Documents reveal supply of 47 tons of controlled drugs to US military — Dilyana Gaytandzhieva reports

Re-sealed boxes of diazepam injectors at the US military base in Kuwait. Thousands of diazepam injectors are not included in mandatory monthly controlled drug reports at the base, according to a 2020 audit report by the U.S. Department of Defense inspector general.

Annual Department of Defense amphetamine consumption alone is 15.6 million tablets

English translation of the report, the original in Bulgarian is here.

The Pentagon is shipping dozens of tons of controlled drugs to U.S. military bases around the world, documents obtained by the U.S. Federal Register of Contracts reveal. The U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) has contracted with fourteen U.S. airlines to transport military cargo, including sensitive cargo (narcotics) to various locations around the world. The delivery schedule shows a planned total of 47.5 tons of controlled drugs (2018–2023) to U.S. military bases overseas.

The projected quantity for Romania alone is 10 tons of controlled drugs, Kosovo is 5 tons, and Estonia is 2 tons, while the projected shipments of controlled drugs to the other destinations are in a significantly smaller quantity of 898 kg per base (the quantities shown in the document are measured in the U.S. unit of lbs, 1 lbs equals 0.453592 kg).

Schedule for the delivery of military cargo, including controlled drugs, to U.S. military bases worldwide in Pentagon Category A Federal Contract Announcement HTC71117RCC05. Source: govtribe.com

Kosovo — 11 117 lbs (2018–2023) or 5 042 kg

Romania — 21 607 lbs (2018–2023) or 9 800 kg

Malatya — 2803 lbs (2018–2023) or 1271 kg

Erbil — 1457 lbs (2018–2023) or 660 kg

Estonia — 4 516 lbs (2018–2023) or 2 048 kg

Estimated quantities for other U.S. military bases are 1,980 pounds or 898 kilograms of controlled drugs per base (2018–2023) Source

The total quantity of controlled drugs to be supplied is 47 560 kg (2018–2023).

US Army — the largest user of controlled drugs in the world

The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded a $23 million contract (2020–2025) for the supply of amphetamines, according to another federal order posted on the U.S. Federal Contracts Register.

According to the contract notice, the annual consumption by the Department of Defense alone is 15.6 million amphetamine tablets.

Pentagon Dextroamphetamine/Amphetamine Federal Order Notice SPE2D2–20-R-0062.

Amphetamine — a widely used drug in the US military

According to US combat veterans, amphetamine (Adderall and its generic version Dextroaphetamine/Amphetamine) is regularly prescribed to soldiers to improve their performance, even though amphetamine use is banned in the US military. However, the drug is widely prescribed to treat soldiers with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and narcolepsy. Prescribed amounts range from 5 to 30 mg and the dose increases over time, starting at 5 mg to 30 mg twice daily. For a soldier in a combat role, the allowed dose is 10 mg of amphetamine, an American veteran of the war in Afghanistan who was prescribed Adderall told Objectivo.BG.

Deaths

6145 adverse event reports related to Adderall and Adderall XR have been logged in the US Food and Drug Administration’s Adverse Event Reporting (FAER) system from 1994 to 31 March 2020. Of these, 3251 were serious and involved 202 deaths.

Drug addiction and overprescribing is a major problem in the U.S. military.

Lack of control

A recently released Department of Defense Inspector General audit found that there is a lack of oversight of opioid prescribing in the U.S. military. The audit states:

“By examining patient records, we identified examples of beneficiaries at the three military treatment facilities we reviewed who may have been overprescribed opioids from 2015 through 2017. For example, a beneficiary received an average of 450 MME per day (morphine) for 16 months, which is five times the recommended maximum dose of 90 MME that chronic pain patients should avoid.”

Another 2020 audit by the Pentagon’s inspector general, an Audit of Pharmaceutical Management in Support of the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility, found that the Defense Department does not control how controlled drugs are stored and used. Inspectors visited eight medical treatment facilities, four medical logistics facilities, a U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center-Southwest Asia (USAMMC-SWA), and three USAMMC-SWA forward logistics centers located in Qatar, Kuwait, and Afghanistan.

Inspectors photographed the open door and unlocked safe in the controlled drugs warehouse at the U.S. base in Kuwait.

According to the audit, as a result of the accountability and security deficiencies identified at the treatment facilities, medical logistics facilities, USAMMC-SWA warehouse, and USAMMC-SWA logistics centers, controlled drugs at these locations are potentially subject to loss, theft, and illicit use.

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Dilyana Gaytandzhieva is an investigative journalist and founder of Objectivo.BG. She has worked as a war correspondent in Syria, Libya and Gaza. While covering the war in Syria, she documented war crimes and published documents about 350 diplomatic flights with weapons that reached terrorist organizations in Syria and Yemen. She is an independent journalist and does not work for governments or corporations. If you want to follow her on Telegram, you can subscribe to her channel using this link: https://t.me/ObektivnoBg

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Lena Bloch

Lena Bloch

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Background in psychology of learning, literature, philosophy, math.