Performance Enhancing Drugs in the Military

The issue of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) has been a topic of debate in various fields, including sports, medicine, and the workplace. As an institution where physical and mental strength are crucial, the military is no exception to this discussion. The potential benefits of using PEDs in the armed forces are enticing if legally obtained. However, there are significant concerns regarding the ethical and health implications of using these substances. A military criminal defense attorney is the correct choice for anyone facing allegations of PED use.

Concerns and Drawbacks of PEDs in the Military

  • Health Risks: The long-term effects of PEDs on the human body are not fully understood. Some drugs are known to have serious side effects, such as an increased risk of heart disease, liver damage, and hormonal imbalances. Introducing these substances into the military without fully understanding their potential health consequences could have dangerous and unintended consequences.
  • Ethical Considerations: The use of PEDs raises questions about the morality of artificially enhancing human performance in the military. Some argue that it is unfair to expect soldiers to use substances that might put their health at risk, especially when the benefits may not be evenly distributed among all service members.
  • Reliability and Dependency: There is a risk that soldiers might become reliant on PEDs, impairing their ability to perform without them. This dependency could be detrimental when access to these substances is limited or unavailable.

What Are the Consequences of Illegally Using PEDs in the Military?

  • Legal Repercussions: Using PEDs without proper authorization in the military is a violation of military law and regulations. Service members caught using PEDs illegally may face disciplinary action. This includes non-judicial punishment, court-martial, fines, or even imprisonment.
  • Loss of Career Opportunities: Service members found to be using PEDs illegally may face administrative separation from the military. This will lead to a loss of career opportunities and benefits. They may potentially receive a less-than-honorable discharge. This can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s ability to find employment and access benefits in civilian life.
  • Damage to Reputation: Being caught using PEDs illegally can tarnish a service member’s reputation among peers and superiors. This leads to a loss of trust, respect, and opportunities for advancement.
  • Compromised Operational Readiness: Service members who become reliant on PEDs may experience impaired performance when access to these substances is limited or unavailable. This compromises their ability to carry out their duties effectively.

What Defenses Are Available for Service Members Accused of Illegally Using PEDs?

  • False Positive Test Result: The service member could argue that the positive test result for PEDs was a false positive. It could be caused by a testing error, flawed testing procedures, or the presence of a legally prescribed medication that produced a similar chemical signature.
  • Involuntary Ingestion: The accused could claim that they unknowingly or involuntarily ingested the PED. For example, they might argue that someone spiked their food or drink or that they consumed a supplement without knowing it contained a banned substance. In such cases, providing evidence to support the claim of involuntary ingestion is crucial.
  • Proper Authorization or Prescription: If the service member has a valid prescription or medical authorization for using a specific substance that is otherwise considered a PED, they could present this as a defense. They must provide documentation from a medical professional outlining the medical necessity for using the substance in question.
  • Chain of Custody Issues: The accused might challenge the handling, storage, and transport of their sample. They may argue that a break in the chain of custody or contamination occurred, making the test results unreliable.
  • Procedural Violations: The service member could point out any procedural violations during the drug testing process. These can include failure to follow proper protocol, inadequate record-keeping, or inconsistent application of testing procedures.
  • Inaccurate or Incomplete Records: If the records regarding the accused’s drug test or history are inaccurate or incomplete, they may be able to argue that the allegations are based on unreliable information.



The use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in the military is generally prohibited unless a medical professional prescribes them for a legitimate medical reason. Unauthorized use of PEDs can lead to disciplinary action, including non-judicial punishment, court-martial, fines, or even imprisonment. Service members are subject to periodic drug testing to ensure compliance with military regulations and maintain operational readiness.

Contact Aaron Meyer Law Today

It can be challenging to navigate any military proceedings related to PEDs. Doing so effectively requires the support of a seasoned military law attorney. Look no further than Aaron Meyer Law. We combine our deep understanding of the complexities of military law with a tenacious approach. Our firm can ensure that your rights are protected, and your career is defended. Reach out to Aaron Meyer Law today and take the first step toward securing your future.

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