The military does not commonly test for kratom, but can upon request of a drill sergeant or commanding officer. The military often uses a modified 5-panel or 7-panel screen and can add other substances as required. The military has a strict zero-tolerance policy for drug and illegal alcohol use, which can put you in the hot seat when it comes to kratom use. This guide will provide some information about military drug testing.
Note: This guide is not intended to provide legal advice. If you want specific case information, you should have legal counsel or reach out to the JAG attorneys if you are enlisted.
The Legalities Of Kratom
Kratom is not illegal on the federal level. The DEA attempted and failed, to make kratom a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance. This would make any use, possession, or purchase of kratom products completely illegal. As this would not only outlaw the recreational use but also the educational and research purposes, the ban was unsuccessful and no further attempts to regulate kratom have been attempted.
This means that the individual dates are allowed to regulate the sale of kratom within their borders. While most states either protect kratom sales or have no laws regarding kratom, the following states have made the sale of kratom products illegal:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
It is always important to note the restrictions not only in your state but local laws where you live and frequently visit/travel. In addition to these specific states, some cities and counties have also banned kratom use in their areas:
- In California, kratom is legal except in San Diego County.
- In Florida, kratom is legal except in Sarasota County.
While most states do not have age restrictions, most head shops, smoke shops, or local stores have policies that restrict the sale to minors. Most stores require you to be at least 18 years of age.
About Drug Tests
The most common reason for a drug screening or test involves starting a new career, including joining the military. A drug panel consists of testing the body through blood or urine for the different substances. The various panels describe the number of substances and specificity of the drug screening. This routine drug screening often uses a 5-panel that checks for THC, Opiates, PCP, Cocaine, and Amphetamines. Individual substances can be added to any of the drug panels pictured based.
Kratom is made from an herb, specifically the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree. These leaves do not provide the same chemical components as the drugs and substances that are often screened for. Kratom receives its potency and popularity due to alkaloids such as mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. These are substances that do not appear on standard drug panels, even the 17-panel, but can be added as requested.
Military Drug Screening
The military often uses a modified 5-panel or a 7-panel screening. They always test for amphetamines, cocaine, and marijuana. They often include screening for steroids as well to ensure their upcoming soldiers aren’t abusing them. The Department of Defense (DoD) can also test for LSD, barbiturates, PCP, heroin, and opiates in their routine tests. While kratom is not a common request, it can certainly be added, especially in areas where it is illegal for use.
Newcomers to the military that are underage and training should know that they can also be checked. While some states and stores may allow minors to take the products, the military has a strict zero-tolerance for drugs and illegal alcohol use. This means that if they test you for kratom you can be in trouble if the test shows you have kratom in your system.
Military and Kratom Use
If you are adamant that you want to use kratom products and be in the military, you should seek counsel through legal representation, a JAG Attorney, or through your superior officers. While it is not illegal federally, it may be illegal in the state or country where you are stationed which makes it risky to use without seeking expert advice for your case beforehand. You should always err on the side of caution and get professional advice.