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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Canadian Army Drug Use

The United States military has been battling substance abuse within its ranks for years. Soldiers coming back from the wars in the Middle East often times self-medicate in order to cope with their struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as physical ailments. In many cases, American soldiers are prescribed a number of mind altering substances that are highly addictive.

However, the American armed forces are not the only ones seeing a rise in drug use, it turns out that substance abuse is on the rise with the Canadian Army, reports the fix. Data collected from random drug tests showed that the use of marijuana and cocaine are on the rise.

Urine samples from more than 4,000 participants from the majority of ranks and age groups were collected, according to the article. Of those collected, 279 (6.6%) tested positive for at least one drug. Researchers found that 5.3% of all samples tested positive for marijuana, up from 4.2 percent in 2012. The data showed that 44 urine samples tested positive for cocaine. Some of the samples, low rates, were found to test positive for morphine, methamphetamine, MDMA and MDA.

While the Canadian Forces have a zero-tolerance policy towards drugs, none of the soldiers who tested positive will be disciplined because “no urine sample can be attributed to a specific member,” as a spokesperson for the Defense Department noted. The report offered no definitive reasons for the rise in use; however it was pointed out that the highest number of positive tests may have come from younger and non-commissioned members.

The rise in marijuana use could be the result of more relaxed views on marijuana throughout Canada and the United States. Polls suggest that more than half of the country are in favor of full legalization, notes the article.

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