Drug use among Navy SEALs 'staggering' investigation finds

In an exclusive report from CBS, disguised SEALs the discuss rampant drug use among their fellow troops

Drug use among Navy SEALs 'staggering' investigation finds

First Phase Basic Underwater Demolition/SEALs candidates conduct physical training exercises at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. The Navy SEALs are a maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Forces that perform various operations from the sea, air, and land. (Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Shauntae Hinkle-Lymas/DVIDSHUB)

By Military1 Staff

From cocaine to prescription painkillers, a CBS investigative report revealed rampant drug use among Navy SEALs.

Three SEALs who spoke on the condition of anonymity described a growing problem of drug abuse within the SEAL community.

“I’m sitting in this chair because I’m not proud anymore to be in the community because of the direction that it’s going,” one SEAL said.

In a mandatory meeting, Capt. Jamie Sands, commodore of Naval Special Warfare Group Two addressed the gathered troops.

“I feel betrayed,” he said. “How do you do that to us? How do you decide that it’s okay for you to do drugs? I feel like I’m watching our foundation, our culture erode in front of our eyes.”

The drug use is not isolated to a single type according to SEALs who have seen the behavior from the inside.

“People that we know of, that we hear about, have tested positive for cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy,” one SEAL told CBS.

A natural conclusion would be that SEALs end up abusing drugs to escape the stress of their job, but Sands said that was not the case in his meeting.

“They think it was OK because they’ve seen other people do it,” he said in the video. “They think their teammates won’t turn them in. They think it’s kind of the cool thing to do, but they think it’s OK.”

The disguised SEALs told CBS that even though all troops are subject to random drug tests, they aren’t conducted away from base, which is most of the time for SEALs and something Sands vowed to change.

“We’re going to test on the road,” he said in the video. “We’re going to test on deployment. If you do drugs, if you decide to be that selfish individual, which I don’t think anyone’s going to do after today—I believe that. Then, you’re going to get caught.”

One SEAL who spoke to CBS said the decision was tough, but necessary.

“You stand up for what’s right, and you get blackballed, or driven out.”