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Navy drug crackdown brings cutdown in use

A year-long crackdown on illegal drug use has apparently paid off for the Navy, with latest statistics showing drug use among only 3.7 percent of the sailors tested, a Norfolk newspaper reported Sunday.

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The Norfolk Virginia-Pilot and Ledger-Star reported figures for the Atlantic Fleet showing that of 105,631 urinalysis samples taken between July and September, 3,911 confirmed illegal drug use.

The fleet's crackdown began a year ago when officials estimated that 28.5 percent of its 250,000 personnel were using illicit drugs.

As part of its war on drugs, the Navy dismissed all officers and senior enlisted personnel caught with drugs and levied heavy fines to first offenders before booting them out for subsequent violations.

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