Pubdate: Mon, 22 Dec 2014
Source: Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)
Copyright: 2014 The Hamilton Spectator
Author: Alison Auld
Page: A8


HALIFAX - Marijuana remains the drug of choice for members of the
Canadian army, based on the force's latest blind drug testing report
that also found cocaine is gaining popularity among some members.

The report, done between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013, found the overall
drug consumption rate has been relatively stable since 2010 but
suggested young, non-commissioned members were more prone to do drugs.

The findings, contained in a 42 page report obtained by The Canadian
Press under the Access to Information Act, included testing for 11
controlled substances at 26 Armed Forces units across the country.
There were 4,198 participants from most ranks and age groups.

The testing found that 279 urine specimens - or 6.6 per cent - tested
positive for at least one drug, with pot detected in 5.3 per cent of
all of the samples.

That's up from the 4.2 per cent in 2012 and 4.8 per cent the year
before that.

Positive test results for marijuana came from 19 units, with the bulk
from 3 Royal Canadian Regiment and 2 Service Battalion in Petawawa,

The report says nine units had cocaine-positive samples, with the most
again from members in 3 Royal Canadian Regiment in Petawawa. Results
showed 44 samples overall had traces of cocaine, up from the 29
positive samples the previous year, making it one of the higher rates
since the testing started in 2007.

While the numbers were considered low, members of the psychosocial
health dynamics team who wrote the report said there was a higher
likelihood that members tested positive for cocaine in 2013 than in

The results found that drug use is significantly more likely to occur
among junior non-commissioned members aged 27 years or younger.

The Canadian Forces has a zero tolerance policy for illicit drugs.
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