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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34746
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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My husband is in the Navy, & obtained a ham string injury,

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My husband is in the Navy, & obtained a ham string injury, (fell on the ice) &went to ER, everything. Was prescribed hydrocodone. He only took hydrocodone. (Plus a ton of vitamins, & cold meds, he was sick). He took a drug test, & failed, but he tested positive for oxycodone & oxymorphone. (352 ng/652 ng). He is now facing court martial. The investigator even wrote on the incident report, that oxycodone & oxymorphone are metabolites of hydrocodone. He is facing severe consequences, & he loves the Navy. What can he do?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

I am not a forensic I can not tell you if oxycodone is a metabolite of hydocodone. But it would not surprise me to learn that to be the case

The Navy uses a urine testing program that uses GCMS (Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry) technology. This is the "gold standard" for testing. The GCMS basically takes a "chemical fingerprint" of the urine sample and compares to known metabolites. SO if the test revealed metabolites for oxycodone? Then there is a good bet that the urine sample had that metabolite...and that the person who provided the sample ingested that drug

Hydrocodone is an opiate. As is oxycodone and oxymorphone.

They are all quite similar.

The question is, will ingestion of hydrocodone test positive for oxycodone and oxymorphone.

To answer that question you need a forensic toxicologist.

The good news? The Navy has em. And if he is facing court, he rates a lawyer from the NLSO.

And your husbands lawyer can find the answer out easy enough by calling them up.

If they are the same? Then this would be a simple matter of his lawyer contacting the prosecutor with the information...they will dismiss the charges

If they are different? He may need to fight this in court.

Let me know if you have more questions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

That was as vague an answer as possible. I already have that information. Thanks anyway!

Ma'am I am disheartened by your negative rating

I do this for a living...negative ratings impact my ability to continue to help folks like you

You asked a simple question and I provided an accurate answer based on your question. I am not sure what you mean by vague...I told you how to fix the contact a forensic toxicologist and they can resolve the issue.

P. Simmons and other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well, my real question, is what is the likelihood that they will go the fullest extent of punishment, especially, since I know for a fact, that he only ingested the hydrocodone that was prescribed, & nothing more. (narcotics) I'm waiting for a call back from the lab now, but I ant to know what are the chances that they will go all the way with punishment, if the CO, won't accept all the information I have found, showing that these drugs are so similar, & can be metabolized differently by different people. Since the investigator himself even stated on the report that oxycodone & oxymorphone are metabolites of hydrocodone, so that in itself says to me, that they would be present, along with the hydrocodone, after taking them for a week. So, I'm surprised that after that statement, they would even go forward, so I'm trying to find out what to expect. The list of possibilities of NJP, are, 45/45, half pay for 2 mos, reduction in rank, which would lead to discharge, since he's been in for almost 16 years. He's a great sailor, has a great record of service as an HT, and he would never do anything to jeopardize his career, also, absolutely has no access to oxycodone or oxymorphone, themselves. We didn't even know the difference, until we started looking it all up recently. I did tip you after our last conservation, with the assumptiom that it was on top of your fee. Now, since I've looked at other answers you've given to other people, I believe that you can help us. He has an appointment with attorney tomorrow, but I've heard tons about them sugarcoating the outcomes. Also, the cut off in ng, for oxycodone & oxymorphone, is 100, & he tested 352/652. Is that really high or something?

Ma'am the CO will not listen to you. The CO, at this point, will only listen to the prosecutor. The Prosecutor brings the case for the CO. THe prosecutor will listen to the defense, if you find out that oxycodone and hydrocodone give the same metabolite, let your spouses lawyer know...this is the person who can get the charges dismissed.

What you describe I suspect will be "all or nothing"

If you can show he had a prescription for the drug he tested for? Then I expect the prosecutor will recommend that the charges be dropped.

If the forensic toxicologist says that they are different? Then you have a problem...then I would expect them to take this to a court.

So everything ride on what the science says...if hydrocodone can case a pop for oxycodone/oxymorphone or not.

I understand they may offer NJP?

Again, get to the toxicologist. If the drugs will test similar he should NOT accept NJP. He can fight this in court and keep up the fight to reach 20 years (and a pension) or at least be eligible for severance pay.

If the drugs test differently? Then you have a tough decision to make...the GCMS is the gold standard. If it shows metabolites then the person who gave the sample ingested the drug. I can not stress enough bow accurate the testing is. I know, for example, that there are several different types of "meth" (an illegal drug). Then there is the legal precursor to meth (it is found in over the counter medications). The precursor will test exactly like meth with one exception. So most drug screening tests can not tell the difference between meth and the precursor. But the GCMS can, as well as can distinguish between different types of meth. It is a very accurate testing mechanism. It makes it tough to argue that "the test was wrong"

Let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can