. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Hank,

    I doubt that you would be discharged if your tonsils flared up while in boot-camp.

  14. Chris says:

    Does the navy do hair follicle tests?

  15. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Chris,

    No, the military does not do hair follicle tests.

  16. Thomas [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Does the navy urinalysis drug test for LSD or Psilocybin??

  17. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Thomas,

    I know they test for mushrooms (it states it in the NAVADMIN in the article), and I assume they test for LSD. I do not know every drug and compound tested for, but if it is an illegal substance, I would think it part of the test. You would have to fully research the AF medical examiner system.

  18. Emilie says:

    So, I got a 67 on my asvab, and swore in already. But, a week later I found out I failed my drug test and tested positive for marijuana. That means I lied about doing drugs and failed the drug test at meps. Does this mean I will for sure never be able to join the Navy?

  19. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Emilie,

    The Navy will not consider a waiver for anyone who has failed the drug test at MEPS. If that longstanding policy is ever revised, I will be writing about it, for sure.

  20. Tab says:

    My son failed the boot camp drug test he was separated with a re3j code. He was told he could re enlist with a waiver after 6 months. Is that true. If so are his chances grim.

  21. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Tab,

    Theoretically, it is possible to get an RE-code waiver for a Navy RE-3J code; however, due to the current Navy policy of no authorized waivers for those who fail the MEPS DAT test, it is very highly unlikely that the waiver would be forwarded to CNRC and considered. To do so would be inconsistent with the current policy.

  22. Tab says:

    He didn’t fail it at meps. He was already at boot camp in the processing days. He passed the drug test at his first meps visit.

  23. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Tab,

    I understand. The initial MEPS DAT is the only lab tested drug test completed before a person ships to boot-camp. Failing the initial lab tested drug test at boot-camp would meet the same threshold of accuracy as the initial MEPS test, and in the spirit of the positive DAT policy, it would be inconsistent to allow a waiver for one but not the other.

    I forwarded this scenario to a friend at CNRC — he has plans to ask the operations officer about this on Monday. I’ll post here when I get an answer.

  24. Tab says:

    Thank you I await your response

  25. Tab says:

    I also wonder if his high asvab test scores and how well he always did in school in all classes and in his 4 years of rotc. He has never had any issues at all he made a bad choice at a celebration party 3 weeks before he left for boot camp and smoked marijuana. He had no idea of how long it would be in his system. I’m sure all of this is probably irrelevant to the navy. Due to the policy

  26. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Tab,

    I did not hear back anything today. I sent a reminder — if I don’t hear back by Friday, I will actually be at CNRC headquarters to ask the question personally.

  27. Tab says:

    Great thank you so much for your help.

  28. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Tab,

    I apologize for not answering sooner; after I left CNRC, I was attending my son’s wedding, and I completely forgot.

    As I suspected, CNRC will treat a positive drug test from boot-camp or anytime while a person is in the military the same way they treat a MEPS positive DAT. It makes no difference what RE-Code RTC may give. I wish I had better news.

  29. Tab says:

    Thank you for your efforts. I do think the RTC should stop telling recruits with that code a waiver is possible then that would cut down on all of the hopes that recruits may have on re entering.

  30. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Tab,

    Because the Navy will not consider it does not mean that other branches may not.

  31. Eric [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    Hello. I was just wondering how long does it usually take to hear back if you have failed MEPS drug test?

  32. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Eric,

    Three to four working days for the MEPS to get the results from the lab. Usually, if the test is positive, the recrutier will be notified the same day if they can locate him/her.

  33. Eric says:

    That doesnt include tha sample being shipped and tested? Just for the results to be givem to meps?

  34. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Eric,

    That time frame includes the shipping, testing, and MEPS notification.

  35. Eric says:

    Ok, I was just wondering since I have seen others post on this same thread saying they received their positive result roughly 2 weeks after their meps visit. Just wanted to know if that was the average time to hear back

  36. Amos says:

    My friend an officer in the us navy had a positive urine test for Marijuana, is that the end for him. He is just about to complete his training as a doctor, he has been charged, can the outcome ever be positive
    Amos

  37. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Amos,

    It is likely that his contract will be terminated.

  38. Barbara says:

    my son has been in Navy for over 3 yrs with a stellar record. he has documented medical issues for chronic stomach pain and was taken off ship and put on shore duty as a result of the stomach issues.. He was at his mother in laws wedding and become sick with pain.. he stupidly took 1 hydrocodone to alleviate pain so he would not have to
    Leave wedding.. He was drug tested and failed… he is now is a psychiatric hospital for depression and they put him on antidepressant.. He is E -5 in 3 yrs .. is there any possibility he will not be discharged? Are there any exceptions? Very concerned mom

  39. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Barbara,

    I have no way of knowing for sure, but it is more likely that he would be discharged than not.

  40. Sims says:

    Son goes to MEPS. He tested clean at home and at the recruiter’s office. The line is there, but faint. Should he delay MEPS?

  41. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Sims,

    The lab that MEPS uses to test the sample is much more accurate than a home kit. If he used marijuana within the past 45-60 days or even longer with greater body fat, I recommend waiting. He only gets one chance at it.

  42. Becky says:

    Hi, how long does it take to find out if you have passed the drug test at MEPS?
    Thanks

  43. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Becky,

    No more than about 3 to 4 working days.

  44. Diane J says:

    Hello,
    how far out do the drug screenings run?
    for example do they test for any in your system within the past year, 60 days, or 30 days?

  45. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Diane J.,

    The test has no way of knowing timeframes — the test determines whether associated chemicals exist in your blood. If a controlled substance’s chemical shows up in your blood beyond a certain threshold, then it would be a positive test result.

  46. Greg says:

    NCCM(Ret),

    I cannot seem to find a definitive answer on this; do they test for drugs (more specifically marijuana) in the blood, urine, or both?

  47. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Greg,

    The test is a proctored urine test (an official witnesses you provide the sample). At the bottom of the article, it tells you the thresholds it tests to. Make sure you are completely clean. You fail this test, you will be discharged and sent home from BMT, and you banned from joining.

  48. Greg says:

    NCCM(Ret),

    I haven’t even spoken to a recruiter yet. But I have been an occasional smoker (1-2 times a week for the past 12 months).
    The last time I smoked was a week ago and I’ve passed a home test that tests for 15 ng/mL. But I’ve read on a research journal that it MIGHT stay in your blood for anywhere between 30-90 days.
    I was afraid to be in a situation where I pass the urine test, but fail the blood test.

    Thanks!

  49. Greg says:

    NCCM(Ret),

    PS: I’m going to enlist in the AF.

  50. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Greg,

    The branch of service doesn’t matter. I thought you were in DEP because you had previously posted on the LPR page. But, popping positive at MEPS producing the same result as popping positive at boot-camp or while in service beyond boot-camp.

  51. Greg says:

    NCCM(Ret),

    Thanks for the info. What threw me off was what you said above to Diane J about controlled substance’s chemicals showing up in the blood. What did you mean by that? What kind of substances they test for in the blood if the drug test is through urine?

  52. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Greg,

    The kidneys remove the stuff from the blood. They are like the body’s filters. The waste products are expelled from the body via the urine. Checking the urine for such an easily detectable foreign substance is cheaper and just as good as using a blood test.

  53. ben [Last name redacted for privacy] says:

    how long does it take to find out if you failed the meps UA and do you receive a letter or a phone call

  54. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Ben,

    Three to four working days. If you fail and you are in the DEP, your recruiter will contact you immediately to let you know you have been discharged; if not yet in the DEP, your recruiter may not tell you until you call them as there is nothing more they can do for you.

  55. Tre says:

    Hey I’m just tryna figure out when do you get your Drug test results from meps it’s been 10 days and my recruiter hasnt really told me anything about only time he called was when I changed my job to hospital corpseman I am in the DEP and sworn in at meps the day I took my physical and test and got my shipment date. Am I ok???? Did I pass????

  56. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Tre,

    The MEPS DAT test results usually take 3 working days. If a positive result, they discharge you immediately. Being that it is ten days, ask your recruiter if you are still in the DEP. If yes, your test was negative.

  57. Beth says:

    Here is a scenario: You enlist. You got to MEPS and pass all the tests including the drug and alcohol tests. Take your oath. 2+ weeks later you are informed that the urine sample you left at MEPS showed trace levels of marijuana and your contract is canceled and you can no longer enlist in the Navy. If your drug test is negative, it is negative. Can this be challenged?

  58. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Beth,

    If your DAT test showed positive for THC, then your test was not negative. No, it cannot be challenged.

  59. Steven says:

    Hello, I was curious as my son is in the Navy DEP. Do they do a drug test at the 90/60/30 days from ship out meetings?

  60. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Steven,

    The Delayed Entry Program Non-Instrumented Drug Testing program (NIDT) has been eliminated. Drug testing in the Navy DEP no longer takes place. After DEP, the next test is at RTC, and if they fail that, they will get sent home.

  61. Steven says:

    Understood. Thank you!

  62. Madeline says:

    Hi,

    I was wondering how long it takes to get drug test results back from boot camp?

    Thanks

  63. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Madeline,

    I assume it takes the same length of time as MEPS results; three to four business days after the same is sent to the lab.

  64. Possible Sailor says:

    What are the cut off levels for THC in a Meps drug test? 50 or 15?

  65. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Possible Sailor,

    15 ng/mL

  66. Terry says:

    Will a positive MEPS drug test from having applied to other branches be disqualifying for Navy Service?

  67. Mark says:

    It has been 8 days since my drug test at meps, and my recruiter says he has not gotten my urinalysis results yet. How would this happen, if the results are typically available in 3-4 days.

  68. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Terry,

    A positive drug test at MEPS or in service would render you ineligible — it doesn’t matter which service you processed for when it occurred.

  69. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Mark,

    Normally, your recruiter won’t get any news about your drug test if you passed it. It is when you fail that they get the call informing him/her you are being discharged. If no such call, then more than likely you passed it.

  70. Ol says:

    Does meps test for antidepressants (ssri)’s? Thanks for all your info.

  71. NCCM(Ret) says:

    OI,

    MEPS will test for all the substances listed in the article.

  72. Lisa says:

    How long after smoking MJ should recruit wait to go to MEPS?

  73. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Lisa,

    I recommend 90 days, but it depends on the amount of useage and the person’s body fat. Which ever, I would not risk going early.

  74. Alex says:

    Hi there sir,
    I’ve a bit confused about the MEPS drug test. I can pass 50ng tests all day, but my friend in the Army told me that MEPS does an inital drug test at 50ng, and if you fail that, then you are retested again at the 15ng threshold.
    Could you possibly clarify which one it is?I’m hearing a lot of conflicting stuff on the initial vs retested drug test

  75. NCCM(Ret) says:

    Alex,

    If you question whether or not you can pass given the Marijuana metabolite (THCA): 15 ng/mL threshold, don’t go to MEPS. Better safe than sorry.

Leave a Reply

Before asking a question, use the site search!


A Navy recruiting blog that delves into the military enlistment process and benefits of service. This is NOT an official United States Navy or government web site. The opinions expressed are my own, and may not be in-line with any branches of the government or military.

Unless otherwise noted, content written by Thomas Goering, NCCM USN(RET).

©Navy CyberSpace. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Service and Privacy Policy