Story by Joseph Hatch,
Fort Stewart ASAP Prevention Branch Manager
Commentary

Tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly referred to as THC, is the psychoactive component found in marijuana. THC can have an array of effects on the brain, which affects receptors that are found throughout the central nervous system. It affects memory, learning, attention, decision making, coordination, emotions, and reaction time. THC can cause permanent IQ loss and has been linked to delirium, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders, and sleep disorders.

There are places selling products, particularly vape oils, which may contain varying levels of THC or other unknown substances. What many people aren't aware of is that the people making and selling these illegal products aren't scientists or medical professionals. The result is un-regulated products with varying levels of THC. Even in the same products, some batches may have little effect, and some could result in the consumer's death.

Some signs of cannabis intoxication include conjunctival injection (eye redness), increased appetite, dry mouth, and tachycardia (rapid heartbeat). Consumption of synthetic forms of THC may show in the form of impaired mobility, slurred or incoherent speech, irrational behavior, sudden and extreme episodes ranging from hyperactivity to lethargy and mood swings to name a few.

Soldiers are strictly prohibited from consuming any illegal substances to include CBD oil -regardless of the situation. The latest testing equipment will test for CBD oil and if consumed, will show up as an illicit drug positive.

If a Soldier is concerned about substance use, he/she should speak with the Substance Use Disorder Clinical Care office located in the Liberty Wing of Winn Army Hospital 435-3542 or Tuttle Army Health Clinic 315-6430.

Many Soldiers may not come forward out of concern for their careers. While understandable, substance abuse typically gets worse, not better. Unfortunately, it can be a career and a relationship ender. The earlier you seek help, the better.

For questions regarding prevention services or to schedule a training, please contact the Army Substance Abuse Program at 767-5974. Additional information about the program and services can be found on the Fort Stewart Hunter Army Airfield App and website.

Frontline Editor's note: Contributions by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, https://www.samhsa.gov; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov; Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition; and Takia Murray, Fort Stewart Public Affairs Intern.